newsweek: right wing comic

I laughed today when I read a few articles on Harvard professor Niall Ferguson’s cover story in Newsweek attacking President Obama for his Middle East policy and his handling of the situation in Egypt (a “debacle”!). This, of course, was a bit of a contrast to the verdicts of Professor Marc Lynch (here), Fareed Zakaria (here) and Peter Beinart (here), amongst others.

Hardly anywhere did the people commenting on the piece give any background on Ferguson – which, when you have a look at it, is just a little bit relevant: to put it, em, politely, he’s a loathsome, stomach-churning, narcissistic piece of right wing manure who wouldn’t give credit to President Obama even if he single-handedly saved planet earth from destruction. And Newsweek have hired this creature as a columnist and made his rant their cover story?! Wow!

So, a little background on the guy: click here for Ferguson’s 2008 speech to the right wing Hoover Institution – entitled ‘Why America Needs McCain’ – during which he repeated all the usual right wing abuse of President Obama, eg that he’s a cult leader, bla bla bla. Snore.

This is the guy who thought he was being highly witty when he wrote: “President Barack Obama reminds me of Felix the Cat … Felix was not only black. He was also very, very lucky.” (He wasn’t being racist, he reassured us – after all, we were told, he’d left his wife of 16 years for a black woman).

This is the guy who said the US should “occupy Iraq for 40 years“. Seriously. This is the guy who is on the board of the right-wing British think-tank the Centre for Policy Studies. This is the guy whose political hero was Margaret Thatcher – he “adored” her. (Bucket, please).

This is the guy who “told the world to wise up and start being grateful for everything that the British Empire had done for it”. Honest, I didn’t make that up. This is the guy who was a columnist for the right wing British rag the Daily Mail (but wasn’t brave enough to use his real name when he spouted his right wing bile).

This is the guy who argued that “the First World War had not been worth Britain fighting – Germany should have been allowed a mainland European empire”. Yep, that would have worked well for Europe’s Jews, Niall.

I’m not always on Paul Krugman’s ‘side’, but I was this time: “Ferguson is a poseur who…. relies on snide comments and surface cleverness to convey the impression of wisdom. It’s all style, no comprehension of substance.”

I could go on and on ….. but I won’t. It just would be kind of nice if we were told about the ideological background and prejudices of opinion piece writers when their work is being commented upon, or when they are being introduced as authorities on a subject on TV. Ferguson’s agenda means he will always attack President Obama, regardless. And Newsweek gave that agenda pride of place on their cover? Two words: ‘good’ and ‘grief’.


Salon (2010): “Ferguson is a belligerent nut. The last time American policymakers listened to him, the United States invaded Iraq….”.


Some of the comments posted under Ferguson’s article on The Daily Beast (which, of course, has merged with Newsweek):

“Look at this piece for what it really is…another reich wing talking head trying to push his way through the crowd by throwing a pie at President Obama.”

“Newsweek needs to find some Brits who have views a little more advanced than George III.”

“He seems determined to become another extremist provocateur a la Coulter. Say outrageous things to sell books and get face time on cable. Too bad that most people who even know who he is are familiar with his claptrap and too smart to fall for his self-promotional rhetoric … The bigger disappointment is that Newsweek would put such a loaded article as its cover. Further into irrelevance it goes.”

“Professor Ferguson’s transformation from lettered, Harvard academic to conservative political hack is complete. He is the thinking man’s Glenn Beck … as his debates with Professor Krugman and his meetings with the Republican leadership pre-midterm elections have demonstrated, he has cast his lot in with the Tea Partiers and their politicians…. Don’t be fooled. Ferguson is just Glenn Beck in an academic’s cap and gown.”

“Articles like this make me so happy my Newsweek subscription is ending.”

Read Jeffrey Goldberg’s response in The Atlantic here

22 Responses to “newsweek: right wing comic”

  1. 1 Theo67
    February 14, 2011 at 2:20 pm

    I used to buy Newsweek occasionally. No more.

    • 2 symmetry11
      February 14, 2011 at 2:23 pm

      I stopped purchasing them and Time magazine some time ago. Why pay for the crap that they are peddling, when I can read it online for free?? I simply refuse to give them my money. I would rather take that extra cash and donate to the Presidents re-election campaign.

    • 4 Dorothy Rissman
      February 14, 2011 at 8:30 pm

      Well their over lord is now Tina ? The editor of The Daily Beast. I remember from the campaign she attended a couple of cocktail party’s with Obama. I remember when she was on Bill Maher she said he was a totally uninteresting boar. I guess that tell us a lot, right?

  2. 5 Proud of Obama
    February 14, 2011 at 2:23 pm

    Thanks for this excellent background, Chipsticks. I might also point out that Morning Joke had Tina Brown who now edits Newsweek (angry because phony Arianna just got that huge payday) and this right wing hack on this morning. They let Tina and Ferguson spew this horrible bile unchallenged. Unchallenged. I was so mad I wanted to put my foot through the television.

