An Event in the Blogosphere

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Yesterday, due to an internal U.S. News mistake, a posting by my co-U.S. News blogger Bonnie Erbe was posted under my name. Andrew Sullivan quickly linked to the post on his blog, but he also E-mailed me to ascertain whether the post was indeed mine. Puzzled, I E-mailed him back that I could not recall writing anything on the subject (the recent firings of several U.S. attorneys). I also received an E-mail from conservative blogger Tom Elia, who had doubts that I had written the post. I E-mailed him and told him that I had not and, as an update to his post notes, told him that Sullivan had taken the initiative in trying to verify whether I had written it.

I also had a telephone call from a staffer at the liberal Talking Points Memo blog; I returned the call and reported that I had not written the post. He told me that he was curious what my position on the U.S. attorney firings was. I said I did not know enough to take a position and quoted Rep. Barney Frank. After the Massachusetts Democrat was reprimanded by the House back in the 1980s, a reporter said he was "curious" how Frank felt when he stood before the House and received the reprimand.

"You will remain curious," Frank said.

I want to thank Andrew Sullivan, Tom Elia, and the Talking Points Memo staffer (whose name I cannot quite make out on the phone message) for taking the trouble to inquire whether the post was mine. This was an example of how mistakes can be made in the blogosphere–and how the blogosphere can quickly correct them. The more so, since Sullivan and TPM presumably originally interpreted the post as a conservative's criticism of the Bush administration but valued getting the story accurately more highly than scoring a political point. They showed not just good blogging etiquette but a commitment to integrity. Bravo.

I still feel I don't know enough about the U.S. attorney firings to comment intelligently, but if you want an interesting take from a conservative blogger, here's "Captain Ed" Morrissey on the subject.

The Second Amendment Lives

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit has ruled that the Second Amendment confers an individual's right "to keep and bear arms" and has overturned the District's 1978 law that amounts to a "virtual prohibition of handgun ownership." I highly recommend reading all of Judge Laurence Silberman's elegant opinion. In vigorous prose he makes the case that the Second Amendment protects an individual's right to bear arms, just as the First Amendment protects an individual's right to free speech, and he also indicates how that right might be limited in reasonable ways, as the First Amendment is. It's possible that this decision will be overturned by rehearing en banc or by the Supreme Court; there's some thoughtful speculation on this in the Volokh Conspiracy. My guess is that Judge Silberman will turn out to have led the way to an intelligent Second Amendment jurisprudence.