Sunday, March 06, 2011

Beware pundits selling a new look at some bad people

Brad DeLong on political scientists not behaving well, quoting Mother Jones:

....Harvard professor Joseph Nye Jr.... sipped tea for three hours with Muammar Qaddafi. Months later, he penned an elegant description of the chat for The New Republic, reporting that Qaddafi had been interested in discussing "direct democracy." Nye noted that "there is no doubt that" the Libyan autocrat:

acts differently on the world stage today than he did in decades past. And the fact that he took so much time to discuss ideas—including soft power—with a visiting professor suggests that he is actively seeking a new strategy.

The article .... noted that Nye had gone to Libya "at the invitation of the Monitor Group, a consulting company that is helping Libya open itself to the global economy"... [but not that] he [was]... as a paid consultant of the Monitor Group.... And Franklin Foer, then the editor of the magazine, says, "If we had known that he was consulting for a firm paid by the government, we wouldn't have run the piece."...

And Nye wasn't the only one who did this stuff. I'm familiar with my friends at Burson Marsteller and at Hill & Knowlton from when I used to do something useful campaigning for Burma. Looks like this Monitor Group is another firm to watch.

I guess the lesson is to be careful when a pundit says something contrarian, about a powerful bad guy turning over a new leaf....


  1. H&K do a fine line in science denial too. Google Black Light Power

  2. Or maybe just link to a certain Rabett:


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