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Wednesday, January 03, 2007

David Broder on Errors

I don't read David Broder's column in the newspaper very often. His topics generally don't interest me. I did stop to read his most recent column though that my local newspaper called "A Look Back at My Notable Goofs." Here's a link to the same story (titled "Every Story Has Two Sides") in a different newspaper.

Apparently, he has a year-end column where he admits his errors (factual and poor predictions) and that's what this particular column was. I won't go into his errors. You can read the column if you are really interested in the specifics. Instead I want to talk about the spirit behind such an annual column.

How many pundits do such a thing? I wrote a post a while back about how I've come to dislike the shrill exchange from both sides of the political aisle in America. I'm talking about politicians and political junkies. They both make bold, brash predictions about the doom and gloom of the other side's policies.

When they are right, they make sure to footnote every instance in which they were indeed on target. But what about when they are wrong? The other side is always digging for such instances, and when they do find them, they proudly proclaim their opponents errors.

I rarely hear political leaders or political pundits say they are wrong about anything. How refreshing would it be for one of them to simply admit such a thing? It would make me more willing to listen to what he or she has to say in the future.

And how many of us are willing to admit that we were wrong about anything--even when we know it? Maybe we should all write a year end column each year confessing our wrongs. I'm sure it would be medicine for our souls.


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