Project S.H.A.M.E.: Megan McArdle, a Covert Republican Party Activist Trained by the Billionaire Koch Brothers

We are delighted to post the latest offering of Project S.H.A.M.E., a media transparency initiative led by Yasha Levine and Mark Ames.


Megan McArdle

Special correspondent on economics, business and public policy; Newsweek/The Daily Beast

Megan McArdle is a Koch-trained conservative activist working as a business journalist and pundit. She earned her MBA from the University of Chicago, received journalism training at the Kochs’ flagship libertarian think-tank, the Institute for Humane Studies, and has used her position at The Atlantic and, most recently, Newsweek/The Daily Beast, to run cover for and promote Koch interests and the Republican Party agenda. In early 2009, a GOP outfit backed by the Kochs hailed McArdle for her “leadership role in … re-branding the Republican party.” McArdle continues to conceal the extent of her deeply conflicted relationships with the Koch influence-peddling machine.

The recovered history of Megan McArdle

  • Megan McArdle built her career on bashing public servants and government, but her father’s taxpayer-subsidized work in government and as a government lobbyist funded her upbringing as a “child of privilege” as she described herself. McArdle’s father, Francis McArdle, was a career public servant in the New York City administration who took the revolving door to the private sector as chief lobbyist for the General Contractor’s Association of New York, where her father represented private contractors “primarily engaged in construction of public buildings and plants.” In 1987, the head of the New York state Organized Crime Task Force accused Francis McArdle’s clients of pervasive corruption, bribery, racketeering and union-busting. Thanks to New York’s lucrative public construction projects, Megan was able to attend Riverdale Country School, the most expensive prep school in America, according to Time magazine. Today, annual tuition at Riverdale runs over $40,000.
  • In the early-mid 1990s, McArdle attended the University of Pennsylvania. She converted from “ultraliberal to libertarian” in her junior year, after working as a canvasser and field manager for Ralph Nader’s Public Interest Research Groups, which she called “the most deceptive, evil place I’ve ever worked.” [ 1 ]
  • In 2001, after her job offer in management consulting was “rescinded”, McArdle was given a day job in the construction industry, which her father was lobbying for at the time, and started blogging free-market Republican propaganda under the Ayn Rand-inspired pseudonym “Jane Galt.” McArdle claimed she did not use her real name for fear of being persecuted for her libertarian views: “I lived in the Upper West Side so I couldn’t discuss these things with anyone. I would just stew.” Her first blog post to go viral in the conservative blog network argued for scrapping corporate taxes. [ 2 ]
  • In 2002, McArdle applied for a job in the Foreign Service but was rejected, which she blamed on asthma. “Apparently, they don’t want a foreign service full of people who are, like, ‘Well, I can only go to Paris,’” she told the Koch-funded AFF newsletter, Doublethink.
  • In 2003, The Economist hired McArdle as a blogger. On the eve of the Iraq invasion, McArdle gleefully advocated the use of violence to suppress antiwar demonstrations, writing: “I’m too busy laughing. And I think some in New York are going to laugh even harder when they try to unleash some civil disobedience, Lenin style, and some New Yorker who understands the horrors of war all too well picks up a two-by-four and teaches them how very effective violence can be when it’s applied in a firm, pre-emptive manner.”
  • McArdle received journalism training from the right-wing Institute for Humane Studies, headed by Charles Koch since the 1960s. According to the IHS, its journalism program “places talented writers and communicators—who support individual liberty, free markets, and peace—at media companies and non-profit newsrooms” and offers “mentoring and job placement assistance.” The program currently includes a $3,200 stipend, as well as travel allowance.
  • In 2011, McArdle returned to her Koch alma mater as a guest lecturer and instructor at the Institute for Humane Studies’ “Journalism & the Free Society” summer internship program. The program tackled such topics as “Is an ‘objective’ press possible — or even desirable?” Other faculty members joining McArdle that year included Radley Balko, then-editor at the Kochs’ Reason magazine
  • In a sign of just how close and trusted McArdle is to the Kochs, in October 2011, she was chosen to emcee Charles Koch’s 50th Anniversary gala celebration of his flagship libertarian think-tank, the Institute for Humane Studies, featuring Charles Koch as the keynote speaker and guest of honor. McArdle and Koch were joined by hundreds of leading GOP donors and activists. An IHS newsletter wrote of her performance: “Emcee Megan McArdle wove a humorous narrative through the program.” The IHS attempted to hide McArdle’s involvement, scrubbing her name from the dinner announcement page. (See side bar for more info on the gala event.)
  • In 2006, McArdle published an article in Reason, a magazine controlled by the Kochs since the 1970’s, headlined, “The Virtue of Riches: How Wealth Makes Us More Moral“. McArdle’s article argued that wealth makes people “more tolerant of minorities, more welcoming to immigrants, more solicitous of their fellow citizens, more supportive of democratic institutions, and just plain better specimens of humanity.” In fact, studies show that the wealthiest Americans are more likely to lie and steal, while the poor donate proportionally much more of their incomes to charity.
  • In August 2007, The Atlantic hired McArdle as a business and economics blogger. Her first post, titled “Dont panic!” [sic], wrongly predicted that the liquidity shock that hit the financial system earlier that month was nothing to worry about: “Having a nasty market contraction does not mean that your economy automatically goes down the tubes.”
  • In September 2008, as the financial markets collapsed, McArdle gave a talk at an anti-regulation event hosted by the Koch-funded Mercatus Center at George Mason University focusing on how “government regulation actually contributed” to the financial meltdown. [ 3 ]
  • That same month, in September 2008, McArdle transformed her blog at the The Atlantic into a feverish Wall Street crisis-management propaganda outlet. She argued that bankers were largely innocent, blamed government regulators and homeowners for tanking the economy, and mocked news of a criminal investigation into Wall Street crimes, writing, “For what, I have no idea.” McArdle also bizarrely claimed that bankers were victims of the real estate bubble, while blaming borrowers for being greedy profiteers: “You know who made most of the money on the subprime bubble? Anyone who bought a house in the last ten years. Yes, that’s right, you, with your low fixed interest rate on a reasonably sized house. You’re the profiteer who laughed all the way to the bank.” The truth is that rampant fraud and predatory lending had decimated homeowner net-worth, leaving people substantially poorer and more in debt than they had been in decades.
  • McArdle’s position on financial regulations was in perfect sync with Koch Industries. The company is a major player in financial markets and emerged as one of the most powerful forces lobbying against financial reform following the crash, according to Bloomberg. Just in the last four months of 2008, Koch Industries spent over $7 million on lobbying efforts, much of that directed at fighting various financial regulation bills. Despite blatantly promoting the Kochs’ political and business agenda, McArdle failed to disclose her numerous Koch conflicts of interests.
  • In 2008, McArdle argued that the recession had a silver lining for liberals and the 99%, claiming the economic downturn would reduce wealth inequality because it hurt the rich more than middle- and lower-income Americans: “Recessions are bad for everyone, but they’re worse for the wealthy.” In fact, wealth inequality has substantially worsened since then.
  • McArdle proposed permanently ending inheritance taxes on the super-wealthy, citing her own experience as a “child of privilege” which gave her insight into how the super-rich never paid their taxes anyway, so why waste money forcing them to offshore their earnings. She also claimed that “estate tax may actually cost the treasury money.”
  • In January 2009, McArdle was singled out for her “leadership role” by the Koch-connected America’s Future Foundation and took part in a panel of GOP strategists and top conservative activists pushing for “re-branding the Republican party.” McArdle’s strategy speech argued that so long as unemployment remained high and housing prices remained low in 2010, the Republicans would win the mid-term elections, and it would be easier to shift blame for the 2008 economic collapse onto Democrats and Big Government.
  • McArdle spent the next two years criticizing proposals that threatened to improve voters’ lives before the 2010 elections. She pushed hard against health care reform, mortgage relief, financial consumer protection and unions.
  • In February 2009, McArdle led a propaganda campaign in her Atlantic blog to discredit investigative journalism exposing the first Tea Party protest in February 2009 as an Astroturf campaign backed by the Koch brothers and FreedomWorks. McArdle wrote of the Kochs: “from what I know of them, astroturfing doesn’t really seem like their style. I’ve seen Koch in action at private events, and though I’ll respect the privacy, I’ll say that even in the company of other like-minded rich people, he displayed rather a mania for honest dealing.” The Tea Party was launched in February 2009 to oppose a White House bill providing mortgage relief to struggling homeowners, and thereby stabilize housing prices. In the “Republican rebranding” campaign, it was important to present the Tea Party as completely autonomous and grass-roots, rather than backed by the Kochs and FreedomWorks. Thanks in large part to McArdle’s efforts discrediting the exposé, the media spent the next year-and-a-half misrepresenting the Tea Party as an authentic grassroots uprising rather than a Koch-sponsored Astroturf campaign. [ 4 ] [ 5 ]
  • A year before the Tea Party, in 2008, McArdle’s fiancé Peter Suderman worked on an identical Astroturf campaign for FreedomWorks called “”, a fake grassroots movement launched by FreedomWorks’ wealthy Republican donors designed to kill proposed legislation to provide mortgage relief to homeowners, which then-President Bush opposed. In May 2008, the Wall Street Journal exposed as a fake campaign funded by Republican donors and lobbyists: “Though it purports to be a spontaneous uprising, is actually a product of an inside-the-Beltway conservative advocacy organization led by Dick Armey, the former House majority leader, and publishing magnate Steve Forbes, a fellow Republican. It’s a fake grass-roots effort — what politicos call an AstroTurf campaign.” McArdle did not disclose that her fiancé worked on FreedomWorks’ Astroturf campaign when she attacked the 2009 exposé on the Tea Party as a FreedomWorks/Koch project.
  • In May 2009, McArdle led a smear campaign against New York Times reporter Ed Andrews who published a book about how he went broke under the weight of mortgage and credit card debt. To “prove” that Andrews’ bankruptcy story was really his own fault, McArdle obtained his wife’s records showing she had declared bankruptcy in the past, and used that to paint the author as untrustworthy and profligate. In fact, his wife was forced to file for bankruptcy before she met Andrews, when she had been a single mother with an ex-husband who refused to pay court-ordered child support. However, the damage was done; numerous publications attacked Andrews’ credibility, effectively blunting the effect his book might have had on the public discourse on debt and bankruptcy.
  • In June 2010, McArdle married fellow Koch activist Peter Suderman. Suderman spent much of his adult career on the Koch payroll, rotating through positions at America’s Future Foundation, Competitive Enterprise Institute, FreedomWorks, as well as the Moonie-owned The Washington Times. Suderman is currently a senior editor at Reason magazine.
  • In 2010, McArdle wrote about how she bought a house in a low-income black neighborhood in Washington DC that was in the process of being gentrified, and claimed she’d met an anonymous black man on a bus who told McArdle he (and presumably many more) blacks fully approved of their neighborhoods being gentrified and pushed out by wealthier whites. McArdle quoted the anonymous pro-gentrification black man telling her: “‘You know, you may have heard us talking about you people, how we don’t want you here. A lot of people are saying you all are taking the city from us. Way I feel is, you don’t own a city.’ He paused and looked around the admittedly somewhat seedy street corner. ‘Besides, look what we did with it. We had it for forty years, and look what we did with it!'”
  • In December 2010, McArdle attacked a New York Times investigation into the dangerous effects of formaldehyde, which causes cancer in humans. McArdle mocked those dangers: “It’s a chemical! Indeed it is. You’re surrounded by chemicals. Your couch is made of chemicals. So is the table. So is the hand-carded wool sweater you bought from the woman who raises her own sheep on organic feed. Distilled water is a chemical. Fine wine is full of them.” Once again, McArdle ran cover for Koch Industries’ business interests: According to an investigation into the Koch family by New Yorker reporter Jane Meyer, “Koch Industries has been lobbying to prevent the E.P.A. from classifying formaldehyde, which the company produces in great quantities, as a ‘known carcinogen’ in humans.” [ 6 ]


Wall of S.H.A.M.E.

“I don’t see any evidence offered that Koch money funds FreedomWorks, or any astroturfing organization . . . ”

“…from what I know of [the Kochs], astroturfing doesn’t really seem like their style.”

—From McArdle’s attack on an investigative article exposing the first Tea Party protest as a Koch/FreedomWorks Astroturf campaign; February 2009

“I’ve seen Koch [sic] in action at private events, and though I’ll respect the privacy [sic], I’ll say that even in the company of other like-minded rich people, [Charles Koch] displayed rather a mania for honest dealing.”

—McArdle on the Kochs’ moral character; February 2009

“My husband once had a fellowship with the Charles G. Koch Foundation, and works for Reason Magazine, which has been a recipient of funds from Koch charitable organizations.”

—McArdle issues a partial disclosure about her husband’s Koch ties; February 2012

“I also disagree with the notion that the concentration of wealth is a large political problem. … while the wealthy certainly have the ear of politicians, and also give a lot of money to those politicians, it’s not clear to me how tightly these things are linked on matters of broad national policy.”

—McArdle isn’t bothered by economic inequality and concentration of wealth; February 2008

consumption inequality, not income inequality, is what matters. If the rich have access to broad classes of goods that the poor can’t have, I find this worrying. On the other hand, if the problem is that Bill Gates has a really awesome 80 inch flat panel television, while the poor have to be content with a 32 inch CRT, well, I can’t say my heartstrings are plucked very tight by this injustice.”

—On why she doesn’t believe in income inequality; July 2009

“Borrowers were not brought down by predatory lending. . . . Borrowers were brought down by a willingness to gamble on rising home prices–exactly the same thing that knocked out Lehman Brothers. At least Lehman Brothers had the excuse that ten years of rising prices had completely screwed up their default models.”

