This article first appeared in The Weekly Standard scrapbook for 21 July 2014.Mohandas Gandhi (1869-1948)
Every time you realize how badly the media mangles something you know about, you wonder how well they are reporting everything else.
The announcement that a statue of Gandhi would be placed in Parliament Square near that of Winston Churchill unleashed a barrage of ignorance. Would Churchill wish to share space with his “onetime nemesis”?
The Associated Press quoted Churchill’s famous “half-naked fakir” crack (inaccurately), and said he called Gandhi a “middling lawyer.” (Churchill’s term was “Middle Temple lawyer,” something else entirely.)
The Wall Street Journal worried that Parliament Square also includes a statue of Jan Smuts, “a prime minister of South Africa in the early 20th century who favored segregation.”
Dear oh dear.…