Building on what seems to be a new subgenre of political journalism, the New Republic has a long piece about how the Heritage Foundation has allegedly changed under Jim DeMint’s leadership.
What caught my eye was reporter Julia Ioffe’s reference to the development of the Heritage immigration study I co-authored with Robert Rector. Here’s her sentence: “Policy analysts were shut out of the discussion, and the paper, which was written to conform with DeMint’s anti-immigration stance, did not go through the standard vetting procedure.”
All three claims in that sentence are flat-out false. But why worry about facts when you've got a great (made-up) story to tell?
One wonders how accurate the rest of her piece could be.[More]
Gell-Mann Amnesia is the phenomenon (identified by physicist Murray Gell-Mann and author Michael Crichton) where you read something in the paper that you know about, and the reporter gets it all wrong. OK, the reporter is an idiot, and works for a paper that hires idiots.
Then you read what the same reporter, or another one on the same paper has to say about Obamacare, the "knockout game" or public policy disputes within conservatism and you forget that the reporter is an idiot, and works for a paper that hires idiots.
Jason Richwine has been written about so much by idiots that he's unable to forget that.
The New Republic story about Heritage is A 31-Year-Old Is Tearing Apart the Heritage Foundation, Think Republicans have been making fools of themselves? Blame Michael Needham, by Julia Ioffe, [Email her] November 24, 2013.
Of course it's wrong-headed (or the New Republic wouldn't have published it) the question is "Are any of its facts right?"