—McArdle on why homeowners were more to blame than bankers for tanking the economy; September 2008

To me, the unsung villain of the mortgage crisis is the 30-year fixed rate self-amortizing mortgage with no prepayment penalty…The 30 year fixed rate mortgage was ultimately at the heart of the Savings and Loan crisis.

—McArdle discovers another red herring to blame; July 2010

Am I suggesting that the Iraqis should pay for occupation expenses? Nope. We can afford it, and there’s something repellent about making impoverished Iraqis pay for a war foisted on them by an evil dictator. But most of that $2t, if it is any sort of a real number, will be stuff for Iraqis: roads, schools, hospitals, government buildings, power plants and sewers and all the good stuff that lets us live like citizens of the 21st century. That stuff should come out of Iraqi oil revenues.

—McArdle belittling Iraq war critics Eric Alterman as “nuts” and economist James Galbraith as “paranoiac” for (correctly) predicting the war would cost trillions; March 2003

“I love Cato. I love school choice. I read their stuff all the time, and I think a lot of it is great. I cite it and use it.”

—McArdle on the quality of Cato Institute’s scholarship; May 2008

“For some reason, marriage always and everywhere, in every culture we know about, is between a man and a woman; this seems to be an important feature of the institution. We should not go mucking around and changing this extremely important institution, because if we make a bad change, the institution will fall apart.

—McArdle argues against rushing to legalize gay marriage, which she described as “a bedrock of our society” and compared gay marriage rights to a government welfare program; April 2005

“One of the dividing lines between me and a lot of the commentators on the Wall Street crisis is that I am not outraged by their pay.”

—McArdle explains her position on exorbitant Wall Street bonuses; April 2009


McArdle on Science

“Here’s the thing: humans aren’t like bonobos. And do you know how I know that we are not like bonobos? Because we’re not like bonobos.”

—McArdle explains why she’s not convinced by evolutionary biology; August 2010

“I’ve basically outsourced my opinion on the science to people like Jonathan Adler, Ron Bailey, and Pat Michaels of Cato . . .”

—McArdle on where she gets her climate change information; February 2012. (Pat Michaels admitted on CNN he gets 40% of his funding from the petroleum industry.)


Undisclosed Koch Work

View full IHS anniversary dinner brochure (pdf file)

Megan McArdle frequently speaks at and moderates conferences and events hosted by Koch-funded organizations, including Cato Institute, Mercatus, the Institute of Humane Studies and many others. Here is a partial list (in reverse chronological order):

  • In June 2012, McArdle spoke at a Koch-linked Students for Liberty “Women for Liberty” event held at the Institute for Humane Studies. McArdle was described as a “shining” role model that “young women in the movement should look up to.”
  • In 2012, McArdle served as a judge for the Reason Foundation Bastiat Prize, awarded to libertarian media pundits.
  • In 2011, McArdle took part in a Cato Institute panel called “U.S. Debt and the Millennials: Is Washington Creating a Lost Generation?” She described Social Security and Medicare as a “gigantic space alien that’s larger, like five times the size of earth.”
  • In 2011, McArdle served as emcee at the Institute of Humane Studies’ 50th Anniversary gala event, introducing her patron Charles Koch onto the stage. View the full brochure of the IHS anniversary dinner (pdf file).
  • In February 2011, McArdle was the keynote speaker at the annual International Students For Liberty Conference, where she delivered a talk titled “Building the Case for Liberty in the New Century.” The conference included a sneak preview of the film Atlas Shrugged.
  • In 2011, McArdle was a guest lecturer at the Institute for Humane Studies’ “Journalism & the Free Society” summer seminar program. The program addressed such topics as “Is an “objective” press possible — or even desirable?”
  • In 2010, was a moderator at a Mercatus conference about credit card regulation.
  • In June 2009, McArdle served as moderator at Cato Institute’s healthcare reform conference. The title of McArdle’s panel was: “Should Congress Mandate Coverage?”
  • In Spring of 2009, McArdle served as a judge for a Koch-funded blogger contest held to identify “young conservative and libertarian talent who wish to pursue careers as journalists and writers.” The winner received a $10,000 prize. Other judges included Cato/Reason’s Radley Balko, Jonah Goldberg, and libertarian economist Jonathan H. Adler…
  • In January 2009, McArdle was a speaker at an America’s Future Foundation (AFF) event that featured “young libertarians and conservatives who have taken a leadership role in . . . re-branding the Republican party.” AFF is a libertarian organization that exists to “identify and develop the next generation of conservative and libertarian leaders.” It has close ties to the Koch-funded think-tank network, including Mercatus, ALEC and Institute for Humane Studies.
  • In September 2008, McArdle took part in a panel discussion at AFF about “who should libertarians and conservatives support.”
  • That same month, McArdle was a featured speaker at an anti-regulation event hosted by the Koch-funded Mercatus Center at George Mason University. Her talk focused on how “government regulation actually contributed” to the financial meltdown.
  • In March 2007, McArdle partied at Reason magazine’s “Happy Hour” with David Weigel, Radley Balko, as well as The Wall Street Journal’s John Fund.


  1. McArdle’s breaking point with the group came after she was assigned to canvass a poor suburb of Philadelphia, which she described as full of “welfare mothers, elderly people collecting the minimum Social Security payment, young men on disability.” []
  2. McArdle’s first blogging partner was another pseudonymous right-wing blogger, Andrew Hofer, a banker with Brown Brothers Harriman and graduate of Exeter, Yale and Columbia, who denounced Bush’s critics as “elitists.” []
  3. Koch Industries funneled a combined $3.7 million to Mercatus in 2007 and 2008. The Wall Street Journal called the Mercatus Center “the most important think tank you’ve never heard of.” []
  4. The investigate piece that McArdle smeared was authored by S.H.A.M.E founders Yasha Levine and Mark Ames. []
  5. The Tea Party was central to the Republican Party rebranding strategy that McArdle helped map out in January 2009. []
  6. The company has long been involved in funding front groups and fighting against laws that would classify it as a carcinogen. []
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  1. run75441


    I always like comments such as this:

    “some in New York are going to laugh even harder when they try to unleash some civil disobedience, Lenin style, and some New Yorker who understands the horrors of war all too well picks up a two-by-four and teaches them how very effective violence can be when it’s applied in a firm, pre-emptive manner.”

    Obviously, Megan does not know what she is talking about. I always found it hard to believe when someone expects veterans to let loose with a torrent of rage on someone who is practicing civil disobedience such as Occupy and Showdown. I suspect many of us would join them as I did in Chicago.

    1. TK421

      What an ignorant fool she is, or a dishonest hack, for thinking of Lenin when the topic is civil disobedience, rather than an appropriate figure like Martin Luther King or Gandhi.

    2. Nathanael

      “McMegan”, as she is derisively known, is not merely a hack, she is also an idiot. It is very, very clear that she got all her work through the wingnut welfare system.

      She writes laughably absurd nonsense on a regular basis — in publications like the Atlantic! — and gets away with it, even while her bullshit is being eviscerated by professors such as Brad DeLong.

      In some ways this makes her a particularly obvious target. A lot of the hacks who work for the Kochtopus are not stupid. McMegan *is* stupid, and says things which even the “fanatical centrists” can’t tolerate, because they’re so dumb.

      1. Up the Ante

        Excellent comments, Nathanael.

        I’ll simply note this,

        this is the picture of a woman clusterfucking herself, where she knows the voices of objection to her bullshit are effectively her own self attempting to correct her puppet-affective presentations,×441.jpg

        In effect, she is ‘retarding’ her self. Does it for kicks, lol.

        She is an idiot.

        (that’s her in the upper left)

        1. Up the Ante

          same picture,

          And that “imbecile” in the lower right staring up at the world he self-clusterfucks, the patron so self-clusterfukd you may as well refer to him as ‘the new boy’, a “specimen” that grew legs.


  2. gyges

    I think Megan’s a mouth-breathing tool of her sponsors, and I’ve said a lot of things this article says about her. But the way Ames piles ‘evidence’ is sometimes laughable. Ohmigosh, Megan partied with Radley Balko at a Reason Magazine party? A WITCH! A WITCH! Give me a break. It’s hysteric unto absurdity.

    This reminds me of Ames penchant for undercutting his own thesis with pointless attacks. Remember the take-down on Josh Foust that Naked Capitalism ran from Ames? The one laced with acid about Foust’s height and his homosexuality?
    This blog can do a hell of a lot better–and usually does–than people like Mark Ames.

    1. William

      The left needs a few loose cannons like Ames to shake things up. Isn’t it always said that liberals are too wimpy? Too intellectual and polite to play by the same rules the right plays by? Ames isn’t lying about anything, he’s telling the truth, but he’s not writing academic papers.

      1. gyges

        That’s fine, but as an indy who sees plenty of problems with both parties, seeing the left holding this sort of commentary up as something respectable does nothing to lure me to their side either, know what I mean?

        1. two beers

          Note the multiple trolls above using the identical Appeal to Shame (“NC is better than this,” “this is beneath you,”etc) to attack Yves for posting this. The right-wing think tanks well train their minions to use the same rhetoric when attacking the left, but they don’t teach their minions to actually think for themselves, so they all sound the same.

          1. Susan of Texas

            The right seems to think that the left (that is, anyone who is not of their tribe) is filled with people who consider themselves morally superior to the right. So they often use this tactic, hoping that they’ll pique liberal vanity and pride.

          2. Up the Ante

            Susan, this “right” technique is to simply pump out some retarded bullshit as political chic and demand you not identify it as such. If you do identify it, you are an “elitist”. How dumb is that ??

            Rightwing welfare conformity for all, is it ?

      2. propertius

        I don’t recall any references to Foust’s sexual orientation, although there are several references to him as “the Waffendwarf” and the “five foot Waffendwarf”. While those descriptions were a bit juvenile, I don’t think they overwhelmed the rest of the piece.

        What I don’t understand is why anyone would refer to McArdle as a “journalist”. She’s a “pundit” and therefore no more a journalist than Krauthammer, Will, Matthews, or Brazile.

        1. Up the Ante

          the “five foot Waffendwarf”
          The Emotional Maturity of the Koch Empire

          A fitting re-title of the article.


    2. Pokey

      Read a fact packed criticism of Foust at Exiled, but did not see anything about height or homosexuality. Sounds like the same kind of slimeball as subject McArdle.

      1. reprobate

        Mischaracterization of the Foust piece, big time. That part of the discussion was sympathetic to Foust, in that Foust had been horribly bullied for being short and gay, and showed how that motiavted his carrer choises.

        1. Bare Smellson

          Yeah, the piece explained how Josh Foust turned out the exact same as the pathetic schoolyard shooter that Foust fantasized about becoming on his since-scrubbed blog, but evaded responsibility for his crimes by instead becoming a paid P.R. flack for Central Asian dictators and dishing out propaganda when they massacred their own citizens.

          Anyone who has read Ames’s book on school/workplace spree killings knows that with this description, he was trying to be as fair and sympathetic to Foust as possible.

    3. frankzappasguitar

      It’s circumstantial evidence of her ideological and financial sources, and one piece of a larger puzzle. Ames builds profiles, and the fact that she cavorts with the Kochs — do we need to explain who they are here? — should be flashing in your brain everytime you see her potato-skin mug on the lyin’-box or one of many Pravda flavors on sale in airports.

      1. gyges

        Uh, yeah, but as I said in my comment–the one you are replying to–I’ve long known she was this person. I knew it years ago, when I first looked into her background and associations. I do this with almost every public commentator who is put in front of me with any frequency. My comment was not and cannot be construed as defending Megan McArdle, it was obviously about the Ames’ et al approach. It’s an approach that teaches me little more than how gleefully people on his side of the fence will hold up his approach as something respectable, and *that* is one of the things that keeps me independent. The left wants me to agree that the right are intellectual thugs, but to agree without admitting that the left too are often similarly thuggish. You know, potato-skinned comments and whatnot. Many of us an operate with facts and don’t need the added layer of venom and character assassination to make the point.

        1. jake chase

          Why would you care about her background or associations? Why would you listen to anything she ever said? You can tell a person on television is lying because her mouth is moving. As for newspapers and magazines these can be useful. Just don’t read them. This piece amounts to using a rocket launcher to dispatch a mosquito. Imagine what this Ames could accomplish with all this energy if he tried doing something useful.

          1. diplodocus

            agreed.. this woman/blogger/propagandist is only that ‘annoying’ if you take the time to pay attention to her… although such folk should be exposed…i guess one gets jaded and thinks that everyone already knows the agendas of various writers after a while… i thought ‘that one’ was exposed a long time ago..? a lot of folks(Channeling the O) really enjoy hating mccardle, however… fyi… i despise her!
            ames can be a funny writer, though… needs more obscenity!

          2. Nathanael

            It shows how many “reasonable” people don’t actually use their reasoning powers. McMegan’s stuff is evidence-free, contradictory, and poorly written. I honestly don’t know how she gets away with it; she doesn’t even have the emotional kick of an Ann Coulter.

          3. Francois T

            “You’d be surprised how many “reasonable” people take McArdle as gospel.”

            If I may:

            You’d be surprised how many people who are sufficiently deluded to see themselves as “reasonable” take McArdle as gospel.

