People who believe facts are nothing think you’ll fall for anything. Call it Niallism.
This is my last word (well, last words
) on Niall Ferguson, whose Newsweek cover story
arguing that Obama doesn’t deserve a second-term has drawn deserved criticism for its mendacity from Paul Krugman
, Andrew Sullivan
, Ezra Klein
, Noah Smith
, my colleagues James Fallows
and Ta-Nehisi Coates
. The problem isn’t Ferguson’s conclusion, but how Ferguson reaches his conclusion. He either presents inaccurate facts or presents facts inaccurately. The result is a tendentious mess that just maintains a patina of factuality — all, of course, so Ferguson can create plausible deniability about his own dishonesty.