FLOODING THE ZONE….When Fidel Castro cracked down on dissidents last month, Mickey Kaus properly insisted that the blame be placed on Castro himself, not on “provocation” by our top diplomat in Cuba, James Cason:

Cason did ‘provocative’ things like meeting with dissidents in their homes, and holding press conferences. How does that make Castro any less repressive?

That’s good moral clarity, Mickey! We should place the fault squarely on Castro, where it belongs, not on poor decisions made by others even if they were driven by an ideological agenda.

Well, OK, but here’s Mickey on Friday talking about the Jayson Blair scandal at the New York Times:

Why isn’t the basic Jayson Blair story obvious from the NYT’s lengthy account–namely, an underperforming and unready reporter was promoted in January, 2001, over the objections of one of the editors who knew him best, because of his skin color.

But, um, Mickey, shouldn’t the “basic” story be not that Blair was unready ? just a victim of the system ? but that he was a liar and a con man who is responsible for his own actions? Why did Cason get a pass but not Howell Raines?

This is ridiculous. Maybe Blair was a beneficiary of affirmative action, and if you could point to a steady stream of affirmative action hires who had done what Blair did, then maybe it would be a legitimate issue. But you can’t.

As Kaus himself says, “Plenty of other factors were involved, but without ‘diversity’ it wouldn’t have happened.” Why, then, aside from a simple hatred of affirmative action itself, does he insist that diversity is the “obvious” primary reason in this isolated case?

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