        2. matt


          You might of known about McArdle’s connections, but what good does that do the people that don’t necessarily have the time to keep with the dangerous stupidity that is the libertard blagoshere? Or people that rely on commentators and journalists (like yves smith, mark ames, yasha levine, mike elk, matt taibbi, doug henwood, etc, etc, etc) because they don’t have time to sort through the bullshit? Should they not be made aware of the connections people like McArdle have with oligarchs who want to turn our nation into a 3rd world shitehole for their own profit just because it’s oh so obvious to you and the rest of the trolls?

          1. gyges

            In my opinion, based on my experience, if you have the time read and to comment here, you have the time to research the talking heads they pay to spit at us. And, though you seem to think I criticize posting such expose, I never said a word about it not being worthwhile to expose, it was a critique that I tend to think of this blog as a much higher quality place than to run pieces from the likes of Ames. I’m fine with people disagreeing with me on that, as you might, but in so doing I got clobbered with claims of being a tool for the right, an idiot, an apologist of McArdle–even of being McArdle herself. And this experience is showing me that perhaps I am wrong, and this is just the sort of place that deserves that style of character assassination expose. C’est la Vie. Thanks for commenting Matt.

        3. j m kochevar

          gyges: “It’s an approach that teaches me little more than how gleefully people on his side of the fence will hold up his approach as something respectable…”

          i don’t think people “on his side of the fence” read him expecting to find a respectful approach. he’s kinda like a punk version of holden caulfield. i enjoy him in small doses…and ms. smith is wise enough to spice up her blog with him in those small doses.

          1. matt

            A punk holden caulfield? I think Ames deserves more credit than being compared to a whiney preppie like the protagonist in that overrated book.

        4. Bare Smellson

          “Uh, yeah, but as I said in my comment–the one you are replying to–I’ve long known she was this person. I knew it years ago, when I”

          Okay, sounds like a wonderful life you have there, but I believe you meant “Thanks for this posting this great piece at Naked Capitalism because I agree with it completely”

    4. YankeeFrank

      I see, so partying with people at a political “institution” that has specific “libertarian” interests and positions, is not in any way relevant to the point that this woman is in no way a journalist or an objective source on anything. Please. Ames is doing God’s work (though I’m sure he wouldn’t put it that way ;) over at the Shame project and ExiledOnline. Go float your balloons elsewhere troll. And take that idiot McCardle with you. Not only is she a stupid, ignorant, sheltered and pampered little rich p.o.s., but she’s an ugly snaggle-toothed slag as well. Its sad when people can’t cut it in legit society so they have to whore themselves out to plutocrats in order to have any friends and make a living at all.

      NYPIRG is evil because they make you canvass in poor neighborhoods. Ick! Gross!

      The Foreign Service doesn’t look kindly on applicants who will only work in Paris. Um, yeah, they are not amused by pampered princesses who don’t take the FS seriously.

      The irony here is that McCardle couldn’t cut it in the “free market” job scene she supposedly worships and instead has to carry water for libertarian pseudo-intellectual poseurs in order to earn a paycheck. She’s just a whore, but at least honest whores don’t pretend to love their johns. She is repulsive in the extreme. Any schmuck can get on the Koch payroll, all they have to do is write disgusting screeds blaming the victims for the crimes committed by the wealthy. Most people would refrain on moral and ethical grounds from doing such work. Not McCardle. With all the advantages she had growing up the fact that she wound up as a stooge for the Kochs is all the evidence anyone needs to prove she is a talentless hack. The fact that she has any influence at all is testimony to the need for people like Ames to take her down. Apparently the “liberal media” are too corrupted and stupid to ignore her drivel on their own.

      Good job Ames. I’m donating to Shame once again!

      1. SR6719

        YankeeFrank: “Not only is she a stupid, ignorant, sheltered and pampered little rich p.o.s., but she’s an ugly snaggle-toothed slag as well.”


        Awesome take down, YF.

      2. DrunktankDan

        Hey guys! Its NOT JUST AMES! Give Yasha some f’in credit too. Hell, he spearheaded the whole SHAME project from what I can tell. Yasha is an oldschool boots on the ground journalist. His pieces have a little less venom than Ames’, a slightly more straightforward political tone, which is why I suspect much of the SHAME output is his.

      1. gyges

        Thank you, I appreciate that Lambert.

        But look at the level of discourse on display. In stating my opinion that I *agreed* with the conflicts of interest shown, but find Ames and his approach distasteful and undermining the quality of the blog, I magically become a full-of-shit tool of the right defending their paid shills. Somewhere along the way it became unwise to do anything other than cheer here, so no point in commenting on the topic any further. I’ll just keep reading the articles which tend be good, and lament the loss of the comment section to the sort of personalities who have made so many other popular blog comment sections unreadable. Win Win.

        1. Bare Smellson

          I magically become a full-of-shit tool of the right defending their paid shills.

          Is that how that happened to you? Magic?

          1. gyges

            Are you not getting me? How many times in different ways can I say that I don’t respect McArdle and KNOW she’s a paid mouthpiece? I said it in my first sentence of my first comment. It’s seems you aren’t satisfied until I engage in the Two Minute Hate to prove that I’m not carrying their water. But in so doing, you send me the signal that to comment here, I have to be a cheerleader for everything posted here. That’s not conversation, that’s an echo chamber.

          2. WhuddaThunkIt

            No, gyges, it is you who is stuck in an echo chamber, in which the intellectual manipulations used to distract and undermine any efforts against the hegemony have become your parimary concern – rather than the ugly abyss that is national political discourse. You don’t like Ames’ tone of voice? WELL TOO FUCKING BAD. You can file your emotional greivances under “Get To This Once We Deal With Budding Fascist New World Order.”

      1. gyges

        Thank you, I appreciate that Lambert.

        But look at the level of discourse on display. In stating my opinion that I *agreed* with the conflicts of interest shown, but find Ames and his approach distasteful and undermining the quality of the blog, I magically become a full-of-shit tool of the right defending their paid shills. Somewhere along the way it became unwise to do anything other than cheer here, so no point in commenting on the topic any further. I’ll just keep reading the articles which tend be good, and lament the loss of the comment section to the sort of personalities who have made so many other popular blog comment sections unreadable. Win Win.


    5. Bare Smellson

      This reminds me of the time that you came on here trying to cover for a corrupt moocher idiot with a fake “Well I agree but” comment, and got your ass kicked around the room and then handed back to you

      Good times

  3. wbgonne

    This is good an necessary work but I have long maintained that what Progressive need most is a Project Shame for sellout Democrats and self-proclaimed liberals. Let’s face it: The Koch Brothers and the GOP don’t care what Progressives think about Megan McCardle, neither does she, presumably. The rot that is killing us is inside. It is far past time to go after the frauds who pass as “Liberal Opinion Leaders” (“LOLs”). Folks like Greg Sargent, Josh Marshall, Ezra Klein, Kevin Drum, Matt Yglesias and you probably know who else. It is these LOLs who prop up the sellout frauds in the Democratic Party leadership (Obama, et al). If we want to move the country Left we must first move the Democratic Party Left. The GOP will follow or collapse. The first step is to identify, shame and shun those who betray their professed Progressive principles in exchange for cocktail party invitations and pats on the head from the plutocrats.

    1. JTFaraday

      I had a similar reaction. I’m not sure McCardle warrants a “Wall of Shame” because generally speaking, it doesn’t seem to me that she’s pretending to be something she’s not.

      Josh Marshall, on the other hand, that’s a good one.

      1. gyges

        “I’m not sure McCardle warrants a “Wall of Shame” because generally speaking, it doesn’t seem to me that she’s pretending to be something she’s not.”

        Agreed. Might as well try to ‘shame’ Ann Coulter.

        And as an independent who tends to vote for neither party, I won’t be holding my breath for S.H.A.M.E. to be lambasting the more left-leaning shills any time soon. A look at S.H.A.M.E.’s profiles page doesn’t inspire much confidence in that regard.

        1. WhuddaThunkIt

          Wow, you’re completely full of shit!

          It doesn’t take more than 10 minutes on ExiledOnline to realize these guys are just as thorough in dishing the dirt on poser leftists and the liberal establishment as they are in stomping on the rat’s nest that is the libertarian movement.

          You’re either an uninformed idiot or intentionally derailing the conversation.

          1. gyges

            Perhaps you didn’t read what I wrote. I said SHAMES profiles page, as in, the page of profiles at SHAMES’s site. There are under 10 profiles there, and they’re mostly on the right, so I said said that does not give me confidence. Because it doesn’t. But thank you for showing me that just giving my opinion here makes me full of shit. Great place.

      2. William

        I saw plenty of “pretending to be what she is not” in this article, plus a lot of hiding of who she is and who she associates with.

        1. JTFaraday

          Sure, I don’t object to “McMegan” having a “Wall of Shame.”

          But the “Wall of Shame” concept is being sold under the sign of “media transparency,” and given the contents of McCardle’s own quotes, she’s pretty frickin’ transparent already, unless you have reading comprehension issues. It’s interesting to know if she has Koch connections, but any reader can already note her biases for themselves.

          Thus, I would find Josh Marshall or any one of Washington’s trojan horse media liberals a much more interesting study.

          Partly, this is because since the Clinton Administration and since 2000, with the War in Iraq, the liberal cadres have in the position of saying one thing to appeal to their traditional liberal media audience while actually morphing their private opinions in a more oligarchical direction. Today, we see that pan out in the general failure to criticize Obama. They finally are where they actually wanted be.

          Muckrake that. McCardle is “McMegan” because we’ve long known who she is.

          1. gyges

            “…and given the contents of McCardle’s own quotes, she’s pretty frickin’ transparent already, unless you have reading comprehension issues.”


            Long before I ever looked into McArdle’s background and associations, her words in print and on the occasional television appearance left me no real doubt where she was coming from. And seeing her be so amusingly wrong along the way only buttressed my poor opinion. Anyone fooled by Megan McArdle–and people like her–just aren’t showing much media savvy, IMHO.

          2. JTFaraday

            Well, possibly some people object to McCardle blogging at the venerable Atlantic, as opposed to some libertarian political organ.

            But then their quarrel is with The Atlantic, which will probably just respond to the effect that they “seek to represent a diversity of viewpoints,” which is a perfectly legitimate editorial policy to have.

          3. alex

            “It’s interesting to know if she has Koch connections, but any reader can already note her biases for themselves.”

            You’re missing the point. You can find a writer with any set of biases you like, but why does _her_ writing get so much exposure and promotion? Is it because of her quality as a writer, or because she’s bankrolled by the Kochs? This is more about Koch influence than about McArdle.

          4. reprobate

            Now we are trying out the talent myth. The same thing applies to writing as to singing and acting. Per a Time Warner exec: “There are lots of pretty girls that can sing. It takes millions to make a star.”

            There are tons of good writers out there. Who gets a platform is largely due to connections and luck.

          5. JTFaraday

            “You’re missing the point. You can find a writer with any set of biases you like, but why does _her_ writing get so much exposure and promotion.”

            Because she says pretty frickin’ transparent things and you guys run and tell each other and she gets lots of page hits.

            I already conceded it’s “interesting to know” if she has Koch connections. It would be nice if some of the outraged could actually clarify if she had the connections before she got the gig at the Atlantic, or if she and Koch got together after she got the page hits saying pretty frickin’ transparent things. That would also be “interesting to know,” but that’s about it.

            Good grief, it’s like you woke up yesterday. As far as crappy bloggers and other pundits who don’t really warrant having the jobs they have, also so what. A dime a dozen.

            How did Matty and Ezzy get their jobs at the American Prospect? That would also be interesting to know.

          6. Nathanael

            Matt and Ezra can both put together a coherent argument with actual evidence.

            McMegan can’t. Her stuff *doesn’t make sense*. She’s actually stupid. This raises the question of why she was hired, and the only possible answer is wingnut welfare.

            We wouldn’t ask the question of why William Buckley was hired — he was reprehensible, but he was a smart and competent writer. McMegan is not smart and she is not a competent writer.

      3. YankeeFrank

        What you are all missing is that the “liberal” media give people like her way more cred than they ever deserved. She actually does influence “the debate” amongst mainstream journos, so this work IS important.

        1. JTFaraday

          I finds the very idea that anyone is “influenced,” as in actually persuaded to change their opinion, due to McCardle’s schtick a highly dubious claim.

          That she may be well linked by those seeking to make a point, that I would believe.

          What that means is that if she dropped off the face of the earth tomorrow, they would link to someone else.

          I’m not missing the point. You misunderstand how hacks work.

          1. YankeeFrank

            I think you forget how stupid and craven MSM journalists are. They won’t necessarily link to her, but in their disgusting pursuit of false “balance” they will read her drivel and add it to the right side of the page, if you get me.

  4. Andrew

    I’m a big fan of this site, but this makes me feel icky.

    I used to read Megan McArdle at The Atlantic, and I disagreed with her a lot and had my own criticisms of how she made her arguments (e.g. she would consistently move the evidentiary burden around depending on whether a proposition fit with her argument or not), but this doesn’t pass Occam’s razor.

    I guess she could be a secret agent for Koch since going to her expensive prep school, but isn’t it more likely she’s just an articulate libertarian, who has been supported over time by people who benefit from the existence of prominent articulate libertarians?

    Saying somebody “runs cover for Koch interests” and is a “covert republican party activist” implies personal relationships and personal dishonesty, rather than just a very, very broad philosophical overlap and attending panel discussions.


    ps I really do love the site, it is a truly impressive body of work.

    1. sidelarge

      I suspect you have just offended quite a few libertarians out there by calling her an “articulate libertarian.”

      I wonder if you feel the same way after watching her defending JP Morgan (or was it GS) in a little debate vs. Taibbi on TV. That was such a ridiculous defense, which created a very awkward atmosphere in the studio, that I highly doubt any serious libertarian would want to be associated with her.

