Oh dear. This essay by Stephen Metcalf is just about the most devastating critique of bad journalism that I’ve read in quite a long time. And I read Eric Alterman pretty regularly. Anyway, the above piece is not at all shrill and not particularly snarky; it’s mostly a just-the-facts rebuttal of the horribly gullible (or intellctually dishonest, truth be told) series of articles William Saletan published in Slate on the validity of racial science pseudoscience.

Slate hasn’t been great for some time now. The editors there seem much more interested in cutsey counter-intuitives than actual reporting. But Metcalf’s work here is really, really good. Oh, one more thing: Metcalf links to Saletan, if you care. I can’t bring myself to do the same. I’d have to lop off my own hands afterward. And I’m guessing that acquiring new ones would probably be quite pricey — I’ll try to ask Kieran Healy next time he’s here.