None of us is perfect. I often get quite upset at myself for making mistakes when I write, for being too snarky, for missing the point, for just not writing something as good as it should be. But I can always be thankful:
No matter how bad anything is that I may write, I will never be as mendacious, deceitful, intellectually dishonest and a disgrace to all thinking people everywhere as is Niall Ferguson.
Ferguson’s cover story in Newsweek – supposedly arguing why we should reject President Obama’s bid for a second term – got into trouble almost immediately. The Shrill One quickly pointed out that Ferguson was deliberately deceiving and misleading his audience on health care. Ferguson claimed that the Affordable Care Act would increase the deficit, pointing out that the ACA cost money. Krugman pointed out that Ferguson conveniently forgot to acknowledge that the ACA was fully paid for.
Ferguson then “responded” by saying that he was not being misleading because he chose his words deliberately — in other words, that he was deliberately misleading his audience.
Then James Fallows jumped in, and pointed out Ferguson’s deceit not only on health care, but on foreign policy and everything else in the piece, including the fact that Ferguson blamed Obama for job losses for the 12 months before he became President. Here’s a nice nugget:
You should read the article for yourself, but a few other highlights:
“Remarkably the president polls relatively strongly on national security.”
Remarkably the name Osama bin Laden does not appear in this article.
Then Joe Wiesenthal pointed out that Ferguson’s defense was not only an admission of guilt, but also that all of his biggest economic predictions since Obama became President have been wrong. Then No More Mr. Nice Blog pointed out that Niall Ferguson can’t even get his facts straight about Niall Ferguson. Then on Twitter, @nycsouthpaw pointed out that Ferguson’s defense of his original article using the CBO report on the Affordable Care Act distorted and took out of context what the CBO report actually said. Then Dylan Byers observed that Ferguson’s defense was “ridiculous, misleading and ethically questionable.”
Then Noah Smith took down the rest of the piece, pointing out that what we have is a “pedestrian, poorly written, poorly-thought-out, self-contradictory, often counterfactual anti-Obama screed.”
It’s quite remarkable that a tenured professor at Harvard University can write something so deceptive, lazy, and shoddy — but it is nice to see that there are the beginnings of an infrastructure that will call out garbage like this. Republicans are trying, but it is harder for them to get away with what they got away with in 2000, e.g. claiming that “by far the vast majority of the Bush tax cuts go to bottom half of the income distribution” or making up stories about Gore.
In any event, there is a new blessing for the morning: Baruch Ata Ha-Shem, Elokainu Melech Ha-Olam, She-lo Asani Niall Ferguson.