      1. Andrew


        Should have worded that more carefully. I think it’s valuable that she makes a case against some things that otherwise get a free pass (e.g. 30 year fixed rate mortgages as linked in the story above), but I don’t mean to associate her with rigorous principled libertarians.

      2. Nathanael

        The most noticeable thing about McMegan is that she is *not* articulate, despite which she keeps getting paid to write articles.

        This points towards wingnut welfare.

    2. damian

      “Saying somebody “runs cover for Koch interests” and is a “covert republican party activist” implies personal relationships and personal dishonesty, rather than just a very, very broad philosophical overlap and attending panel discussions”

      …….effects of formaldehyde, which causes cancer in humans. McArdle mocked those dangers

      “very broad philosophical”……doesnt sound like a philosophy to me – sounds like a promoter and a boot licker

      the chemical in question is a serious problem – and major profit center for Koch

      for whatever reason…. you are ignoring the obvious!

    3. David Aronson

      Just want to associate myself with those expressing dismay at this posting, especially in the context of the deep admiration I usually feel for the work on this site. The other side engages in this sort of rhetoric, not us.

      1. reprobate

        What are you talking about re “rhetoric”? Again and again on this thread, various posters say they con’t like the “rhetoric” but look to be trying to paint this piece as similar to the sort of vehement language Ames frequently uses. Tell me specifically what you think is wrong with the tone and the information presented.

    4. YankeeFrank

      I see, so getting paid lots of money by Koch-funded institutions is in no way relevant. She just agrees with them. If I have to read any more naive silliness from commenters on NC I’m going to have to stop reading the comments altogether, or risk blowing a blood vessel.

      Getting paid by the Kochs, having a husband who’s entire career is a Koch-funded gig — these are CONFLICTS OF INTEREST. Do you have no familiarity with the concept? She poses as a journalist that makes arguments based on fair-minded logic and fact, when in reality she takes money for her opinions. The facts about her pimping for formaldehyde (formaldehyde for chrissakes!), which directly supports Koch interests is clear and direct proof of her corruption. If you think that is a just a coincidence you are a joke.

      Apparently many people don’t understand the concept of a conflict of interest: getting paid by those you write about or in support of is a conflict of interest. Period. One doesn’t need to prove intent or prove a direct pay for play arrangement. The mere fact of the payment is all that is needed. If you think you can be paid by someone and then be objective about them means you are naive at best, stupid at second-best and corrupt at worst. Go read the research and philosophy behind the concept before proudly displaying your ignorance on NC.

      1. Susan of Texas

        McArdle believes that if you announce you have a conflict of interest, you are automatically negating that conflict of interest. She says “everyone must be paid by someone” and that she “donated her time” to the IHS dinner and the Koches because she agrees with the IHS’s ideology. When she made this statement she lied by omission, deliberately not mentioning all the times they did pay her.

        1. YankeeFrank

          Exactly Susan of Texas. There should be a disclaimer before everything she writes, just like adverts — “This is an advertisement for Koch Industries, Inc.”

        2. YankeeFrank

          And “everyone must be paid by someone” is such a specious and annoying “argument”. It purposefully ignores and denies the existence of real conflicts of interest. By her logic judges shouldn’t have to recuse themselves from cases where they have an economic interest, because “everyone must be paid by someone”. Its such an obvious and ridiculous rationalization that could only be made by someone who (a) has absolutely no respect for her readers, and (b) thinks she is much better at making an argument than she actually is, and (c) is actually not very bright. I mean, she isn’t really even trying when she makes arguments like this. But of course this type of argument informs all of her “work”. You’d think the Kochs could do better for their money. She is incredibly lazy frankly — I’ve read way better libtard propaganda than the drivel she drools over at the Atlantic. But then again, Ross Douthat is at the NY Times. What passes for intelligence on the right is truly pathetic.

          1. alex

            “she isn’t really even trying when she makes arguments like this”

            True, but as the old saying goes, quantity has a quality all its own. And that’s the strategy of most successful propaganda campaigns, to generate such a quantity of garbage that it’s inescapable and drowns out the opposition. Like Big Brother on the telescreen, you may know it’s garbage, but it inevitably influences you if you’re bombarded by it 24/7.

            Pointy headed people, like most of the denizens of this site (including, I like to think, myself) may prize quality (as in logic, facts, etc.) but in terms of overall effect, it’s secondary at best.

          2. Nathanael

            Both of you make important points. She is lazy and stupid, and the Koch Brothers *could* get smarter hacks (actually, they have several who are better writers).

            But she serves a very specific purpose: that of pumping out vast waves of inarticulate garbage in order to confuse people. At that, she is very good.

  5. Working Class Nero

    Yes this Megan McArdie is pure Koch-trained evil. Just one more example, strangely not mentioned in this post, is her article in The Atlantic, Georgia’s Harsh Immigration Law Costs Millions in Unharvested Crops in which she repeats typical Big Ag propaganda that if the borders are not immediately opened so that swarms of cheap labourers can flood into the country, then all the crops are going to rot in the fields. Nowhere mentioned is that in 2011, Americans farmers scored their highest profits ever, with more than $100 billion in profits, thanks in large part to a continuous lowering of farm wages through the use of semi-slave illegal infiltrators. Just think how much better off Americans would be if these greedy Big Ag corporations had limited themselves to say $50 billion in profits and used the rest to pay liveable wages so that actual Americans could pick their crops.

    Same thing happened with Adam Davidson, who was recently featured in this series. He has a doozy of anti-working class propaganda called Q&A: Illegal Immigrants and the U.S. Economy on the NPR website in which he repeats mindless libertarian, Open Borders talking points about how illegal immigration magically does not lower native working class wages. But for some strange reason Mark Ames never mentions this extreme right wing Open Borders hack job.

    These omissions could lead the average working class person to the conclusion that Mark Ames actually agrees with the anti-working class, Open Border, Ayn Rand-inspired, mass illegal immigration views of Megan McArdie and Adam Davidson.

    1. WhuddaThunkIt

      Or maybe immigrants are part of the working class, too, so the issue isn’t as cut and dry as “show them the door and buy American.”

      Look at the European social democracies, or Japan – for decades they had relatively controlled immigration flows and domestic labor markets insulated from the most brutal of capitalists’ exploitation. But now the working class in those countries is learning that your legal protections don’t count for shit if the ruling class wants more – and if you are isolated, there is little you can do to fight back.

      1. Working Class Nero

        I have no issue with LEGAL immigrants; they may very well be part of the working classes and suffer lower pay along with the rest due to ILLEGAL immigrants and off-shoring. Europe and Japan have Social Democratic parties only because they are (were in the case of Europe) culturally homogenous and so the bottom 60% were able to combine as a faction to force a fair deal from the rich. The best strategy for the wealthy of course is to divide the lower classes into smaller factions and to then force these groups to fight among themselves for small privileges the rich may grant, all while the rich are concentrating wealth upwards. The Left in America are more than enthusiastic in dividing the people with identity politics to the benefit of the rich. The Right are as well but that is logical since their job is to make the rich richer.

        The suffering of the working classes in Japan and Europe is much less than in the US (just look at the Gini scores). That’s because in Europe and Japan there are only being hit primarily by the off-shoring part of globalization, but not as hard as in the US. Europe’s welfare states are being stressed pretty heavily by their rather large third world immigrant populations though.

        1. WhuddaThunkIt

          Europe’s welfare states will collapse regardless in the capitalists’ efforts to maintain the international supremacy of the West. The more the working class accepts the rickety legal framework used to scapegoat immigrant – or some immigrant – workers for the contradictions of capitalism, rather than working to fulfill the great potential of man united worldwide, the more likely we will have little power to prevent the catostrophic options the ruling class will eventually begin to consider, and sketch, and begin to implement..

  6. Leviathan

    This is rubbish. McArdle’s work rises or falls on its own merit, and among the Talkocracy of modern American media she is one of the more enlightening and readable voices. She leans right. Others lean left. Big friggin deal.

    Every summer that I can I go to a tiny town on the outer reaches of Cape Cod (Truro) which has fabulous beaches and very expensive real estate. I always run into David Corn, who now has plenty of dough to buy a second home there. Good for him. He works hard. But it is the height of hypocrisy for one of the leading “lefty” journalists to hobnob with millionaires and billionaires. Go to Martha’s Vineyard if you really want to see lefty writers on a spree. Who funded their “training?”

    Most American universities are indoctrination camps for the left. Most American writers are from the upper middle class. Once they have established reputations they can write whatever they please and their careers will rise or fall based on who wants to pay for their blather. It’s about as meritocratic a system as remains in this once proud capitalist system. Clearly, this can’t be allowed to stand. Call in the hit teams.

    1. YankeeFrank

      Nice try. Respectable journalists refuse payment from those they report on. Its journalism 101. McCardle is a walking conflict of interest. David Corn having some money is irrelevant. Its where the money comes from that matters. McCardle’s entire life is financed by the Koch’s — her career began with them, and her husband is a full-time Koch-employee. These are direct conflicts of interest — getting paid by those you report on is a de facto conflict and immediately disqualifies one from any claims to be an independent journalist. Period. End of story. Its a nice try to attempt to muddy the waters but you fail.

      I used to read Glenn Greenwald quite a bit. It turns out he took money for speeches before the Cato Institute. From then on his reporting is suspect to me. Don’t try to claim there is some kind of double standard because universities are supposed “liberal indoctrination camps” or some such drivel. One pays to attend a university. Attending a supposedly liberal college doesn’t create a conflict. Again, nice try but you lose.

      1. ks

        McArdle is who she is. The shame belongs to The Atlantic, Newsweek and The Daily Beast for hiring an obviously unqualified commentator.

        Hey, YankeeFrank and Charlie, why not post your pictures so we can see what Adonis’s you both are?

      2. citalopram

        Greenwald reports on civil liberties violations, which I so happen to agree with. I don’t see the man making apologia for corpratism, although there may have been some of that in the past. I don’t know.

        Frankly, I think the left and libertarians can agree on the issue of civil liberties and foreign policy. I think it would be wise to work together on that front.

        Economics is another matter…

        1. WhuddaThunkIt

          No apologia for corpratism? Two words: Citizens United.

          And I’m sorry, but libertarianism doesn’t allow for even the aknowledgment of most civil (and human) rights violations. We have nothing to work on together. You know, it’s funny – Greenwald’s own stuff on Citizens United lays bare how intricately connected economic repression and the libertarian philosophy of freedom are.

      3. Capo Regime

        “Respectable Journalists” Thats a good one? Where do these creatures now live? They cover the white house presumably? Wall Street? Ha, ha, ha, ha……..

        1. YankeeFrank

          There are actually quite a few — Greg Palast is one off the top of my head. Mark Ames and Yasha Levine. Matt Taibbi. And you may not consider her as such, but I do — Yves right here on NC. She doesn’t take money from the miscreants she writes about, and if she did, she knows her moral standing, as well as her credibility, would take a hit.

          Of course the MSM is entirely tainted, but there are still honest journalists out there, so your cynicism is not warranted.

          1. Capo Regime

            Really? There are about 50,000 professional journalists in the U.S. in fact 15,000 attended the democratic convention. You cite a handful and this is cause for celebration? Newsflash Pew shows record distrust of media. Cycnicism well warranted.

      4. JTFaraday

        “used to read Glenn Greenwald quite a bit. It turns out he took money for speeches before the Cato Institute. From then on his reporting is suspect to me.”

        Well, I’m sorry to hear that, but somehow I doubt that anyone is going to lose much sleep over your mental purification rites unless you got a lot more than that.

        As fas as I can tell, Greenwald has said over and over again that he did study on drug legalization, funded by Cato. People do take money to do studies, and from organizations with biases, and his study can stand or fall on its own merits. But I see you’re not evaluating his work. You’ve already decided.

        Or do you prefer the model where only the independently wealthy study anything?

        Meanwhile, for my money, the eXiled fomented campaign against Greenwald just because he calls himself a “civil libertarian” and specializes in civil liberties– as opposed to specializing in “progressive economic issues” as you crazy f**k-nuts insist he must— is the very definition of insanity.


        1. YankeeFrank

          I have been reading Greenwald for years, and I appreciate a lot of the work he’s done. My point wasn’t that he has lost ALL credibility by taking money from “special interests”, its that his credibility is weakened somewhat — and that I read him more carefully — you do know he actually wrote a defense of Citizen’s United, or at least a rationalization for it, right? Now, he may feel deep down that, as the law of the land, we should respect that decision. But something rubs me the wrong way about it now that I know he’s taken money from the leviathan that, for our purposes, wrote that decision. See how it works? Its not a purification ritual, or whatever you wrote to denigrate my point — its a corrosive sort of thing that occurs when you take money from dirty sources. It taints you, and your motives are suspect forever after, especially when discussing topics that bear directly on that dirty money. I mean, fer chrissakes — if you had a lawyer that was representing you in a libel suit who you know was taking (“earning”) money from the very party you are accused by, you would certainly get a new lawyer. The very suggestion of a conlict is enough to taint their representation. The principle is the same with journalism.

          Taking money from those who have a stake in your reporting, like the Koch-created and funded Cato Institute, is not wise if you want to be taken seriously as an independent journalist. Now, taking that to the level of a McCardle, who is a walking conflict of interest, and we see how completely one can be discredited for the act of taking money from the wrong sources.

        2. WhuddaThunkIt

          THIS. I love this. People like JT can be presented a detailed litany of complaints against a sell out, carefully annotated to document his cultural and financial allegiance to the ruling elite – and still send it right back, unread, accusing the messenger of a blinding bias.

