Mercury Rising 鳯女

Politics, life, and other things that matter

An article I ought to read

Posted by Charles II on February 7, 2014

I linked this lengthy article by Mark Ames and Yasha Levine in a comment to PW. It has to do with the latest billionaire Oz who imagines that his benevolent neo-liberal ideas will solve the world’s problems, namely Pierre Omidyar. There’s a lot in it:

* How to turn microfinancing into payday lending, complete with suicides and ruined lives
* The latest corporate libertarian Great White Hope Hernando deSoto, aide to dictator Alberto Fujimori
* Hayek’s ILD as the first of the international right-political think tanks linked to Cato and Heritage

And Omidyar is financing Jeremy Scahill, Laura Poitras, and Glenn Greenwald to do FirstLook Media.

It’s an interesting article. I should read it.

2 Responses to “An article I ought to read”

  1. Ames and Levine have a serious bugaboo about progressives and libertarians ever making common cause on things. It’s the apparent basis for their long-standing dislike of FDL’s Jane Hamsher, who of course has teamed up with Glenn Greenwald on various issues, including TSA’s use of RapiScan technology.

    In 2010, Ames/Levine used their platform at The Nation to do a Bizarro World attack on the critics of TSA’s RapiScan machines: http://www.thenation.com/article/156647/tsastroturf-washington-lobbyists-and-koch-funded-libertarians-behind-tsa-scandal

    Marcy Wheeler responded here: http://www.emptywheel.net/2010/11/25/correlation-does-not-equal-kochnation/

    Here’s the last paragraph from that piece. It seems to sum up so much of what NSFW is doing lately:

    “At base, Ames and Levine’s article–the entire thing, not just their insinuations about Tyner–is just a poorly defended argument. They may well have a point; they may well someday prove this was all a scam designed to benefit John Mica’s donors. But at this point, what we have is an editorial failure: a bunch of loose connections built on top of insinuations about someone they now concede is probably innocent and relying on assumptions that have not been proven and really faulty logic. Sure, the question Ames and Levine ask might be worth asking–in a tweet or a personal blog post. But until they actually answer their own question, it’s probably not worth an article in the Nation.”

    The Nation wound up agreeing with Marcy Wheeler on this and apologized for Ames and Levine’s going off half-cocked on this facet of the TSA story. But it doesn’t seem that Ames and Levine learned anything from that incident.

    Ames and Levine have done very good stuff in the past, but their signal-to-noise ratio has gotten pretty bad in the last few years, ever since the start of their War on Glenn Greenwald and anyone who works with Glenn Greenwald. They’ve pretty well burned all their media bridges and financial angel contacts with their tough-guy, screw-the-concept-of-decency-it’s-boring-bourgeois-crap schtick (case in point: Ames’ incredible misogyny, especially his fetish for underage Russian hookers), so they have to make NSFW pay for itself (which might not be possible) or they’re done.

    • Charles II said

      They’re sensationalists. Always have been. But we need to be cautious about new media.

      Do you remember when Current TV was going to save the world? I trust Al Gore more than I trust Pierre Omidyar, but Current TV succumbed to far less pressure than Greenwald, Scahill, and Poitras are capable of generating.

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