    They let this mad man spout Glen Beck’s ridiculous lies about the caliphate (sp) even. It was a despicable display even for Morning Joke.

    • February 14, 2011 at 4:54 pm

      You’re welcome, Proud of Obama. It’s just beyond belief that these people are allowed parade their views on TV without the viewers being told about their agenda. Surely the viewers are entitled to be told, rather than being misled in to believing these people are somehow neutral? Makes me sick.

  3. 7 Proud of Obama
    February 14, 2011 at 2:44 pm

    Ok, I listened to as much of that 2008 speech as I could stomach. Racist, elitist, pig. And I’m going to say something here that I don’t intend to offend anyone with, but I must make this observation. The guy admitted that he cannot vote in the US which must mean that he is not a citizen. I am so offended by these types who come to our country and make a fortune and then try to tell us how we should run it. They don’t think enough of our country to become citizens but want to tell us who to vote for?

    What a hack. The way he tried to justify why candidate Obama couldn’t beat McCain (the young are mattering less and less in politics, McCain’s age didn’t matter) would be funny if it weren’t so sad.

    I truly believe people like him and the tea party folks were so in denial in their belief that America would not elect this young, black man over the white McCain that they literally went nuts. They will never admit McCain’s age and PBO’s race had nothing to do with it. It was vision, intellect, and judgement that made the American people make the right choice in elected President Obama — in a freakin landslide.

  4. February 14, 2011 at 2:51 pm

    Oh, good one, Chip. I’ve seen the headline of this article and didn’t bother to read one word. Now it’s all makes sense.

    BTW, do you a link to Krugman’s piece on him?

  5. 10 RosesforObama
    February 14, 2011 at 3:17 pm

    Bravo Chipsticks, very, very informative and interesting to read “newsweek, right wing comic book”

  6. 12 A.L.Zymers
    February 14, 2011 at 3:41 pm

    Thank you, Chipsticks, for doing the background research that exposes this execrable member of the ignorati. Excellent!

  7. February 14, 2011 at 3:56 pm

    Hi Chipsticks,

    Here is a link to some raw video of President Obama’s visit to Parkville Middle School.



    The only thing is that it’s a bit frustrating because there is no sound.

    • February 14, 2011 at 4:45 pm

      It’s my video-finder supreme! I’ll just check to see if I can find any version of the videos with sound – whoever recorded it must have forgotten to check their microphone 😳

      Thank you Donna 😉

  8. February 14, 2011 at 4:05 pm

    These folks are frustrating, crazy, infuriating, and wrong. But…. there may be a silver lining here. this article in the Pragmatic Progressive was very effective. folks coming together across the county to stand up to some bullies. It may be coming to a neighborhood near you.


    My favorite part of the article:

    “According to one news report, one of the counter-protestor signs read, ‘My Love Is Bigger Than Your Hate.’ “

    • February 14, 2011 at 7:31 pm

      Really interesting article, WiW, the counter-protests are hugely encouraging and uplifting. I had a look for that sign you mentioned, I remembered seeing it somewhere before:

      Love it.

  9. February 14, 2011 at 8:37 pm

    I’m really worried for the President. Everybody’s coming down on him for this budget.

    I don’t think these haters out there really know how hard it was for the president to make the cuts he made. You could tell that he was particularly sad when he said he had to make some tough choices.

  10. 19 barb
    February 14, 2011 at 10:13 pm

    Maybe he can’t vote in America because he’s a felon. I just had to say it.

  11. 20 cat48
    February 15, 2011 at 5:16 am

    Hey Chipsticks! Ferguson needs to decide if he is a “historical” economist as he has alleged or is trained in foreign relations. After that Felix column, I just ignore him & if anyone questions me, I just say “Felix the cat…..” Any credibility he had was destroyed with that column and his defense of the column. He was given several chances to correct the column or at least explain & he steadfastly defended it everytime. Stunning! I honestly don’t think he’s qualified himself to make foreign policy. His location at the time he decided, Tel Aviv, where Obama was being heavily criticised he stated this a.m., says it all.

  12. 21 S. Holland
    February 15, 2011 at 9:15 am

    Thrilled to read your post……was sitting in the dentist’s office yesterday, reading material was slim pickings, saw the Newsweek, and started in reading it…….couldn’t believe that article…..grabbed the front cover to make sure it really was Newsweek, and not some other idiot magazine I had grabbed……nope, Newsweek! I was astounded……expected better from Newsweek……hideous, vile article with no merit, and nothing Obama did was right…nothing……off now to drop a little note to Newsweek explaining how I feel!!!!

    • February 15, 2011 at 9:32 am

      Hiya S Holland, it really is just incredible that they made that crap their cover story. If they want to hire a right wing columnist to attack the President then fine, but at least let them be honest about his agenda and don’t make out he’s an impartial academic – he’s not!!!! They’ve turned themselves in to the magazine version of Fox. Rag.

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