Niall Ferguson will still be a respected columnist for The Daily Beast/Newsweek despite publishing a featured article without empirically supporting his thesis or telling the truth. Fareed Zakaria‘s plagiarism has been relegated to his HR file as he has been reinstated after TIME and CNN found it wasn’t that bad even though he also has a one size fits all commencement speech. Both of them will be featured speakers at some conference, like Davos, Aspen Ideas Festival or some other resort party because in despite of their actual work, they are both “one of our” most valued public intellectuals.
Public intellectuals meaning Ferguson, Zakaria and other world renowned academics who have a successful media strategy, demand the highest fees from their speakers bureaus and attempt to launder stolen material or build arguments back from their own personal biases, re-use their own work without attribution while cultivating a reputation of having an important brain. Though they have repeatedly failed when it comes to rigor, they have succeeded when it comes to wooing the “Our”. “Our” is not the citizens of the world “our”. “Our” is the salon organizers, idea cruise planners, conference sponsors and chairmen who decide whose words are interesting enough to hear. Invites from “Our” are sent to these public intellectuals so that they can be conference keynote speaker and to be invited over to the house for dinner and cocktails . These same “Our” use these “valued intellectuals” as shields of culpability: well one of our leading intellectuals agreed with me, so who could-a known?
So even when Krugman is shrill because he is upset George W. Bush lied us into an Iraq War with the aid of a delinquent congress, Bob Herbert is boring because he talks so much about poor people with indignant tone, you must remember: Fareed Zakaria is modest and correct when he basically says he is doing Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s job already and Niall Ferguson is a delightful “swashbuckling” thinker that believes such provocative things like: colonialism and proxy wars are the best is worth like 75K per speech.
Even though Zakaria has resigned from Yale, Ferguson’s continued tenure is good for Harvard students: if you sit in one of Ferguson’s lectures, you’ve gotten more than your money’s worth for the year.