Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Cheap, Clever Shots

Niall Ferguson is apparently an historian of something, although less of the archives-and-statistical-tabulations sort than of the op-eds and TV appearances sort. Michael Lind works for a think tank, so it's all class on both sides. Politically, Ferguson leans well to the starboard, Lind to port.

None of this matters to us one way or the other, but we are delighted by the rhetorical devices that Lind uses to asault Ferguson's reputation in a recent Salon piece. Consider, if you will, these gems:

Time magazine in 2004 named Ferguson one of the 100 most influential people in the world, which might help to explain the condition of the world.

What accounts for the attention lavished by the American media on a huckster as vulgar and shallow as Niall Ferguson? His accent surely is part of the explanation.

The mass extinction of America’s intellectual right at the hands of anti-intellectual Jacksonian populists like the Tea Partyers has created a lack of native conservative thinkers with impressive academic credentials who are willing to dash to a TV studio at a moment’s notice.
Lind ends with a long and superfluous quotation from Ghostbusters, which seems over the top. Still, a good read in its genre. If you're going to live in the sort of tawdry world these guys inhabit (which we confess we would sort of like to ), you may as well be funny.

1 comment:

Diane said...

I personally think it's his name: Niall.

and yeah, punditry is at an all-time high.

Wisdom: not so much.