I regularly check out the headlines at the Reason.com blog and one caught my eye yesterday. It was “South Pacific Countries Crack Down on Free Speech” with this excerpt
There must be something in the water down in the South Pacific. Following the recent news that an Australian state is considering tough new legislation banning swearing in public, comes word that Thailand has blocked 43,000 websites accused of defaming the king.
I thought, uhhh (that’s a long pause with my jaw slack) this is not news, or rather, this is ancient news. Why is this writer reporting on it now? And a little geography lesson is in order since Thailand is not located in the South Pacific. Fortunately a couple of comments pointed out the problems with the story, like this one:
Thailand is in the Northern Hemisphere, you moron.
Which was my first reaction but I am far too polite to say such a thing. Another comment pointed to a recent cartoon by XKCD about JFK’s famous geography fail over here http://xkcd.com/753/.
The story kind of bothered me not because I am a Thailand apologist (I’m definitely not) but because I thought that most of the stories I see on Reason are pretty good in a contrarian and irreverent sort of way. But this makes me wonder how many other stories contain flip comments that are fundamentally flawed like this one.