          Either do your homework or blow it out your ass, JT.

    2. WhuddaThunkIt

      “Proud capitalist system”? “Most American universities are indoctrination camps for the left”? And every other summer, a journey to the expensive mansions of Cape Cod?

      You’re doing it all wrong. You’re supposed to imitate when you infiltrate, you idiot! Ask your boss for more training.

    3. Nathanael

      You think McArdle is “enlightening” and “readable”?!?

      Take some courses in logic, rhetoric, and standards of evidence, please. She is neither enlightening nor readable. Give me Radley Balko any day!

  7. minty

    I’d say this was unfair hit-piece, except there aren’t any damning hits in it. It’s just a semi-accurate list of jobs she has had.

    “In May 2009, McArdle led a smear campaign against New York Times reporter Ed Andrews who published a book about how he went broke under the weight of mortgage and credit card debt.”

    I remember this. McArdle quite reasonably pointed out that the author’s wife had filed for bankruptcy multiple times, so there might have been other things going on than mortgage and credit card debt.

    Josh Foust was an honest-to-goodness villain shilling for some of the world’s most horrific dictators. McMegan is just.. a hardworking conservative blogger, possibly in a little over her head, who has attracted some of the smartest conservative commenters/trolls to her blogs. I dunno.

    1. YankeeFrank

      Read up on the concept of conflicts of interest. McCardle has earned significant income from those she directly and indirectly reports on. She herself has earned income from these sources, and her husband is a full-time Koch employee. She has multiple conflicts of interest with Koch interests — she is paid by them and she reports on subjects and industries that are directly relevant to their interests. Anyone claiming to be a journalist who takes payment from those they report on is immediately disqualified from any claim to objectivity and balance. If you enjoy reading propaganda by all means continue to read her garbage.

    2. alex

      “there aren’t any damning hits in it”

      It establishes a pattern. Her income depends, and has long depended, heavily on the Kochs. That’s a paid propagandist, not a journalist. To claim otherwise requires laughable naivety.

    3. reprobate

      Wow, talk about having a point of view and not being open to new information. The piece says why her basis for discrediting (which was effective) was misleading. This matters because his book was a confessional that showed that people who got over their head in debt weren’t greedy shysters. Denting that stereotype is counter to the conventional conservative narrative.

      Put more simply, you’ve simply tried to dismiss the point rather than present a real counterargument.

    4. TK421

      “McMegan is just a hardworking conservative blogger”

      Hard-working? She can’t be bothered to formulate real English sentences in terms of spelling and grammar, let alone populate those sentences with original thinking or groundbreaking research. Every job she’s ever had she got from a connection, and she stays employed because she says things that favor those who write the checks.

    5. minty

      I think a post like this attracts a lot of comments because it has low barriers to entry for lay readers like myself. I have read some McArdle, and therefore I have an opinion of McArdle, which you must all hear!

      I still think the vitriol is unfair, perhaps because I’ve *never* thought of her as a disinterested reporter. She’s always been a rightwing opinionator a la David Frum or Clive Crook or, well, Peter Suderman.

      I agree with Kevin Drum’s sentiment from 2006:
      One of the most inexplicable tropes of the liberal blogosphere is its howling disdain for Megan. I guess it all goes back to the moronic “two-by-four” controversy, but it really ought to stop. She writes a perfectly sane, opinionated, moderately libertarian, occasionally obsessive, sometimes provocative blog. I don’t often agree with her, and at times I find her maddeningly obtuse, but I’m sure she feels the same about me. In other words, she’s a totally normal blogger. Michelle Malkin she ain’t.

      Anyway, comments are disabled on this post. I don’t need the grief. But folks really ought to get a grip.

      ^ of course, he would have to disable comments for that one (lol).


      As far as trolls, it’s common sense to me that they would seek to derail sites like Naked Capitalism and Glenn Greenwald’s post, two of the most vital progressive sources of information on the web. Glenn has certainly had an infestation of moronic early bird comments that get inexplicable upvoted.

      However, I would look for the trolls to be particularly active on policy threads, not on less-substantial threads such as this one.

  8. armchair

    Project S.H.A.M.E. is fantastic. If anyone from the Atlantic bothers to read these comments, please know that McArdle is the number one reason I stopped subsrcribing to your magazine. Not only that, but I influenced my mother to stop subscribing and I have let many others know that I thought Atlantic had gone down the tubes, so that they aren’t tempted to subscribe. I still get marketing letters asking me to come back and start subscribing. I would never rule out a comeback for the old magazine, but who has time to worry about it? Everytime I think of the Atlantic I think of McArdle’s transparently awful opinions. She disguised her motives poorly, and it was obvious she was selling poison pills. I never knew she was an operative, but her arguments and conclusion were always nauseating and thanks to S.H.A.M.E. I have a much better understanding of her.

    1. Leviathan

      You are very powerful indeed. And right you are, too. Why should anyone ever see anything in print that doesn’t conform with how YOU see the world? Such things should not exist. They should certainly not ever touch the right-thinking journalism with which YOU agree! Cooties, perhaps?

      1. YankeeFrank

        You are confusing two issues, I think on purpose. Not wanting to hear opposing opinions is one thing. Armchair has written nothing to suggest a lack of will to hear differing opinions. What armchair is opposed to is paying to be propagandized by an obvious Koch-troll. The Atlantic should be ashamed for giving a platform to a clearly conflicted “blogger” like McCardle. Nice try though.

        1. Leviathan

          There is something demented,sad, and potentially dangerous about taking legitimate political disagreements, spin, and bias and framing them as a Manichean battle between Good and Evil.

          I do not swallow whole the bilious offerings of either side. I refuse to see those I disagree with portrayed as inhuman monsters. I refuse to go along with attempts to portray those I mostly agree with as knights in shining armour. I would never tell my friends and family to shun publications, and I wouLdnt associate with anyone who would listen to my paranoid fantasies.

          Grow up Koch-hating retards.

          1. Nathanael

            McMegan is both dishonest and genuinely stupid.

            Run through Brad DeLong’s blog for some examples of both dishonesty, and sheer irrationality, from McMegan.

            Or if you want to know how dumb she is, you could just look at the examples up top:

            “Here’s the thing: humans aren’t like bonobos. And do you know how I know that we are not like bonobos? Because we’re not like bonobos.”

            “I’ve basically outsourced my opinion on the science to people like Jonathan Adler, Ron Bailey, and Pat Michaels of Cato . . .”

            Yeah. Stupid. Why is someone who is stupid, mentally rigid, and intellectually incurious getting paid to be a pundit? That’s not what makes for a good pundit! Answer: this is welfare for wingnuts; the Koch Brothers bankroll her.

  9. roger

    Count me as one who loves Yves Smith, but wishes the Wall of Shame stuff would be, at most, linked to. At the most, this proves that the Koch Boys will invest in anything – Megan McCardle’s career has not exactly been that of a mover and a shaker. Now, call me when the wall of Shame is about Tim Geithner or someone with an ounce of importance.
    This, however, is simply a cut and paste job to prove the hyper-obvious: McCardle’s views and those of the Koch’s are synonymous. And? She’s not at all covert about this. Now, if she was into Dianetics, that would be covert. You can’t be less covert about being a Randian fantasist then by naming yourself Jane Galt.

    1. gyges

      “We are delighted to post the latest offering of Project S.H.A.M.E., a media transparency initiative led by Yasha Levine and Mark Ames.”

      Delighted. No really, delighted!

    2. YankeeFrank

      The reporting here is the fact that McCardle has numerous conflicts of interest in her “work”. She reports on subjects that those who pay her have a direct interest in. This invalidates her work and earns her the title of propagandist. You can pretend that such conflicts are de rigueur but they are not. The Shame project is important as it is educating people on the gross corruption of journalism that has occurred, and directly points a finger at the worst offenders, who enrich themselves by abusing the trust readers put in them that they are at least marginally objective when they are anything but.

      The Exiled/Shame reporters do NOT take money from those they report on. They are what is known as journalists. You may think this is a quaint notion but it is not.

      The professions have become more and more corrupt but that is not an excuse to give up, but a rallying cry to (re)enforce the ethics that make them “professions” in the first place. Lawyers are supposed to be officers of the court. This imposes a duty to maintain an ethical foundation in their work and behavior. Doctors take the hippocratic oath that imposes the duty to put the health of their patient before any other interest, and journalists have an ethical obligation to report the truth, which includes not taking payment from those with an interest in the subjects of their reporting. The fact that these ethical standards are abused is not an argument against their existence.

      Contrary to what you are pushing here, this work is extremely important and very worthy of NC. Just because you may support the views McCardle pushes doesn’t make this work less important. In fact, you should demand more from those you read.

  10. Jonathan Dean

    What on earth is this? Are the aspirations of Naked Capitalism not higher than being “delighted to post” this piece, ridden with inflammatory, hateful language? Think NC needs to re-orient its sense of mission.

    1. WhuddaThunkIt

      So Naked Capitalism gets your downvote for reposting hateful language, but you’ve got no problem with how the Atlantic went full whore mode on journalism? I find your outrage unconvincing.

  11. charlie

    I’d agree PIRG is pretty evil.

    Man, is she ugly. She may be articulate but is she dumb. And some sort of health problems. Insurance should just deny her coverage.

    Nothing about being roomies with Ygelisas?

    1. reprobate

      Wasn’t it Klein too? Proff that these “hit job” whiners are trolls. This piece didn’t punch below the belt.

      1. Bare Smellson

        Why don’t you spend a couple seconds educating yourself on what Ames and Levine think of Ezra Klein and Matt Yglesias on the eXiled site, as in, you are unable in your wildest dreams to imagine how much better Ames and Levine are at doing what you think you’re an expert at doing

  12. Robert

    Nice smear campaign by “shame.” No conflict of interest for them. Capitalism or fascism – what is this site about again?

    1. YankeeFrank

      Smear? Reporting facts about a public person who has clear and powerful conflicts of interest in their work is not smear. Its reporting. Something McCardle obviously needs to learn more about.

    2. Ms G

      McArdle is foisted on the petard of facts about her now inarguable status as a puppet for the Koch family. S.H.A.M.E. has laboriously and accurately collected these Facts into this expose. As it has in the previous installments which were equally factually solid and extremely useful to start ignoring and publicly outing propagandists who are masquerading as journalists.

      Unlike a “smear campaign,” which is a genre of writing dependent on innuendo (something different than factual information). If you do not have a problem with McArdle calling herself a “journalist” in view of her embedded conflics of interest tied to her financing and cultivation by the Koch family, then go ahead and keep reading what she writes. Just don’t be deluded that she is reporting as a journalist.

  13. Paul Tioxon

    Why this is important, is that while the subject of the expose may not be news to arch radicals, as you can see from the comments, not everyone at NC is an arch radical, left wing variety. The Koch family presents the need for just such a wall of SHAME, as presented here and hopefully reposted elsewhere. The father of the 2 brothers who fund the Mercatus Center founded the John Birch Society. Not all by himself of course, but his money and ideology pushed that crack pot organization from sea to shining sea in order to promote his gnarled and stunted vision of America. Like father, like son, the idea is to keep a psychological war operating that places ideas into the minds and mouths of countless thousands of adherents, who can erupt on a blog site, on an op ed page, in church after Mass or at a family function, creating a seamless culture of politics that extends with branches throughout society. Mc Cardle’s usefulness to her cause can be seen in the mush mouth defense of tea parties across the country by too many lazy reporters, who are seen as well meaning people, decent sorts you see in the supermarket, who have sparked a democratic umbrage of a uniquely patriotic and pure strain, organically sprouting like the sparrows of Capistrano, returning as a sign of a spring like re emergence of citizen politics from the ground up, a grass roots movement of plain speaking people, not Saul Alinsky styled community organizers from RED tainted handlers.

    The intimidation and the misdirection offered by proud right wing operatives, whether Ann Coulter or McCardle lets loose ideas that have a life of their own, even if they are unbearable ideological lies. And oligarchic wealth, passed from generation to generation via the tax laws and death tax annulment, funds an ideological causa sui projects of self perpetuating, dynastic thinking, that must be exposed by each new generation, and must be fought by each new generation, just as each heir to some fabulous fortune receives without effort, unearned wealth and income. Not everyone has lived long enough to see through the bullshit, which is why the patience to present the wall of shame will present for the first time to the young or simply the busy, who are not yet informed. Democracy has to be transmitted from generation to generation, just as wealth and power is inherited, from generation to generation. We have to learn on our own how to read and write, even though our parents and grand parents could do so. We have to learn how to build and operate democratic institutions and organizations from one generation to the next. Thanks to the Powell memo, the oligarchic dynasties have made an adaptive response to retain power by means of emulating the most august institutions of Western Civilization, the university and the scientific institute. Where scientific and technological progress comes from the universities, The Mercatus Center molds adherents to blunt political progress, Liberty University trains soldiers to block passage to social and cultural participation by mass producing attorneys and bloviating cranks get jobs at right wing think tanks, which of course is a contradiction in terms up there with military intelligence. But they all adopt the modern pose of reason, rationality, and enablers democratic consent. They are none of that at all and need to be repeatedly outed, repeatedly denounced and ruthlessly purged from the reputed positions of credibility.

    1. Jonathan Dean

      Spelling her name correctly (or even consistently) may add weight to your argument. You might also want to check whether the hyphen button on your computer is working.

