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January 12, 2007 5:08 PM   Subscribe

Getting rich by getting it wrong How the elite pundits who pushed the war profited in money and prominence, despite being completely wrong. Mean while many pundits who opposed the war from the start were sidelined.
posted by delmoi (37 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite

 
Glenn Greenwald's blog has a lot of must-read commentary on this issue also.
posted by i_am_a_Jedi at 5:18 PM on January 12, 2007


If you think the U.S. is a meritocracy, I have a bridge to sell you.
posted by mrgrimm at 5:25 PM on January 12, 2007


You mean the people who were most eager to go to war *profited* from it? How could this be?
posted by mullingitover at 5:37 PM on January 12, 2007 [2 favorites]


It's about time someone wrote this, good post. I'm amazed that I see only the talking heads who got it wrong on Sunday mornings.
posted by toma at 5:45 PM on January 12, 2007


Halliburton is hiring I understand. Things seemed to have worked out quite nicely for them. War is a racket they say.
posted by BillyElmore at 5:48 PM on January 12, 2007


It makes me wonder if daring to be inept is the new hallmark of leadership.
posted by toma at 5:48 PM on January 12, 2007


I never knew Zakaria had a role as confidential advisor to the administration. I did know that Friedman was a sucker, though. Thanks for the post.
posted by Staggering Jack at 5:55 PM on January 12, 2007


It's about time someone wrote this, good post.

Thanks. I'd been seeing this theme talked about on a lot of blogs, but there was nothing really concrete to link too, and the krugman podcast, I felt, didn't make a good link since you had to listen to it.
posted by delmoi at 6:03 PM on January 12, 2007


Yes, nice to see all of this pulled together in one place.

I sometimes fantasize about starting a production company whose sole purpose would be to do in-depth documentaries on individual media pundits.

Each time we'd pick a particular talking head -- Tom Friedman, David Brooks, Bob Novak -- and detail, with exhaustive quotations and video clips, all the idiotic things this person has said. Then we'd look at how they continue to be lauded as wise men (and women -- Peggy Noonan definitely deserves her turn under the microscope).

BTW, Friedman is still at it.
posted by Artifice_Eternity at 6:11 PM on January 12, 2007 [1 favorite]


You guys ever have those nights where you can't sleep. You lay there brain stuck in that endless self-critical loop. I have this little trick that helps me sleep. I envision sitting accross from a table with David Brooks and George Will. And I ask them to tell me about Iraq. And as they are stuck in that endless loop of spin, obfuscation and self-righteous pomposity I grow ever more sleepy. So sleepy. And just as drift off ... gently drift off... I visualize myself...

LEAPING ACROSS THE FUCKING TABLE AND DRIVING MY FINGERS INTO BROOKS BEADY LITTLE EYE SOCKETS... AHHHH THE SATISFYING SQUISH... using his skull as one would a hammer I bash him into Will repeatedly. Oh the blood! The sweet gore!

The screams and pleading strangely interrupted by both men stopping their pathetic crying momentarily and compulsively yet totally incorrectly predicting what I will do next. "Y.. you will let us go, we will heal 100%, and go on to best you... and..."

What I actually do is ass-fuck their corpses. Bet they never saw THAT coming.

And after that I sleep like a baby.
posted by tkchrist at 6:13 PM on January 12, 2007 [7 favorites]


Crazy like a fox in a henhouse.
posted by rob511 at 6:22 PM on January 12, 2007


Nice post. In addition to Greenwald, digby has been hammering this home as well. The so-called "kewl kidz" of punditry are hardly a meritocracy. To be a part of their circle has nothing to do with how intelligent and, frankly, competent your analytical abilities are, but is based entirely on your pedigree within the system itself. Bill Kristol, a man who has not been right about a single thing regarding Iraq, WMD, how our occupation would empower Iran and destabilize the region, etc., was just named one of TIME magazine's "Star Columnists." It would be funny if it weren't so sad.

As for David Brooks? Matt Taibbi said it best: "Brooks worships the status quo because he has no penis and wants to spend the rest of his life buying periwinkle bath towels without troubling interruptions of conscience."

Zakaria is one of the few guys who's still worth reading, but my sense is that he's much more of a real investigative journalist than any of these other hacks could or ever have been. But this insider-crap is really corrupting. It's a mutual-admiration society of the worst sort.
posted by bardic at 6:28 PM on January 12, 2007


Right on, tkchrist.
posted by toma at 6:31 PM on January 12, 2007


Nice work if you can get it... and make it through the day without deep-throating the business end of Mossburg.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 6:56 PM on January 12, 2007


They forgot Bill Clinton.
posted by Kronoss at 8:23 PM on January 12, 2007


Ahhh, yes.

