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Philadelphia Inquirer Defends Hiring John Yoo As Columnist

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The Philadelphia Inquirer is a bankrupt newspaper run by a guy who hates David Axelrod that spends what meager monies it has paying ungodly sums to people like former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum to write columns, about whatever the heck Rick Santorum thinks he knows. Now, the Inquirer has chosen to make occasional columnist John Yoo a regular writer, a move that has drawn the ire of many because, hey, in case you missed it, John Yoo LOVES HIM SOME TORTURE. Yesterday, The Plum Line's Greg Sargent was one of the first to report this news, and was one of the first to draw a response from the Inquirer:

After I posted on the Philadelphia Inquirer's decision to given torture architect John Yoo a contract for a monthly column, the paper's editorial page editor, Harold Jackson, emailed me to argue that the paper has been good on torture:

The Inquirer in its editorials has been a consistent voice against the torture (and we do call it torture) that occurred during the Bush administration. Just as we also consistently opposed that administration's domestic spying program.

An observation: It seems that the paper is trying to justify Yoo's hire on the basis of having been a "consistent voice against torture" (and they do "CALL IT TORTURE!" they say, because I guess they deserve special recognition for clearing the bar marked "bare minimum of intellectual honesty"). This means that Yoo -- by the Inquirer's own admission! -- is a contrasting, inconsistent voice against torture.

The Inquirer's protests to Sargent basically suggest that we should merely subtract Yoo's enshrinement from the "good torture points" they've already accrued. But that's ridiculous. The paper is merely going from having a coherent and consistent voice on torture to an incoherent and inconsistent voice on torture. If you take a steaming dump on a perfectly made bed with clean sheets, no one in their right mind will want to sleep in it. All large numbers multiplied by zero come out zero. And this is why it's no wonder this paper is going bankrupt.

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