Are bananas doomed?

Death of a death site

Affirmative action for W.

You’ve probably been following the fight over the University of Michigan’s affirmative-action policies — including the fact that Bush has declared them “fundamentally flawed”, and plans to file a brief with the Supreme Court opposing them.

And you probably also know that Bush himself was the recipient of one of the most lavish pieces of affirmative action available in education: A “legacy” slot at Yale, since his dad went there. Well, Atrios — on his totally superb blog — has printed this gorgeous exchange between journalist Terry Moran and White House press secretary Ari Fleischer over this issue:

Q: You said the President is against racial preferences because they’re divisive. Is he against other preferences that colleges and universities routinely grant that people see as unfair? Like the one he got?

MR. FLEISCHER: I understand — I understand all the interest and the specific questions dealing with the review of the University of Michigan case —

Q: That is not what I’m asking.

MR. FLEISCHER: — and the implications that come from whatever decision is made. I’m not going to go beyond —

Q: I’m asking a question about fairness.

MR. FLEISCHER: — I’m not going to go beyond where I’ve gone, because

Q: All right. Let me —

MR. FLEISCHER: — be able to base it on reason and judge for yourself once you see what the President has concluded and why he’s concluded . And he’ll share his thoughts.

Q: But the general question about his feeling about fairness in America. When he was 18, he got into Yale University, which had and still has a policy of granting very special preferences to children of graduates, like him. Is that preference okay, to give him a leg up, but other preferences are not?

MR. FLEISCHER: I think you’re going to have a good understanding of how the President approaches the issue of opportunity and diversity when the President shares his thoughts publicly — which is going to be, as I indicated, in some short period of time.

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I'm Clive Thompson, the author of Smarter Than You Think: How Technology is Changing Our Minds for the Better (Penguin Press). You can order the book now at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Powells, Indiebound, or through your local bookstore! I'm also a contributing writer for the New York Times Magazine and a columnist for Wired magazine. Email is here or ping me via the antiquated form of AOL IM (pomeranian99).

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