Yesterday morning we met Niall Ferguson, the Harvard professor whose current Newsweek cover story tries to make a fact-based argument that proves President Obama has failed miserably and needs to be given the boot by voters.
A swarm of political writers and opinion-makers have now joined Paul Krugman in accusing Ferguson of "unethical commentary" for writing a piece that engages in a "plain misrepresentation of the facts" in order to "misinform readers."
Let's take a tour of the fury!
Brad DeLong: "Fire his ass." Also: "Convene a committee at Harvard to examine whether he has the moral character to teach at a university."
As a Harvard alum, I apologize... A tenured professor of history at my undergraduate alma mater has written a cover story for Daily Beast/Newsweek that is so careless and unconvincing that I wonder how he will presume to sit in judgment of the next set of student papers he has to grade.
Andrew Sullivan: "I do not share Niall's view of the Obama administration's record, which I think he massively—and rather self-evidently—distorts... More to come. The piece is sadly so ridden with errors and elisions and non-sequiturs it will require a few more posts."
New York magazine has a more exhaustive round-up of the smack-downs, and it closes its round-up by suggesting that a struggling Newsweek is now resorting to courting "cheap clicks at the expense of credibility." (Or, as I put it yesterday, trolling.)
Meanwhile, Ferguson has offered a defense to Krugman's "unethical commentary" charges—a defense that Joe Wiesenthal of Business Insider winningly sums up this way:
Niall Ferguson's defense is that he was being very obtuse and misleading.