Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Ah, kids

I was giving a lecture to some high school students today about the role of the media in politics. I mentioned that media standards change over time, and that there was an agreement among the Washington press corp not to reveal JFK's philandering, even though it was widely known at the time.

One of the students asked, "Then why were the media so quick to report about Lincoln's affair?"

"Lincoln had an affair?" I asked.

"Yeah, didn't he have an affair with one of his slaves?" said another.

In fairness, this wasn't ignorance so much as confusion of names. The first student meant Clinton, the second meant Jefferson. But I still rather enjoyed the exchange.


Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

"this wasn't ignorance so much as confusion of names."

Yeah, Clinton and Lincoln sound the same. Jefferson and Lincoln too. And they were all contemporaries, right?

I think this DOES in fact say something about the quality of University of Denver undergrads.

Seth Masket said...

They were high school students, not DU undergrads.

Anonymous said...

I would have slung some feces at the confused students in question.

Anonymous said...

I guess the Edwards news hadn't broken yet?