A reprise of the the apocryphal LBJ quote “If I’ve lost Cronkite, I’ve lost Middle America”.
Well, it is beginning to look like Obama is losing the lap-dog press. I’m not certain whether that’s because they are coming to their senses after a long love affair, or whether they have realized that some shred of credibility is required in the dog-eat-dog global news business. Who’d have thunk, a few short weeks ago, that NEWSWEEK, they of the hatchet jobs on conservatives, and fawning coverage of Obama’s rainbow halo, would permit, indeed, commission, a cover article which is extremely critical of Obama’s leadership and economic program.
Not just by a hack journalist, either, but by the well respected Niall Ferguson, who, according to WikiPedia: is a Scottish historian. He is the Laurence A. Tisch Professor of History at Harvard University. He is also a Senior Research Fellow of Jesus College, University of Oxford and a Senior Fellow of the Hoover Institution, Stanford University. His speciality is international history, economic history, particularly hyperinflation and the bond markets, and British and American imperialism.
Ferguson was an advisor to the John McCain U.S. presidential campaign in 2008, and announced his support for Mitt Romney in 2012. Of course, Well-respected is in the eye of the beholder, and the left wing news sites and blogs lit up in outrage over the article –
Here are some snippets and links – click titles to read the whole articles:
Why does Paul Ryan scare the president so much? Because Obama has broken his promises, and it’s clear that the GOP ticket’s path to prosperity is our only hope.
I was a good loser four years ago. “In the grand scheme of history,” I wrote the day after Barack Obama’s election as president, “four decades is not an especially long time. Yet in that brief period America has gone from the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. to the apotheosis of Barack Obama. You would not be human if you failed to acknowledge this as a cause for great rejoicing.”
Despite having been—full disclosure—an adviser to John McCain, I acknowledged his opponent’s remarkable qualities: his soaring oratory, his cool, hard-to-ruffle temperament, and his near faultless campaign organization.
Yet the question confronting the country nearly four years later is not who was the better candidate four years ago. It is whether the winner has delivered on his promises. And the sad truth is that he has not.
In his inaugural address, Obama promised “not only to create new jobs, but to lay a new foundation for growth.” He promised to “build the roads and bridges, the electric grids, and digital lines that feed our commerce and bind us together.” He promised to “restore science to its rightful place and wield technology’s wonders to raise health care’s quality and lower its cost.” And he promised to “transform our schools and colleges and universities to meet the demands of a new age.” Unfortunately the president’s scorecard on every single one of those bold pledges is pitiful.
NewsWeek enjoyed the notoriety:
The article, of course, brought out the attack dogs:
Which, since the accusers included that other Fraudulent Nobel Laureate, Paul Krugman (He of ‘spend your way to prosperity’ fame), consisted mostly of poor reasoning, and leftist talking points.
THE British-born journalist and Harvard-tenured historian Niall Ferguson has landed himself in a nasty spat with some of America’s most distinguished economists, among them Princeton’s Nobel Prize-winner – and venerable [old school Keynesian] New York Times columnist – Paul Krugman.
Ferguson is a promoter of [UK]Chancellor George Osborne’s cut-to-growth economic philosophy. Krugman is a spend-to-grow man, as is President Obama.
Last week, citing a report from the Congressional Budget Office, Ferguson wrote a Newsweek cover story titled ‘Hit The Road, Barack – Why We Need a New President’ charging, among other apparent misrepresentations of Obama’s economic record, that his centerpiece health care reform legislation will actually increase the US deficit.
Ferguson’s nemesis Krugman accuses him of the worst kind of “wrongness” – “making or insinuating false claims about readily checkable facts”.
(No word on whether Krugman is entitled to his own reality)
Niall Ferguson dissected the attacks with aplomb, and dismissed them easily:
The liberal New York Times blogger objected to ‘multiple errors and misrepresentations’ in this week’s Newsweek cover story on Obama’s record in office. Author Niall Ferguson rebuts the charges.
You know you have hit the target when Paul Krugman takes time out from his hiking holiday to accuse you of “multiple errors and misrepresentations” … but can only come up with one truly feeble objection.
Read the whole rebuttal.
First, duck the argument. Second, nitpick. Third, vilify. That’s what Niall Ferguson says liberal bloggers did after reading his Newsweek story on Obama’s record. Here, he offers a point-by-point defense of his argument.
……“We know no spectacle so ridiculous,” Lord Macaulay famously wrote, “as the British public in one of its periodical fits of morality.” But the spectacle of the American liberal blogosphere in one of its almost daily fits of righteous indignation is not so much ridiculous as faintly sinister. Why? Because what I have encountered since the publication of my Newsweek article criticizing President Obama looks suspiciously like an orchestrated attempt to discredit me.
My critics have three things in common. First, they wholly fail to respond to the central arguments of the piece. Second, they claim to be engaged in “fact checking,” whereas in nearly all cases they are merely offering alternative (often silly or skewed) interpretations of the facts. Third, they adopt a tone of outrage that would be appropriate only if I had argued that, say, women’s bodies can somehow prevent pregnancies in case of “legitimate rape.”
Their approach is highly effective, and I must remember it if I ever decide to organize an intellectual witch hunt. What makes it so irksome is that it simultaneously dodges the central thesis of my piece and at the same time seeks to brand me as a liar. The icing on the cake has been the attempt by some bloggers to demand that I be sacked not just by Newsweek but also by Harvard University, where I am a tenured professor. It is especially piquant to read these demands from people who would presumably defend academic freedom in the last ditch—provided it is the freedom to publish opinions in line with their own ideology.
Read the whole of Niall’s demolition of the Lefty bloggers (and Krugman) – well worth the click!