LONG BEACH (coup2k.com) June 8, 2001 - The Diva responds to David Von Drehle, a Washington Post reporter, and co-author of "Deadlock: The Inside Story of America's Closest Election" (sic), who wrote in to defend the title of his book, after reading DIVA DOES DEDUCTION. (Continued from PREVIOUS PAGE)
And lastly... When I received your e-mail, I thought it would go something like this: "I know that the 2000 election wasn't the closest in American history, and if you will just read our book, you'll see that we argue that very thing." But, of course, that isn't what you wrote me to say. Instead, you wrote me to defend a title which is both grammatically and mathematically inaccurate.
The question is, "Why?"
The question is, "Why would you defend the title, when you yourself say that the election of 1800 was closer?"
I have my theories, but I would really like to know your answer.
In the meantime, though, I would like to speak in defense of language.
Words have meaning. Public discourse is not littered with asterisks or footnotes (especially not now -- not when the press is so derelict that we long for the good-old-days of sound-bite journalism), and neither is the cover of your book. The title speaks for itself, and what the title says is, "According to The Washington Post (Editor) -- and according to David Von Drehle, Ellen Nakashima, Joel Achenbach, Mike Allen, Dan Balz, Jo Becker, David Broder, Ceci Connolly, Claudia Deane, Helen Dewar, Thomas B. Edsall, Juliet Eilperin, James V. Grimaldi, Robert G. Kaiser, Dan Keating, Howard Kurtz, Charles Lane, George Lardner Jr., John Mintz, Dana Milbank, Sue Anne Pressley, Lois Romano, Susan Schmidt, Peter Slevin, Roberto Suro, Ed Walsh, and April Witt (Authors) -- the 2000 General Presidential Election was the closest American Election."
That is just simply not true.
You can argue about what you, personally, meant by that title, but you cannot argue what a reasonable person could reasonably be expected to infer from that title.
Right about now, you might be asking yourself, "What does she care what our book is called? Why is she angry?" I can answer that for you. For people like me, the title of your book is just another brick in the wall between people and the truth -- just another media exaggeration lovingly accepted and repeated as fact by other media exaggerators, and by a trusting American public.
I believe that trust to be misplaced. I believe, as evidenced by the title of your book, that you are not to be trusted; that, for whatever reason -- negligence, incompetence, malice, personal gain, or nincompoopery -- you gave your book an inaccurate title, and a title which can easily be used to try to convince people like me to "move on". ("After all," your title says, "it WAS the closest election in American history, so whoever won, and however they did it, doesn't really matter THAT much, and you should just let it go.")
It wasn't the closest election in American history. I know it. You know it. Anyone with a calculator, and the skill to use it, knows it. And still you persist in defending this bogus claim.
I mentioned earlier that words have meaning -- well, so do actions. And what, pray tell, am I to infer from your actions? From your taking time away from your busy schedule to shore up a lie? To shore up this bogus claim of 2000 being "America's Closest Election"?
A cynical person might think that you chose that title, and choose to defend it now, because it's a snappy attention-grabber, and likely to boost sales.
A cynical person might say that the only reason you wrote me at all, is that bad publicity (even on the tiny scale my site represents) is better than no publicity at all.
A cynical person might say these things, and a lot worse.
But I am not a cynical person -- at least, not about you, not yet -- so I am waiting to hear your answer.
Don't let me down.
Hoping that you "come up to scratch,"
PS: How did you "stumble" across my site?
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