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Jon Stewart starts his show with an apology to Dick Molpus

Still buried in work, I hadn’t had a chance to post about Jon Stewart’s use of Dick Molpus as a stand-in for backwards Southern pollitians last week.

To Stewart’s credit, he began his show last night with a correction, crediting Molpus’s stands on the right side of civil rights issues.

While on the subject, last week David Brooks ran a tiradeabout the deadlock in Washington, saying neither the Republicans nor the Obama administration had a plan.  He pretty quickly ran a correction (well, he called it a postcript) added to the end of the column online, and today devotes his column to the “humiliation” of what he’d got wrong, and makes some explanation.  This is pretty major, because to a great degree the Times has a history of not doing much to correct op-ed columns on the apparent theory they are opinion.  Good for Brooks on this one.

11 comments to Jon Stewart starts his show with an apology to Dick Molpus

  • Chico Harris

    With David Broder gone, i think David Brooks is the most valuable columnist in America.
    Especially since The Oxford Eagle killed the Jim Dees column.

  • It always bothers me to see government spending described as “investment.” It can be, of course, but money spent on various social programs tends not to be analyzed very well. For example, government studies show that participation in Head Start provides no benefit to children once they reach fourth grade, and may even be harmful, yet we are constantly told we need to increase our “investment” in the program. It’s an investment with a zero percent return, if not a negative one.

  • Chico Harris

    CRZ: you forgot to provide a link to those “government studies”.

  • This summary by Education Week also has a link to the actual study in the first graph:


    Of course, the release of this study was conveniently delayed until after the election.

    (A similar government study three or four years ago came up with similar results).

  • James

    Interesting “apology” and setting the record straight. He now “acknowledges” that the Obama administration has offered a “plan” to avoid sequestration other than taxing the rich. I don’t remember seeing such a plan, but I will accept his statement. However, he doesn’t bother to acknowledge that the Republicans in the House have offered plans and budgets for a couple of years, all to be dismisse by the Dems in the Senate and the President. He might not like those plans either, but it is awfully one-sided to apologize to the Pres while not recognizing there have been plans presented by he Repubs.

    As to the Molpus issue, the apology from Stewart is appropriate. But I still wonder what Jerry Mitchell’s story would have been (under the same circumstances) if the responsibility for forwarding the amendment’s approval had been given to Governor Fordice. Probably would have been some large, racial motive for the failure of it having been submitted.

  • Researcher

    If “participation in Head Start provides no benefit to children once they reach fourth grade,” maybe the problem is in lower elementary school and not in Head Start. If kids come out of Head Start ahead, but lose that advantage by the fourth grade, why blame Head Start and not the three years after Head Start? The purpose is to prepare the kids for K and 1st grade. Then it is elementary schools’ job from there.

    By my junior year in college, the prep school grads no longer had much of an academic advantage over those of us from weak public schools. Does that prove that prep schools are a waste of money?

    The Republican proposal to replace Head Start is to block grant the money to the states who would then distribute it to the public school districts, I guess so they can give up on the kids even sooner than the fourth grade.

    Don’t forget that the reason that Head Start programs are operated by non-profit community grantees instead of by states and school districts is because the program was created in the 1960s specifically to get around the institutional segregation and discrimination in Mississippi and its confederates. I suspect that is why it still is a favorite target of those Mississippians who miss the State Sovereignty Commission.

  • Terminator

    Molpus screwed up. Or his legal staff did. I don’t care, these liberal maggots will jump on anything to ridicule Mississippi. Meanwhile, we steal their state’s jobs….

  • Researcher said: By my junior year in college, the prep school grads no longer had much of an academic advantage over those of us from weak public schools. Does that prove that prep schools are a waste of money?
    I’m not sure I want to accept Researcher’s claim, based on anecdotal observation, that the prep school advantage over a weak public school ends after two years, but it certainly is an interesting one. But to measure this properly you would need to take 100 random kids who went to prep school compare them with 100 kids who went to weak public schools. Even then it isn’t a fair comparison, since the public school cohort is more likely to be highly motivated while the prep school group is more likely to have a few kids who are only in college because it is expected of them. A proper study measures a cross-section of students with IQs above a certain point and then compares them later whether they go to college or not.

    Kids from prep and boarding schools always seemed a lot more socially smooth when dealing with other kids of similar background, at least to me, and I suspect much of this was learned at prep school. Researcher, did you observe that their social skills declined or that the social skills of kids from weak public skills suddenly increased dramatically?

    Studies show that parents have only limited influence over their children. Their greatest influence comes through steps the parents take to control the children’s peer group. Obviously sending a child to a prep school has a great influence over that child’s peer group. Point being, there’s a lot more involved than academics in sending a kid to “prep” school.

  • Chico Harris

    CRZ: you forgot to provide a link to those “studies” about kids and their parents.

  • Researcher

    I suppose the school lunch program is a failure because by supper time all those kids are hungry again.

    The alarming thing about that Head Start study is that it was funded, reviewed, and published as legitimate research based on such a stupid premise. If kids come out of Head Start ready for 1st grade but many fall behind by fourth grade the logical questions to study would be how did Head Start succeed with this at-risk population and how are elementary schools failing them. The existence of this stupid study and article are evidence of a political agenda within education academia to discredit Head Start because it exists outside their sphere of incompetence.

    And CRS, my evidence is anecdotal. I went from a county high school in Mississippi to Princeton and the first year and a half were difficult because I had a lot of catching up to do. By junior year when we all had sorted out our majors and taken the same prerequisite courses in college, I was more or less caught up to the prep school kids. I’ll admit that they knew more rich people than I did and had more fabulous vacations, but I don’t think my parents ruined my life by making me spend my high school days in a peer group that included black kids and country white kids. But maybe that’s just me.

  • Justin


    It’s fun being outraged and all, but you may want to save it for when reality matches what you perceive it to be.


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