      1. YankeeFrank

        Why? Who cares about spelling? Oh yeah, idiots who don’t have anything of any relevance to say. If you have an argument to make then do so. Otherwise take your big goofy head and stick it up your…

      2. Bob2

        Hilariously enough, it’s entirely likely “McCardle” was misspelled on purpose there, since it’s a running gag at how bad Megan is at spelling her own name and general spell checking, which is funny considering what you just did there.

    2. Rob

      Another point of irony as to where the Koch family got their money….in the beginning…it was from Stalin.In the twenties and thirties,the original kock was helping build a refining and pipeline infrastructure for Stalin’s soviet union……the irony of how thesenkoch funded shills and trolls rail against socialism and communism,when that is the root of their power.

    1. Paul Tioxon


      1. Bare Smellson

        I always wondered if Jonathan Dean’s employers would find the famous Jonathan Dean “pedophile posts” on here; I think a few of them are still around

    2. skippy

      Hi Jono,

      The 45-year-old investment researcher is one of four independent candidates in the upcoming provincial election. He’s also leader of the Atlantica Party, an unregistered group of about 15 members, which he describes as a “pragmatic libertarian” party aimed at fixing the “democratic deficit” of the current political system.

      According to their website, the Atlantica Party’s proposals include allowing voters to directly elect a non-partisan premier and giving constituents the power to “fire” their MLA, so as to “free the legislature from government manipulation.”

      Skippy… “free the legislature from government manipulation.” – hahahahahah…

  14. Mo

    I was delighted to see this.

    I think you made brad delong’s day!

    Can you do Amity Schlaes next – please, please, pretty please?

    Even he name annoys me,

    1. Capo Regime

      Making brad de longs day would also include a dozen doughnuts. De long should be taken down as the Krugman tool and nasty person that he is.

        1. Capo Regime

          Turnabout it fair play. De Long regularly insults people–frequently. So yeah I have no qualms calling him a nasty and fat sweaty jerk. I did not know I needed a credibility badge to post what I please. You should go work for homeland security .

    2. Nathanael

      If we’re going through right-wing hacks starting with the *dumbest*, then sure, go on to Amity Schales.

      But perhaps it would be worthwhile to work on some of the more dangerous ones? The really stupid ones are not the most dangerous.

  15. Herbie Hancock

    While I enjoy reading NC’s analysis, I could really do without posts like this. This seems to stray outside of NC’s wheelhouse. I did not read this post, but felt compelled to voice disapproval if it limits their recurence.
    Also, wouldn’t it be easier to call SHAME’s reports “Quell Surprise, People Aren’t Unbiased”? Might as well use some sarcasm on reports that uncover the obvious / already known.

    1. Lambert Strether

      Thank you for sharing your concerns. Your comment is very important to me. Please do not hesitate to comment again.

      NOTE Yep, a first-timer (at least under this handle). How droll.

      1. Ms G

        “I did not read this post, but felt compelled to voice disapproval if it limits their recurence.”

        Thank you very much for sharing about not reading the post upon which you are commenting.

        The Know-Nothing forum is over There.

  16. Susan of Texas

    Note that McArdle lied about her Koch connections, saying that she was making a full disclosure when she noted her husband was a Reason intern. When I pointed out her lie in the comments she made some snarky changes to her disclaimer but did not correct her lie. She went on book leave from the Atlantic right after that incident.

    McArdle also lied about Elizabeth Warren, leading a media attack against Warren by claiming Warren used shoddy and dishonest scholarship. When the left blogging media jumped on her false claims she was so cowered that she barely mentions Warren by name now.

    McArdle lied constantly throughout Obama’s attempt to pass his health care insurance “reform.” She claimed that 80% of all drug innovation came from American profits and therefore Americans must continue to pay high prices for drugs. Of course the Atlantic was receiving advertising from drug companies such as Astra-Zeneca at the time. When she held a Washington Post chat I asked her where she got her information and, no doubt out of hubris and the recklessness that comes from a career of lying successfully, she admitted that her number was “hypothetical.”

    McArdle is dangerous and dishonest. She aids and abets the worst excesses of the financial elite out of identification with them, a Koch-whore by nature as well as self-interest.

    Susan of Texas

    1. Capo Regime

      They all lie. So she is a right wing liar? The left wing liars are just as bad. Who is worse Ezra Klein or Megan M? Do you object to her because she is a hack or a hack who hacks for interests you do not like or adhere to? Is it o.k. to be a hack that caters to your tastes? The issue is not Koch vs say Soros sponsored hacks, the issue is hackery.

      1. Susan of Texas

        Since you do not know my ideology you are excited for no reason. We are all free to expose the lies of anyone. If you would like to do so for Klein, that would be great.

        1. Capo Regime

          I mention ideology generally in concept to make a point and whatever yours is does not matter. Me thinks she doth protest too much….

          What matters is that her behavior is pretty much the norm. Much is made of her “right wing” funders and that she is a covert republican operative–scandalous most “journalists” something like 80% vote democrative and are not so covert on their function as spokespeople for Obama and or the democratic party. Astra Zeneca also has bought the left by the way.

          1. Capo Regime

            I will hasten to add that whatever Megan M’s faults she is dead on Eliz Warrens sloppy and third rate work. That the lefties jumped on her and she backed down in no way implies that warren is a scholar and she is no native american either….

          2. Susan of Texas

            No, you mention ideology specifically; namely, Klein and Soros. Methinks he doth back off his statement when challenged.

            If her behavior is the norm we need more exposure of such tactics instead of merely saying that both sides do it, a transparent attempt to minimize McArdle’s actions. Your common right-wing attack on journalists ignores who actually pays those journalists–often corporations or corporate kingpins. Whoever has the gold makes the rules.

          3. reprobate


            You have just discredited yourself totally. I think Warren has discredited herself in her Senate run, but you are dead wrong on her scholarship. She’s probably the best regarded bankruptcy prof in the US, and the Harvard Bankruptcy Project was top drawer social sciences research. You’d be hard pressed to find better.

          4. bob

            This is the latest pundit catch-all…Well, the other side does it too….

            That does not make it acceptable. It should be called out, always and everywhere.

            It also does not remove the basis of evidence against the perp. One whiff of the “the other guys do it too” does not make the stink disapper. It makes it worse.

            It’s also a great way to segue into a “discussuion” about *anyone else*, preferrably someone on “the other side”.

            It turns the discussion into concern trolling pornography, everyone trying to outdo the other, kind of like this whole thread.

      2. alex

        Capo Regime: They all lie.

        Really? Frankly I’ve lied at least once in my life. How about you? Does that put us in the same league as Joseph Goebbels?

        “They all do it” is a weak defense, beloved of teenagers going through their nihilistic phase of false sophistication. Degree and frequency are of some importance, otherwise why listen to anyone? Does everyone have equal credibility (or lack thereof) in your eye, or do you pick and choose a bit.

        1. Capo Regime

          Not a teenager or hihilsitc.

          They all lie refers to contemporary journalists in America. I noted a couple of exceptions. Consistently in recent years most journalists are stenographers of interests or government.

          What you have evidence of courageous and objective reporting in say the last 4 years which afflicts the comfortable and comforts the afflicted? Other than a few blogs and the Mclachy organization can you honestly say American journalists as a rule are honest?

          Enough with waxing eloquent and trying to sound like a sophmore in philosophy class at a third rate college–you are saying american journalists are honest and that journalism serves a public interest? If I am a teenager you are a toddler and a dim one at that.

          1. alex

            “They all lie refers to contemporary journalists in America.”

            Obviously. There was no confusion on that point.

            “Consistently in recent years most journalists are stenographers of interests or government.”

            All too often, yes. But which ones are worse? Which are stenographers because they’re lazy and go with the flow, and which are actively nurtured and paid by certain of those interests like Megan and her hubby. If you want to criticize an entire institution, blanket statements like “they all lie” aren’t very convincing. It’s much better to pick some egregious examples like Megan and take them apart piece by piece.

            “most “journalists” something like 80% vote democrative”

            So are you saying that they’re bankrolled by the Democratic party or allied interests the way that Megan and her hubby are? Do you think there’s some conspiracy afoot to hire those leaning democratic? Do you have any evidence of this?

          2. Nathanael

            Something over 90% of practicing scientists vote Democratic — this is because the Republican party has gone completely insane. So I’m not surprised that 80% of journalists vote Democratic — it is a group of people who you would expect to have *some* information about what the Republican party is doing.

            It’s really only possible to vote Republican if you are either
            (1) ignorant
            (2) wilfully ignorant
            (3) self-hating
            (4) or a selfish short-term thinker who is part of the 0.1%.

            I wish we had two legitimate major political parties in the US. We don’t. We have one (the Democrats) and it sucks.

            The Republicans are a movement which is trying to abolish voting; that’s not a legitimate political party.

      3. Nathanael

        “The left wing liars are just as bad. ”
        Actually, they aren’t.

        – The right wing liars are astoundingly, ridiculously, obscenely dishonest about everything. See “Multiple Choice Mitt” for examples.

        – Occasionally a left-winger lies about a blowjob.

      4. Bare Smellson

        Why don’t you spend a couple seconds educating yourself on what Ames and Levine think of Ezra Klein and Matt Yglesias on the eXiled site, as in, you are unable in your wildest dreams to imagine how much better Ames and Levine are at doing what you think you’re an expert at doing

    2. Ms G

      Susan of Texas — this list of not very sophisticated but poisonous lies should have doomed McArdle’s career in anything except campaign advertising. Kudos to you for confronting her and sharing the reports with us.

  17. Susan of Texas

    Mr. Regime, I will be happy to provide you with my detailed analsis of McArdle’s work on Warren on request. It’s rather amusing; McArdle confuses or conflates number and percentage, among other things, and a good time is had by all.

    1. Ms G

      “conflates numbers and percentage” — holy toledo!

      somehow the likelihood that Ms McArdle “earned” a degree from U. Chi. seems increasingly slim.

  18. Mcmike

    In effect, this journalist gets a second set of paychecks from the Koch brothers, that is shameful.

    The fact that Koch financed jounalists tend to lie, distort, misrepresent, and hide conflicts of interest is disgracefull.

    The fact that the media has become overrun by an incestuous cabal of revolving door right wing hacks that rotate in and out of paid gigs as news writers, think tank fellows, and direct jobs for right wing political operations is a tragedy.

    1. ohmyheck

      Yes! This should off-set Jonathan Dean’s major announcement today that he is withdrawing his monthly financial support of NC and Ms. Smith.

      Thank you, sir!

  19. Paul Niemi

    If the aim of this post is to raise Megan McArdle’s profile, then you are succeeding, but not in raising alarm. In her defense, she actually earns a living writing, which is no small feat. That’s sink or swim, and no amount of support from any suspected source can help someone who is dull. She puts her opinions out there and defends them, like any other pundit.

      1. Nathanael

        McMegan does not earn a living writing; she is a paid operative. Since she *can’t actually write worth a damn*, it’s pretty obvious, isn’t it?

        1. Ms G

          And apparently she uses numbers and percentages interchangeably . . .

          Her screedy sentences strike me as appropriate for a new line of Koch Fortune Cookies. Not a piece in Newsweek. Or the Atlantic. Do the Koch brothers also pay for the ghostwriters who create “content fill” in between her Screedy Zingers (cough, opinions)?

    1. WhuddaThunkIt

      “No amount of support from any suspected source can help someone who is dull.”

      Have you ever read any of her work?

      Wait .. have you ever read _anything_ in Newsweek?

      1. Paul Niemi

        I’ll read her Newsweek piece, if I have time waiting at the barbershop. Certainly I have read her blog posts, and I’m sure you had the same opportunity to express your feelings about them as I had, by commenting there, directly to her. We did often disagree, but as a reader of Yves’ blog too, I find the mock seriousness projected in exposing McCardle’s erstwhile associations makes me grimace. Really, after the insinuation that she is a paid operative of the Koch brothers, what’s next? Will it also be said she was seen accepting envelopes with secret orders from Clarence Beeks?

  20. Susan the other

    I don’t listen to anyone on the right, whether far or near. And SHAME is always interesting because it reminds me in detail why I feel the way I do.

  21. Yancey Ward


    I would have thought an essay like this was way beneath you, but I have been proven wrong. Shame on you.

      1. Yancey Ward

        Ms. McArdle is one of the most thoughtful writers on economics and politics to be found in the world. That one might disagree with some of the positions she takes does not justify this bilge-filled hate screed Yves Smith just penned. I am embarrassed for Ms. Smith. She is usually much better than this.

        1. Susan of Texas

          Which of her thoughts do you like best? The one in which she said we won’t have a recession? The thoughts on the success of austerity? Her belief that Iraq’s economy is in shambles because of the Iraqis’ corruption and regulations, not because the US failed to replace the institutions they destroyed?

          1. reprobate

            I see you have personal definitions of words: “fact based critique of writer I like (or am allied with)” = “screed”.

            Nice try.

        2. reprobate

          Are you for real? I’m embarrased to find that you think you are in a position to judge writing on economics.

          1. ohmyheck

            Really, Yancy must be snarkin’ on us, am I right? My snark-o-meter has been malfunctioning lately, nearly as badly as Yves.

            Otherwise—–bwahahahahahaha! And thanks for the laugh, Yancy, either way.

          1. Susan of Texas

            I thought about that but it seemed like blog-whoring to me; I have a very small blog.

            However like all bloggers I like getting hits, so you might want to read more about McArdle at my blog.

        3. Nathanael

          Ms McArdle has never been known to think about economics at all. Her thoughtless screeds have been dissected extensively by real economists. She is massively ignorant about basic mathematics, as well as about economics. She has refused to admit this, of course.

