Friday, March 31, 2006

Hyman's Own "Don't Ask/Don't Tell" Policy

In a particularly petulant “Point,” Mark Hyman predictably crows about the recent Supreme Court decision that went against a consortium of leading law schools who were challenging the right of the military to recruit on their campuses given the military’s “Don’t Ask/Don’t Tell” rule (which conflicts with the anti-discrimination policies of many law schools).

Calling the professors of these schools “elistist,” “nutty,” and “knuckleheads,” Hyman suggests that those looking for a good law school look elsewhere. Yeah, you probably wouldn’t want to go to a “nutty” law school like Stanford, NYU, Georgetown, George Washington, or any of the other prominent schools that participated in the suit and which are also consistently rated as among the best programs in the country.

Predictably, Hyman doesn’t mention anything about the substance of the lawsuit. That would involve dealing with the issue in a meaningful way, and that’s not Hyman’s gig. Instead, we’re just told that a bunch of “elitist” law schools sued the military for some reason, and that the Supreme Court unanimously ruled against them.

Hyman tries to spin this as proof that the professors at these law schools don’t know anything about the law. In fact, as
a cogently written analysis by lawyer Howard Bashman on points out, the lawsuit was filed as a matter of principle, and lawsuits based on principle often end up going down to resounding defeat because, by their nature, the suits don’t allow for compromise. Bashman, who filed an amicus brief on behalf of the *government’s* position rightly notes that the suit was an end in itself, and while based on legal reasoning that pushed the envelope, it served the purpose of exposing the dopey “don’t ask/don’t tell” policy to much-deserved scrutiny.

But Hyman, invoking his own version of “don’t ask/don’t tell,” doesn’t bother to mention the true issue behind the lawsuit, and instead engages in playground-level name-calling.

Conclusion: don’t ask Hyman for anything but spin, because he won’t tell you anything but.

And that’s The Counterpoint.

Hyman Index: 4.88


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