If I Know Anything About the Blogging Structure of Keynesian Economists, Brad DeLong Invents 20% of His “Facts”
Every now and again I like to check in on Brad DeLong to see what trouble he’s getting himself into. Today he has a post entitled, “KARL ROVE AND COMPANY GOT $80 MILLION AND REPUBLICAN DONORS GOT?” DeLong writes:
Memo to Republican billionaires: Rupert Murdoch is not your friend. John Roberts is not your friend. Karl Rove is not your friend.
Rupert Murdoch is not in the business of providing news, or advancing right-wing causes. Rupert Murdoch is in the business of selling eyeballs to advertisers. As he said lo more than a decade ago: “There is no news channel catering to the very large right-wing segment of the American market. And that is a definite market opportunity”. That’s what determines the content on Fox News. But do not confuse the fact that Rupert Murdoch wants to keep your eyes glued to the screen with the idea that Rupert Murdoch is your friend. He is not. You are his mark.
Stop right there. What would Murdoch have needed to say, in order for DeLong to believe that Murdoch was a friend of conservatives who was in the business of providing news to them? Would we need a quote saying, “I will lose money setting up a network catering to right-wingers, but my conscience tells me it’s the right thing to do”?
Suppose a guy plants apples because he sees a market opportunity. Is he not really in the business of providing apples to people who like apples?
Anyway, those are minor quibbles. On to the good stuff when DeLong writes:
Karl Rove is not your friend. Karl Rove took $400 million of your money this cycle and, if I know anything about the fee structure of Republican political consulting, kept $80 million for himself and his faction and wasted the rest. That Karl Rove promises he will deploy the $400 million to make sure high-bracket income taxes and estate taxes remain low does not mean that he knows how to do so. And his first and highest priority is to skim off the $80 million for himself and his faction.
Go read DeLong’s entire blog post. He cites the $400 million figure for donations to Rove-controlled SuperPACs etc., but there is nothing in there to justify the $80 million figure, except for the phrase I put in bold above. As far as I can tell, Brad DeLong pulled a number out of the clear blue sky and made it the title of his post.