        4. Bare Smellson

          Look at you – McArdle threw you a bone once, and now you’re her bitch for life. I hope you know that she stays where she is because the heads and shoulders of desperate people like you form a surface for her to stand on. I bet you’re one of her friends on Facebook and everything . . . plenty of “friends” like you for anyone who reaches her B-list status

  22. BRM3

    Naked Capitalism is better than this. This really doesn’t rise to the level of “insightful” that I have come to (unfairly, I admit) expect to be standard here over the past five years of my patronage. No matter how tempting or emotionaly satisfying it is to occassionally stoop to this basic level, I hope it doesn’t become common-place.

    1. YankeeFrank

      Stoop? To the level of reporting on propagandists who influence our ongoing political debate but have obvious conflicts of interest? Stooping to such heights is admirable. BRM3, get a clue.

    2. diplodocus

      it takes all kinds… clutchin’ them pearls, eh? try putting them in your (censored).. it’s a better waste of time!

    3. patrick

      It’s plenty insightful to those unaware of her connection to the kochs and right-wing think tanks. Are you the arbiter of news at naked capitalism? Cuz I thought that yves was….

  23. YankeeFrank

    Damn, this one has really brought out the libtards in force. Its sad that we have to edumacate them on what they should already demand from those whose work they read. To think yourself intelligent and independent-minded and then to read and follow the work of obvious propagandists just shows the lack of seriousness of thought among a certain part of the populace. Libertarians want to think of themselves as “free” and independent, but apparently many of them just want to be spoon-fed specious arguments made by propagandists and sophists that flatter their p.o.v. Pathetic.

    1. JustAnObserver

      Come on YF you must know by now that whenever there’s the slightest criticism of the libertarian strand the troll-rate goes through the roof, on this or any other blog. Doubly so if the crit makes the Koch tie-in explicit. Triply if her holiness St. Rand is in any way impuned.

      They’re such delicate, sensitive creatures that I sometimes think its almost cruel to take them down … but I quickly come to my senses.

      1. ohmyheck

        AND, they read….wait for it…Newsweek! OMG, you cannot make this stuff up! The comments here are one for the ages. Comedy Gold!

      2. YankeeFrank

        All I can say at this point is I am frickin’ exhausted from responding to all of them. The Koch-hordes have descended upon NC and we’re all using two swords, hacking off heads in every direction, and yet still they come!

        I wonder how many of them are paid by the Kochs. I mean seriously, damn! But don’t worry Yves, come tomorrow our swords shall be resharpened, and we will be ready for more from the Koch-horde. We will fight by day, we will fight by night, by land and by sea, to destroy the threat to humanity that is the idiot libertarian swarm!

      3. Bare Smellson

        My guess is that if you looked at stats, there are way more troll comments on Koch-mentioning threads than Rand-mentioning threads, for the simple reason that the Kochs are still living and still paying GMU undergrads minimum wage to surf around on the internet and post those very comments

        They are not very secretive about that – they run a summer camp for their Internet trainees that is mentioned in the story above, and they are due for another ad buy on Facebook any day now

      4. Up the Ante

        Technical Trolls, sole intent is to dissipate. Ignorance of what they intend to dissipate is what allows they continued existence.

  24. Patrick

    You never know what perspective is coming next from NC and what the reaction of the commenters will be, one reason I enjoy this blog so much. Jonathan Dean cancels his monthly financial support. The SHAME profile makes Andrew feel “icky.” The takeaway from this post is that Yves really knows how to challenge her readers.

    1. Patrick

      Another point occurs to me. Some comments have suggested that this profile is irrelevant because pundits both left and right are awash with conflicts of interest of the sort described. So because of that, it’s not worth pointing out McArdle’s?

      1. YankeeFrank

        Not just that, but its also NOT TRUE. There are many ethical journalists who toil away in solitude and poverty.

      2. Charles LeSeau

        “Some comments have suggested that this profile is irrelevant because pundits both left and right are awash with conflicts of interest of the sort described. So because of that, it’s not worth pointing out McArdle’s?”

        Yes, exactly. This is one of the recognized logical fallacies – things that were known back in antiquity – called by the Latin tu quoque, and certainly it is among the most abused in public discourse nowadays. An appeal to hypocrisy, i.e. “pot calling the kettle black” is ultimately meaningless, always trumped in the simplest way by “two wrongs don’t make a right.”

        It is okay, for example, for a smoker to say to someone else that smoking is bad for their health. It is indeed unhealthy – whether that smoker is “hypocritical” for being guilty of the habit or not.

      3. Bare Smellson

        Because some people will have problems with your rhetorical question: of course the vague hand-waving about “other people” happens whenever the facts come out because the people who say that shit are sociopaths, “look! Maybe I stole the candy but Johnny did too! I saw him I swear!”

  25. mcgee

    Knowing the background of all pundits is useful in judging their opinions/bias. I personally quit reading McArdle a few years ago.

    I support continuing the “Wall of Shame” posts.

    1. Capo Regime

      Its a great post. Megan M is a cretin. But and the but is that attacking her because of her links to the Koch Bros or attacks on St. Elizabeth Warren or the admin is besides the point. Left or right funded is not the point, the point is that so called journalists tend to all be like Megan M (save for Greenwald and Tiabi perhaps). The left wing supported or supporting journalists are just as slimy.

      Its the corruption of discourse and venality of Megan M that matters and getting too caught up on who she sides with is not the issue–many do not seem to mind the whoring of the journalists on the left and fact is there is more of them. Is a Koch Whore better than a Soros Whore? Is a SPLC Whore better than a Cato Institute whore? A whore is a whore no? Or do the ones on the left have a heart of gold?

      How about that Michael Lewis fellating the big O? How about Ezra Klein shilling for war and big Pharma.

      A Pox on both their houses (whores of the right and the whores of the left)

      1. Mcmike

        Re the idea that both sides do it, can you provide some evidence that the left has anything remotely equivalent to the network the Koch bros et al use to embed and compensate political operatives in the guise of journalists?

        A little more detail than just tossing around Soros’ name. Tell me about the revolving door network of think tanks, consultant gigs, fellowships, free promotion, speakers circuit, etc

      2. citalopram

        Whores to the left of me,
        Whores to the right, here I am,
        Stuck in the middle with you,
        Yes I’m stuck in the middle with you,
        Stuck in the middle with you.

      3. Nathanael

        There are Koch Whores, and yet somehow there is nobody getting cushy paid writing positions from the Southern Poverty Law Center. Why, perhaps there is some sort of *difference* between the Koch Brothers and the SPLC.

        No, no, we cannot suggest that! We must be “balanced” in our coverage! Hitler and Churchill are equally bad, right?

      4. Bare Smellson

        Its a great post. Megan M is a cretin. But and the but is that attacking her because of her links to the Koch Bros … is besides the point

        No it is exactly the fucking point because facts fucking matter; if you are going to dance for us you need to start spreading those legs and straddling the pole

        Your comments about how much Ames and Levine must love Ezra Klein prove you either a liar or a blind, scrabbling idiot incapable of operating a search engine; either way, your comments are useless

        1. Capo Regime

          For a worthless post it sure seems to have gotten your goat! What with the language–oh you paragon of intellect. Guess my post was pretty good! Do you eat with that mouth of yours?

  26. CaitlinO

    When I was flailing around starting in September ’07, trying desperately to inform myself about this sub-prime thing and determine how much of a threat it could be to my family, I discovered Yves first and Megan McArdle some time later. I read her blog regularly for a couple of years then stopped. It wasn’t only that many of her positions were offensive, she was just plain WRONG in so much of what she wrote. I decided at some point that her only value would be as a “reverse barometer,” per Richard Mulligan’s observation, and later decided that she wasn’t even worth reading for that.

    I would have arrived at my final conclusion much sooner if she had been honest about her Koch creature-hood and do not appreciate the deception/obscurity regarding that relationship. Shame on her and thanks for the revealing post.

  27. patrick

    The exiled just linked to this posting with the slug—“check out the troll activity on naked capitalism’s cross-posting of shame’s Megan mcardle profile.”—

    1. TK421

      Well shoot, I’d hate for people to come here to be disappointed.

      I’m shocked that NC would print this! Yves Smith is better than this! Megan is insightful and hard-working! Who cares who pays her bills? She does nothing wrong! Also, the wrongs she does are done by both sides, so who cares! I’m canceling my subscription!

      1. Bare Smellson

        She gave me a ride in her truck once and I leaned out the window and hung my tongue out and felt as though I were running really fast through a field of golden wheat

        1. Capo Regime

          Clearly you go for high end intellectual and cultural excitement. Such a talent for metaphors and rich language!

  28. bob goodwin

    I read the entire piece, and concluded exactly two things:

    1. Megan has opinions different than the author.
    2. She works for companies that receive funds from like minded rich people.

    Even the most inflamatory commend (the 2×4 one, is taken out of context. In context it is true on its face – violence works. Saying Stalin was successful is entirely different than saying Stalin was good.)

    I like debate, and varying opinions, which is why I read such biased opinion as what you have written here. You should read Megan.

    1. reprobate

      No, Megan has taken funding from various conservative sources and pretended she didn’t. Sorry, that’s an ethics problem, but I guess being a libertarian means never having to have ethics.

    2. Bob2

      Actually the 2×4 one, you should read the original source and the stuff you’d have to go to webarchive to find from

      There’s a long history with that one and the semi-apology (where she was insulting people all along) she gave for it years later

    3. TK421

      Yes, Stalin’s methods worked extremely well, which is why the USSR today is a communist superpower with a healthy infrastructure and a bright future.

      1. Bare Smellson

        Well, you have to realize that our little Koch whore here is projecting – Stalin’s methods were “successful”, because they worked on “bob goodwin”, but they weren’t “good”, because “bob goodwin” has a miserable grey life

    4. Bare Smellson

      Consign yourself to the garbage bin. Your mind is dead and you are no good to any of us except a drone, wandering through the world telling everyone how great it is that they “have opinions”

  29. Peter Pinguid Society

    Here at the Peter Pinguid Society, my assistant had to tell me who Megan McArdle is.

    With an average net worth over $250 million and $1 billion, we have equal amounts of money invested in both sides, the so-called right and the so-called left.

    We could care less who wins because we own both sides equally.

    We see the world not in terms of right and left but rather for us there’s the 0.01 percent and then there’s everyone else, the 99.9. schmucks we like to call them.

    From our point of view the schmucks are divided into two parts as well. Not right and left (those are meaningless terms tossed out there for the schmucks.) No, for us the 99.9 world is divided into muppets and Puppets.

    The Puppets are the politicians and the media professionals like Megan McArdle (now that I know her name), Fox News or NPR, Adam Davidson, Robert Siegel, Ezra Klein or Charles Krauthammer. Again, it makes no difference whether they represent the so-called left or the so-called right.

    The bottom line is they all work for us.

    The Puppets job is to give the American public the illusion that they still live in a democracy and that it matters whether they vote right or left.

    The muppets include everyone else (the non-Puppet 99.9) and their role is to identify with one side of the Puppets (left or right) and to engage in passionate arguments back and forth with the other side.

    We don’t give a crap which side the muppet-schmucks choose, or how angry they get at the Puppets on the other side, up on the stage.

    As long as they don’t figure out who is really controlling this performance, and come after those of us pulling the strings from behind the stage, i.e., the Puppet masters, the 0.01 percent.

    So far there are no signs the public is catching on to our little game, and we intend to keep it that way.

    We are the Peter Pinguid Society, we are the 0.01 percent.

    Disclaimer: Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.

    1. Peter Pinguid Society

      Perhaps Harry Lyme, another member of the Peter Pinguid Society, can explain this better than I did.

      Harry looks contemptuously down from the ferris wheel at the scuttling mortals below, cheerfully calling the people unrecognizable “dots” from the height of the ride:

      Victims? Don’t be melodramatic. (He opens the door to the car.) Look down there. Would you really feel any pity if one of those dots stopped moving forever? If I offered you 20,000 pounds for every dot that stopped, would you really, old man, tell me to keep my money? Or would you calculate how many dots you could afford to spare? Free of income tax, old man, free of income tax. The only way you can save money nowadays.

      1. Ms G

        Could the Muppets be Harry Lyme’s “Mugs and Suckers” ?

        They don’t make movies like The Third Man anymore, or actors like Orson W. and Joseph C.

        Once again, Peter Pinguid, thank you.

    2. Nathanael

      Peter Pinguid, could you please hire better puppets? When you pretend that mental incompetents like McArdle are respectable journalists, it rather spoils the illusion of a healthy democracy.

      1. Nathanael

        (I’m actually quite serious, even though my previous comment is a joke replying to a joke.

        I think that if we had a secretive powerful elite who were *competent*, this would be a tolerable situation; with an Emperor Augustus, people would say “well, the aqueducts work”.

        But, as Atrios likes to say, “Our Galtian Overlords” are actually very stupid people. And that is a *big problem*. They are as stupid as the French monarchy just before it was overthrown, and as stupid as Nicholas of Russia before he was overthrown. They are creating an intolerable situation because they are very, very stupid. McMegan is a good example of the stupid.)

  30. MrColdWaterOfRealityMan

    Wow. She’s not only joined the dark side; she’s embraced it with open loving arms and calls it “lover boy.”

  31. Kurt Sperry

    There is an obvious false equivalency being asserted here. There is no truly left analog of the Koch brothers et al billionaire financed propaganda mills. There are extreme right ones and less extreme right ones but none I am aware of from the ideological left.

