Photo: endbradley via flickr
Ron Suskind’s Confidence Men is full of steamy revelations, like sexism in the White House, insubordination by Geithner and ineptitude by the President.Much of the book seems like bullshit, however, according to a brutal takedown by Slate’s Jacob Weisberg (via Morning Money):
There’s no journalist who sets off my bullshit alarm like Ron Suskind. Issues of accuracy, fairness, and integrity come up nearly every time Suskind publishes something. … Suskind has now turned his egregious writing and dubious technique on the Obama administration in his new book …
“Once again, his work is a strewn with small but telling errors. … [H]is bigger points are equally inaccurate. The larger thesis of his book, to the extent it has one, is that the Obama White House is rife with sexism and that its economic policymaking has been misguided and chaotic. To support these claims, Suskind stretches the thinnest of material well beyond the breaking point.
“The most interesting claim in Suskind’s book is that Geithner blocked the breakup of Citigroup against the wishes of President Obama … The problem with this tale is that it, too, is plainly wrong. In early 2009, there was a disagreement inside the administration about whether breaking up Citigroup made sense, with Summers among others in favour, and Geithner opposed. …
“But Suskind’s claim that ‘Treasury never moved forward to carry out the President’s wishes about Citigroup,’ that Geithner killed the breakup plan by ‘slow-walking’ it, has been strongly denied by Geithner and not supported by anyone else.”
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