A loss of trust


Every time someone gets something thing wrong in a consequential way, the loss of trust should advance, ratcheting up with each such error detected, to the point where it becomes the safest default position to assume that someone — McArdle, for example — is always wrong till proven otherwise.

I think similar things could be said about Tom Friedman, Joe Lieberman, and Conventional Wisdom.

Thomas Levenson also points out that McArdle’s attack on Warren is of the Breitbart variety:

And that leads me back to the thought that got me going on this post. It seems to me that what we read in McArdle here is a genteel excursion into Andrew Breitbart territory. Like the Big Hollywood thug, she misleads by contraction, by the omission of necessary context, by simply making stuff up when she thinks no one will check (again, see the footnotes for examples). And like Breitbart, she does so here to achieve a more than on goal. The first is simply to damage Elizabeth Warren as an individual, to harm her career prospects.

As I said earlier, the actions of Breitbart are simply part of the basic toolkit deployed by rightwing pundits and operatives. Seeing it used by McArdle is no more surprising than seeing it used by Zuckerman or Breitbart.

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