Thomas Sowell

Besides, what is a mere meteorologist at M.I.T. compared to Al Gore and his movie?

Nobody can afford the time to check out every claim of what "studies prove." Even with the help of outstanding research assistants, I can only check out some.

However, the big television and print media have ample financial resources to check out claims before they present them to the public as "news." But when "60 Minutes" didn't bother before basing a story about President Bush's national guard service on a forged document, do not look for a lot of zeal for facts when that could kill a juicy story or the political spin accompanying it.

Let's face it. There is not much pay-off to checking original sources.

Once a minister was explaining to me the structure of his funeral orations. He said, "At this point, you are expected to say something good about the deceased. Now, Tom, if I were preaching your funeral, what would I say good about you at that point?"

He thought and thought -- for an embarrassingly long time. Finally, he said gravely: "In his research, he always used original sources."

I'll take that.

Thomas Sowell

Thomas Sowell is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institute and author of The Housing Boom and Bust.

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