There's always time to blame it on Clinton....

Amazing how much the righties loath the man, until he says something that they want to hear.

Did Clinton call for the invasion of Iraq while he was still president?

Gee...I forget....
posted by rougy at 10:51 PM on January 12, 2007


I think this puts the lie to arguments that guys like Kristol and Friedman are stupid. They're very smart: they know there's a lot of powerful people who want to be supplied with progressive-sounding, humanitarian-seeming arguments for imperialism and globalisation-at-gunpoint, and they provide that. That their product is technically "bad" journalism is irrelevant; they're the NoKa Chocolates of the fourth estate.
posted by stammer at 11:02 PM on January 12, 2007 [1 favorite]


They forgot Bill Clinton.

Yeah! I'm totally not voting for him again! Wait, what were we talking about.....
posted by lumpenprole at 12:32 AM on January 13, 2007


You mean the people who were most eager to go to war *profited* from it? How could this be?

Isn't that economics in a nutshell?
posted by oaf at 12:38 AM on January 13, 2007


They forgot Bill Clinton.
posted by Kronoss at 8:23 PM PST on January 12


Yes, it's another bad mark on ihs already shitty record. What's your fucking point?
posted by Optimus Chyme at 2:18 AM on January 13, 2007


It's a good read, and what makes it good is it hurts just to read it.
posted by vito90 at 7:25 AM on January 13, 2007


Here's a nice book on the subject: Gusterson and Batesman's Why America's Top Pundits Are Wrong. Sometimes, print beats the web to the punch!
posted by fourcheesemac at 8:34 AM on January 13, 2007


My first comment was dumb. I just wanted to point out that lots of prominent Democrats supported the war and, you know, still lead the party (Although Clinton is more of a symbolic or unofficial leader). I know a lot of Democrats have admitted to regretting such support, but I haven't heard that from Clinton.
posted by Kronoss at 8:40 AM on January 13, 2007


That is to say, by symbolic I mean that even though he's no longer President, what Clinton says is still considered the Democratic opinion by many.

Sorry for mucking up an interesting thread.
posted by Kronoss at 8:44 AM on January 13, 2007


My first comment was dumb. I just wanted to point out that lots of prominent Democrats supported the war and, you know, still lead the party (Although Clinton is more of a symbolic or unofficial leader). I know a lot of Democrats have admitted to regretting such support, but I haven't heard that from Clinton.
posted by Kronoss at 8:40 AM PST on January 13


I'm sorry I jumped down your throat, Kronoss. It's just that I see that tactic used so often by hawks and the right, as if Clinton was universally hailed by the anti-war contingent (or progressives in general) as a Great Man, when in fact he was little more than a moderate Republican.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 9:08 AM on January 13, 2007


Clinton (both of 'em) suck(s).
posted by delmoi at 1:24 PM on January 13, 2007


Did Clinton call for the invasion of Iraq while he was still president?

I think he bombed some "weapons labs" in Iraq at one point.
posted by delmoi at 2:06 PM on January 13, 2007


Here's what Bill said about it all to Chris Wallace. (Remember?)
posted by mongonikol at 2:36 PM on January 13, 2007


Actually, this one is more watchable, no edits.
posted by mongonikol at 2:42 PM on January 13, 2007


Umm...wait...maybe this one has no edits...it looks like the best of the three.
posted by mongonikol at 2:58 PM on January 13, 2007


Cheney’s Dead-Enders
posted by homunculus at 5:40 PM on January 13, 2007


mongonikol: I'd never seen more then the first ten minutes of that, and I suppose I never will. However, nothing in that interview has anything to do with Iraq, or his position on it (other then saying it harmed the operation in Afghanistan)
posted by delmoi at 6:39 PM on January 13, 2007


What I actually do is ass-fuck their corpses. Bet they never saw THAT coming.

I recommend fisting, because they really can't see it coming.
posted by peeedro at 6:44 PM on January 13, 2007


... in a conversation afterwards with several people, McGovern said that he’s been trying to get on television to talk about Iraq. But producers and hosts are telling him that they “already have too many anti-war people on.”

How many is “too many”? I’m guessing that number may be as high as one.

posted by amberglow at 9:10 PM on January 13, 2007


... as if pundits should be consulted at all on the question of whether to go to war.
posted by avriette at 5:45 AM on January 14, 2007


Definitely not a meritocracy, at the stratospheric levels of the media.

I'd say a pornocracy, but that might lead into winger digressions about Clinton and Monica.

A sycophantocracy.
posted by bad grammar at 7:25 PM on January 14, 2007


Greenwald on Ritter.
posted by homunculus at 7:48 PM on January 16, 2007


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