Ta-Nehisi Coates on David Mamet’s recent gun-nut revisionism (“The Founding Fathers, far from being ideologues, were not even politicians,” etc) for Newsbeast:
All jest aside, I find the process that produces this sort of work to be utterly amoral. I’ve said this before, but this is the kind of writing that would get you bounced out of any decent essay writing class at a credible university. Words have meanings. You cannot change the fact that Thomas Jefferson served in the Virginia House of Burgesses because it’s unfortunate for your argument. Unless you have a name like David Mamet.
The message one derives from this is that power gives you the privilege of lying. If you are big enough, if your name rings out far enough, you may make words mean whatever you want them to mean.
Scott Lemieux concurs
with Coates’ unfortunate but apt conclusion:
I have a hard time believing that nobody at Newsweek
knew about the political experience of Madison, Hamilton, Jefferson et al. Hell, before he “forgot” it because it was inconvenient to his immediate line of bullshit Mamet knew it
. It’s just that they apparently don’t care if a big name lies to their readers as long as…the name is big enough