Saturday, August 20, 2005

It was [probably] a joke

It is interesting to see what happens when you are quoted in the news. Judging from the hundreds... er, many... er, few... er, make that zero emails I received today, I'm not sure if this media reference counts even as fifteen seconds of fame, in relation to Judge Roberts' statement in a 1985 memo,
"Some might question whether encouraging homemakers to become lawyers contributes to the common good, but I suppose that is for the judges to decide."
The article, as a whole, is quite fair in its depiction of my comments. The initial part, where the word "probably" belonged, is mitigated by the later quotation. That later quotation is a bit compressed,
"That sounds like the type of dark humor a lawyer might make about the profession," he said. "If I got that from nine of 10 lawyers, I'd assume he was making a joke about the profession."
I believe that reverses my phrasing - that is, I think I said that "If I got that from a lawyer, nine times out of ten I would assume he was making a joke about the profession." I think there is a subtle change of meaning. I also commented that my knowledge of the lawyer could affect my impression. But I can't complain too much, given that I do think this probably falls into the category of "dark humor about the profession", so on the whole my position was accurately reported. (And boy, would I be in trouble, if even a few of the billion or so deadpan sarcastic quips and comments I have written over the years were taken literally. I get in enough trouble with that tendency already - but sometimes you ruin the joke when you tack on a "smiley.")

Dana Milbank is very engaging and personable, and picks up on things very quickly. I can see why he's an effective reporter.


  1. Yet again, I am one removed from cool :)

  2. Ooooh. Dude, I never even imagined it being a lawyer joke.

    Woah. That puts a whole new complexion on things. Man, I thought it was deadpan, and _serious_.

    In which case, one could see why I was appalled by his statement.

    Geez. I have to start looking for the [s]sarcasm[/s] brackets in my newspaper articles more often.


  3. Wow, now I know someone who was mentioned in the Washington Post in a good way. : )



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