Paul Gigot

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Paul Gigot is the editor of the Wall Street Journal editorial page and the host of the PBS program, "The Journal Editorial Report".

Gigot v. Franken

A WSJ editorial:

The Clinton Administration never grasped this point and spent its time devising new ways to keep average citizens from getting guns, while leaving bad guys on the street. The results are a vindication for Mr. Ashcroft, who has been vilified for being soft on gun violence because he continues to defend the constitutional rights of law-abiding gun owners. In reality, gun violence has declined from 12% of violent crime in 1993 to 9% in the most recent Justice statistics. Any gun control advocates out there care to apologize? [1]

As Al Franken points out, this editorial is "incredibly stupid" since President Clinton began his term in 1993 and left in 2001, the year covered by "the most recent Justice statistics". In other words, Gigot used a statistic that showed Clinton was tough on crime to bash Clinton!

Franken called Gigot to ask him about this. Gigot called him back but "he refused to discuss the editorial. Even worse, he got angry and attacked me personally, impugning my motives. 'You just want to be able to say you called Paul Gigot and he couldn't defend his editorial, so you can put it in your book to sell more copies,' he said."

Franken goes on to point ou that the Journal opposed the Brady gun control bill (which took effect in early 1994) and the assault weapons ban. They also wrote things like:

An awful lot of innocent Americans have had to be robbed, beaten, stabbed, raped, tortured, and murdered to arrive at the point where a Bill Clinton could feel compelled to get tough on crime. (February 26, 1994)
To date, [liberals's] outrage over violent deaths has been a pose. (December 10, 1993)
Democrats in Washington are bursting their buttons over two big contributions to the war on crime: Enacting the Brady Bill and voting in the House recently for a ban on 'assault weapons.' We're not impressed. [...] Democrats now think they have 'done something' about crime. We hope someone will be keeping score on the results. (May 11, 1994)

The score is this: violent crime went up nearly every year of the Reagan and Bush administrations. It went down every year of the Clinton administration.

Al Franken, "Paul Gigot Is Unable to Defend an Incredibly Stupid Wall Street Journal Editorial", Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them: A Fair and Balanced Look at the Right, 2003.

External links

  • James Klurfield, "Waiting for Gigot", Columbia Journalism Review, March/April 2002.
    • Board, Pulitzer Prize, accessed December 18, 2007.