Who Am I?
I'm Joseph A. Califano, the head of Columbia University's National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse. Earlier this week, my group released a widely covered study which claimed that under-age boozers slugged back 25 percent of all alcohol consumed in this sweet land of liberty. Guess what? We screwed up--it turns out the right figure was only 11 percent. But our heart was in the right place and that's all that counts when you're pushing prohibition.
That's why I'm not too worried about such credibility-damaging sloppiness. After all, in writing up my crew's incompetence, The New York Times still gushingly called us a "widely respected antidrinking organization" and I can't imagine that our board of directors, which includes such luminaries as Florida's First Lady, Columba Bush, and the actress Jamie Lee Curtis, will call me on the carpet. Which calls for a little toast, don't you think? This round's on me, just as long as you've got proper I.D.
*Reprinted, with permission, from Reason Online. Copyright 2002 by Reason Foundation, 3415 S. Sepulveda Blvd., Suite 400, Los Angeles, CA 90034, www.reason.com.