Laphamism Alert

Last August, Nick Schulz of Tech Central Station coined the phrase “Laphams”, alternately spelled “Laphamism” or “Laphamisms” for violating the space-time continium, and filing reports from the future:


[Harper’s magazine editor Lewis Lapham] wrote about the GOP convention speeches before anyone even stepped to the podium. Lapham has apologized for what he’s calling a “rhetorical invention,” use of “poetic license,” and a “mistake.”

But the only “mistake” Lapham made is in revealing for all to see what has long been known by anyone who pays attention to the news: the major media routinely bring to their coverage of significant political events a predetermined storyline — you might want to call it a “Lapham”. Facts that undermine the storyline are ignored or explained away as aberrations to The Truth. For the editor of Harper’s and other establishment press figures, it really makes no difference to them what will be said at Madison Square Garden because the Laphams are already set, loaded in the scribblers’ word processors and television anchor tele-prompters and ready to go.

We at TCS have seen Laphams at work at a number of gatherings we’ve covered over the years.

Charles Johnson spots another example, as AP writes up President Bush’s speech tonight–<a href=”before he gives it. Meanwhile, Power Line has some background on the article’s author.


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