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Tue Aug 21, 2012, 10:30 AM

Niall Ferguson trolls everyone in Newsweek by Alex Pareene for salon.com

Getting every single fact wrong in a magazine cover story is a great way to get everyone's attention


Niall Ferguson (Credit: Reuters/Jonathan Ernst)

Niall Ferguson is an intellectual fraud whose job, for years, has been to impress dumb rich Americans with his accent and flatter them with his writings. It’s a pretty easy con, honestly, if you’re born shameless and British (or French). His main argument is that Western Civilization as embodied by the British Empire is awesome and wonderful even though it traditionally involved quite a bit of killing and enslaving of non-Westerners. Since becoming an insufferable American political commentator he’s decided that America needs to cut Medicare and spend the savings on fighting neo-imperialist wars with an army made up of “the illegal immigrants, the jobless and the convicts.” (Also he sued the London Review of Books for publishing this devastating review of his career.)

So Ferguson wrote a Newsweek cover (Newsweek has become “trolling America weekly” since Tina Brown took over) about how he thinks Obama shouldn’t be president anymore, and while there are tons of very legitimate and compelling arguments against the Obama presidency, Ferguson instead based his article on a bunch of crap he made up. And the piece is full of just really obvious fallacies and little moments of mendacity like this:

In an unguarded moment earlier this year, the president commented that the private sector of the economy was “doing fine.” Certainly, the stock market is well up (by 74 percent) relative to the close on Inauguration Day 2009. But the total number of private-sector jobs is still 4.3 million below the January 2008 peak.

Hm! Weird that one thing is measured from January 2009 and the other thing from January 2008, right?

So his piece is just fundamentally dishonest, top to bottom. Like, he says: “The president pledged that health-care reform would not add a cent to the deficit. But the CBO and the Joint Committee on Taxation now estimate that the insurance-coverage provisions of the ACA will have a net cost of close to $1.2 trillion over the 2012–22 period.” Except costing money isn’t the same thing as increasing the deficit, if the provisions are paid for, which the CBO says they are.

read full article:

http://www.salon.com/2012/08/20/niall_ferguson_trolls_everyone_in_newsweek/

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Reply Niall Ferguson trolls everyone in Newsweek by Alex Pareene for salon.com (Original post)
Douglas Carpenter Aug 2012 OP
Douglas Carpenter Aug 2012 #1
flamingdem Aug 2012 #2
nxylas Aug 2012 #3

Response to Douglas Carpenter (Original post)

Tue Aug 21, 2012, 03:05 PM

1. A Full Fact-Check of Niall Ferguson's Very Bad Argument Against Obama from the Atlantic

Here is a link to the article in the Atlantic:

A Full Fact-Check of Niall Ferguson's Very Bad Argument Against Obama from the Atlantic

http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2012/08/a-full-factcheck-of-niall-fergusons-very-bad-argument-against-obama/261306/

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Response to Douglas Carpenter (Original post)

Tue Aug 21, 2012, 04:03 PM

2. bloody lying wanker 'e is n/t

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Response to Douglas Carpenter (Original post)

Tue Aug 21, 2012, 04:43 PM

3. Before he moved to America, his job was to make his countrymen feel better

Most Brits are not exactly proud of their imperial history, but Ferguson presented a revisionist version where the British empire spread civilisation, railways and parliamentary democracy across the world. It's true that Britain behaved no worse than the other "great powers" that were around at the time, and that not everything about the empire was bad, but glossing over the atrocities commited makes Ferguson no better than a holocaust denier in my book. Was the holocaust OK because Hitler built nice autobahns and gave the world the VW Beetle?

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