Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Iran-Contra Counterfactual

On Wednesday, the Wall St. Journal ran a review of a novel about Ronald Reagan, a work of historical fiction. The reviewer is at pains to say that the author may have fudged history a little, but that the fudging was done subtly. Then I came across this sentence:

"With the hope of freeing hostages, the administration was secretly selling arms to the Iranians while illegally diverting the proceeds to the Contras in Nicaragua."

What? The hostages were released on the day that Reagan was sworn into office. The Reagan administration's Iran-Contra scheme had nothing to do with trying to get hostages freed. They were free already!

I don't know whether this was the reviewer's fault, or the novelist's, but aren't there any editors at the Wall St. Journal anymore?

I know, I know,
it happened long ago,
shortly after my birth,
when dinosaurs roamed the earth.


Charlie McDanger said...

I adored that paper when it was black and white, no photos, no sensational headlines, and exquisite editing. You and I were younger men then.

JohnJEnright said...

How true, how true.