Friday, June 20, 2008

"Beer-soaked" - an addendum

{I hit the "Go" button on my post last night too quickly.}

Of the 27 countries for which I found 1970 data on alcohol consumption only 5 had a lower per capita consumption than Ireland: Turkey, Japan, Norway, Iceland and Finland. Only one of those nations (Finland) is in the EU today. In other words, when compared with other EU countries Ireland in 1970 was pretty far from "beer-soaked" unless Cohen believes that every EU country was even more "beer-soaked" (or "wine-soaked" or "vodka-soaked") in 1970.

This is why I said that Cohen had fallen back on a stereotype - and an inaccurate one - when he described Ireland in 1970. Stereotype, bigotry, hysteria - I'd like to say that this is a new low for the New York Times, but I doubt it is. Unfortunately.