    This false equivalency’s traction is an artifact of the billions in resources poured into selling the credulous masses the lie that the Democratic Party or any of the mainstream media, acedemia or other American cultural institutions are in fact left leaning. They are not, they are merely less extreme right wing. Only in America could such an obviously skewed ideological viewpoint be sold as credible.

    There are no influential or deep pocket ideologically left institutions to counter those of the extreme right in America. Voices of the left are simply ignored in the media as if they didn’t exist.

    I’d as well like to see the Project S.H.A.M.E. crosshairs trained on some of the regressive pundits who shill for Obama and the Democrats and who pose as being from the left. As has been pointed out, these figures are even more dangerous to the American political discourse and culture than the wolves in wolves’ clothing.

    1. JTFaraday

      “I’d as well like to see the Project S.H.A.M.E. crosshairs trained on some of the regressive pundits who shill for Obama and the Democrats and who pose as being from the left.

      As has been pointed out, these figures are even more dangerous to the American political discourse and culture than the wolves in wolves’ clothing.”

      I’ve all the comments to this point, and I still agree with this assessment. No one has “influenced” me or persuaded me to change my mind. To wit, the eXiled has turned into a one-trick Koch whore.

      OTOH, thanks to the person who reminded me about the eXiled Online community’s Holy War against Glenn Greenwald. That one really does you all credit.

      1. YankeeFrank

        What ya’ll seem to be missing is that no one is claiming the MSM isn’t biased or distorted. Working for the Washington Post or NY Times, or MSBC, Fox, in short working for the owners of the MSM, automatically disqualifies 99% of the journalism coming from that sphere. I don’t think that is in dispute. But there is a difference between working for a journalistic enterprise and working for billionaires with direct financial interests that tie in with your writing. You may think there is no difference but there is. We haven’t been able to break up the big media conglomerates and their lock on “journalism”, but we can perform damage control on the most egregious whores — those who pose as objective reporters, bloggers and journalists who secretly take money directly from interests that are clearly and directly opposed to the common good.

        To pretend that Greg Palast, Yasha Levine, Mark Ames, Matt Taibbi, Yves Smith and a bevy of lesser-known true journalists are in any way corrupted or in the tank for big money is simply not true. These REAL journalists go after any moving target out there — left or right. It just so happens that the left doesn’t really have deep pockets to afford such pay for play as does the neoliberal establishment — there is little to no money in fighting for the people — as someone wrote above: the Souther Poverty Law Center doesn’t pay for “journalism” for a number of reasons — one you won’t buy obviously is that they have actual ethics. They do. But another is they don’t have the money for such garbage — they chose to spend the donations they get on actually helping the indigent and needy. Ethics. Morality. These aren’t just windy faux-concepts for you to scoff at. They actually mean something to many of us. You are confusing real journalism with the Ezra Kleins and Andrew Ross Sorkins of the world. There is money to be made in defending the status quo. But give me Ezra Klein any day over Megan McCurdle — to pretend there is no difference between to the two is dishonesty or denial.

        One protects the status quo. And the status quo is not great, at all. But give me the status quo any day over the worldview of Cato or McCurdle. The sheer moral vacuum that is her writing — the lies, the mocking of and diminishment of the poor, the preaching of violence against those she disagrees with, the outright obfuscation of reality (well, okay Klein does that too :)…

        The world you live in was created by people who had a moral center and ethical boundaries. It is eroding fast, but to pretend it is all the same just plays into the arms of those doing the eroding.

        1. Bare Smellson

          To put it much more politely than I did to the person you’re responding to: the last S.H.A.M.E. piece was on an NPR personality and self-described liberal

      2. Bare Smellson

        “I’d as well like to see the Project S.H.A.M.E. crosshairs trained on some of the regressive pundits who shill for Obama and the Democrats and who pose as being from the left”

        Their last story was on an NPR personality and self-described liberal you absolutely ignorant and ungrateful peon

  32. matt

    The trolls are out in force! Go comment at the exiled so the mighty AEC can correct your comments and I can get some entertainment out of what has been an otherwise dull day.

  33. robert157

    I’ve been a fan of Naked Capitalism for a long time, but I was disturbed to find this hit piece that does not live up to the blog’s normally high standards.


    Keep up the good work…

  34. skippy

    Neg is just one more empty vessel… looking for some armchair thunkit… to fill its void.

    Preferably some thunkit ideology that elevates the container above and beyond… all others… by its undeniable uniqueness… individualistic myopia…

    Yet… is only a freewill (snort) satellite of its masters… only able to attain any relevance… by its proximity to a master mass… we do all the thinking for ya… we are accredited by success[!]… receive our light as we shine… so you may reflect our image… for all too see.

    skippy… what her masters – really – enjoy… is… looking at her… and seeing their reflection… this is their greatest joy… it is what fills them… fills their emptiness. So hate or vilify as you should but… leave one small place… a minuscule point… and weep for them… for they are empty… in a world full of humanity…

  35. Rob

    I liked this piece.mcardle is obviously devoid of honor,and is willing to shill for the Koch bros… so many others…the reason the kochs are so,much worse than soros,is that soros isn’t trying to make a profit at the expense of everyone’s lives and the only planet we have.mcardle is vile because she has steadfastly embraced the wrong side of history.she is a hack because her logic and critical thinking skills and ability to analyze,are fifth rate.her record speaks for itself (sort of.actually,a shill isn’t speaking their own mind,they are just paraphrasing the memo’s).This piece is what needs to be out there more often.the lochs are too powerful an entity to not be discussed,at length and often.these think tanks,and institutions they control, and the numerous talking heads they employ,are too great of a liability to this country to not be talked about.the discussions they have swayed over the years are too important not to re-visit.these people have collectively helped destroy America.the plight America and Americans find themselves in is in part contributed to by this disinformation campaign.Propaganda is the basis for the formation of people’s opinions and attitudes… a rational world the discussion would be more fruitful if there were not so many people who believe the horsesh*t coming out of these disinformation orifices.
    I the idea of a wall of shame is great.And I would like to see supposed left wing voices put on the wall too.after all,there is no crime against humanity the republicans have done without help from democrats….
    But I do wonder why the right wingers out there always assume that anyone speaking of the ills of our times,sees the democrats as immune.I suppose that is a defensive mechanism.They know deep down that they are one step above those protecting child molesters,but still they can’t seem to leave the locker room.
    nd I must say”WOW !”,has anyone counted the number of trolls that have come out of the wood work for this one?The dozen or so ,that’s came out in defense of this mcardle bimbo,and tried to posit the “distance”,between her and her benefactors,are obviously think people actually get paid to cruise the web and push in on conversations to try and sway opinion….I wonder how they get paid….or maybe that was just one person with several computers….that would be an interesting investigative piece…..
    Also ,has anyone seen the good piece on the Koch bros on either current tv lately or link tv…?which for my two cents,the place to find the best journalism these days besides here and there..l is link tv,with programs like democracy now.there is good reporting out there….look at Greg palast,project censored,Amy goodman,Naomi klein,etc…there is news out there still….and it makes everything else seem like the establishment orifices are living in bizarro world….like this mcardle dipshit.

    1. Bare Smellson

      “nd I must say”WOW !”,has anyone counted the number of trolls that have come out of the wood work for this one?”

      Well, they are Koch employees. Koch hires them to look after his various thralls and ass-slaves. McArdle has to be near the top of the list as the fuck-receptacle of a Koch favorite good ol’ boy. I bet they have a codeword for her and everything

  36. Skeptical

    The most despicable thing she did while at The Atlantic was to suggest that CNBC and Rick Santelli would sue Playboy for publishing a piece that exposed Santelli’s orchestrated “rant”/launch of the Tea Party on CNBC, which coincided with the launch of all the Tea Party websites.

  37. ScottS

    I don’t like he either, but I’m very concerned about what this article means!

    It’s okay because both sides do it!

    This is beneath my notice and I must post about its triviality until everyone agrees with me!

    This is so offensive I’m threatening to leave and take my subscription to a competing blog!

    The guy who wrote the article is even worse than she is!

    She never said she wasn’t in the tank for the Kochs!

    She said she was in the tank for the Kochs!

    She’s not as in the tank for the Kochs as others!

    Did I get the triple word score?

  38. Swiss&German

    As a regular reader of the Atlantic, I was always wondering at the articles of Ms. McArdle – not very original and sounding more rehearsed than researched. I even thought about writing to the editor asking, whether she really fits the journalistic quality of the Atlantic??

    But the real question now is, what was the deal to get her into the Atlantic (After all, I am paying money to read it and should know ..)?

    1. Bare Smellson

      No one at the magazine knew anything about economics and they knew that she wrote this blog about that topic, and rich people liked that blog, and her diploma checked out under UV light so BOOM, economics and business editor for a major newsmagazine

      1. Bare Smellson

        And then it turned out that real economists read the Atlantic sometimes, and even write about things in it on their own blogs when they find errors so howlingly stupid that they wouldn’t expect them from an undergrad in Econ 101, much less a “business and economics expert” and that’s when all McArdle’s professional problems started

        If you hadn’t noticed, she’s been quietly disappeared from the Atlantic’s front page and now writes for Tina Brown’s celebrity tabloid

  39. Bare Smellson

    Of course none of these little limp-dick critics here have the self-esteem-building sexual history that would give them the confidence to actually criticize Ames and Levine on their home turf at the eXiled

  40. Hal

    “McArdle’s breaking point with the group came after she was assigned to canvass a poor suburb of Philadelphia, which she described as full of “welfare mothers, elderly people collecting the minimum Social Security payment, young men on disability.”

    That’s a mischaracterization. She quit because they assigned her to this neighborhood to collect donations from poor people so that, when she failed, they would have an excuse to fire her and deny the balloon payment they use to get away with paying sub-minimum wage. I know a number of people who had the same slimy experience with the PIRGs.

    1. Bare Smellson

      The point is that Megan McArdle is a corrupt criminal hack and an idiot to boot; please read the article

  41. Scott Smith

    Liberals doing a fact check…oxymoron.

    Megan McArdle just doesn’t agree with you so you hate her. More junior high schoolresearch and bullying group-thing from reprssive Progressives lol.

    1. Bare Smellson

      Actually, a point by point gathering of evidence that by itself is more than you’ve ever accomplished in your entire life

    2. G.G. Allin

      You can’t accuse someone’s research of being “junior high” level and then not even offer a hint of a substantive criticism.

  42. Bare Smellson

    Great piece about Megan. I have been keeping up with her ignorant monkeyscamps for years – she is very useful as an ongoing case study when speaking with journalists, the best proof that snake oil salesmen are alive and well, showing weekly in an “economics” column that she doesn’t even understand the ideas she endorses or the terms to describe them – and yet this story presented evidence that even I didn’t know about.

    Levine and Ames have done it again. S.H.A.M.E. is going to absolutely crush the Google results on these hacks.

  43. H Skip Robinson

    Many fail to understand that the libertarian perspective does not grant political preferential treatment to anyone, hence why so many libertarians are in the lower socioeconomic levels. It is a system which attempts to protect an individual’s right against such preferential treatment. It is a system which despises government force to provide unjust favoritism. That is why people who believe in liberty, despite their personal economic situation, embrace it. It at least allows a level playing field for the small businessperson to compete against the larger companies. Why do you think the ruling oligarchs within both major political parties despise libertarians like Ron Paul and do everything they can to diminish his popularity. It is the collusion between big business and government that is the problem, not libertarians. Understanding this is McArdle just a libertarian or is she a fascist oligarch representing them. I don’t know her works well enough to answer this, but just remember who you critize, they just maybe represetning you a lot more than you understand.

    1. WhuddaThunkIt

      Hmm, yeah, but in all likelihood they’re just a bunch of brain-dead pompous assholes spat out by the ruling elite’s 24/7 mindfuck machine and have nothing to offer us.

  44. Peter Pinguid Society

    With my curiosity piqued, I had my assistant do some checking into Megan McArdle’s background and it turns out that Megan McArdle used to be a man named Brent.

    That is, until she had Koch-funded sex reassignment surgery (SRS).

    It seems that Brent’s [a.k.a. Megan McArdle’s] problems began back in high school when she turned down classmate Lola Stone’s invitation to go dancing with her at the Prom:

    1. Peter Pinguid Society

      err, that should read: when *he* [Brent, aka Megan McArdle] turned down *her* (Lola Stone’s) invitation to the prom

  45. Rake Rocter

    I always thought that there was something fishy about her writing. She seemed to always have opinions about things without really being informed about them. You could tell she was trying to read up, or get informed fast, in order to have an opinion and make a statement. But, it turns out, she was also trying to control and sway opinions of others. There are a lot of smart, well-connected, status-minded, young people doing this in media. Even David Brooks does it. They sound intelligent, but they’re talking out of their asses. Why do/did we read them?

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      Since I pay out of my own pocket to go to INET, I have no idea why you regard this as significant.

  46. Bryonie


    Is that you, Dan Duncan?

    Bryonie here. Last remaining member of the Dan Duncan fan club.

    I hang out here at NC all day long, hoping you’ll come back one day.

    Dan, listen to me, it’s still not too late for us.

    But life is short. From here to that old car you know so well there is a stretch of twenty, twenty-five paces.

    It is a very short walk.

    Make those twenty-five steps. Now. Right now. Come just as you are.

    And we shall live happily ever after.

  47. Tony Butka

    S.H.A.M.E (& Naked Capitolism, for that matter) simply prove that the only honest and in-depth reporting in America is being done through the blogosphere. Network television, cable/satellite and the print media, is simply awash in money, niche marketing, and bullshit. Megan McArdle simply joins a long grey line of their shills.

    Keep up the good work.

Comments are closed.