Saturday, June 2, 2012

The Exiled: SHAME On Malcolm Gladwell

Mark Ames and his merry band of rabble rousers over at The Exiled are at it again. They have recently begun a campaign called SHAME (Shame the Hacks Who Abuse Media Ethics) for which they have created a new website of the same name. The first well deserving target of their ire is Blink author Malcolm Gladwell, who has made a great career for himself as a "journalist" by in fact being a blatant corporate shill. Here is the introduction to the SHAME piece:
In the vast ecosystem of corporate shills, which one is the most effective? Propaganda works best when it is not perceived as propaganda: nuance, obfuscation, distraction, suggestion, the subtle introduction of doubt—these are more effective in the long run than shotgun blasts of lies. The master of this approach is Malcolm Gladwell.

Malcolm Gladwell is the New Yorker’s leading essayist and bestselling author. Time magazine named Gladwell one of the world’s 100 most influential people. His books sell copies in the millions, and he is in hot demand as one of the nation’s top public intellectual and pop gurus. Gladwell plays his role as a disinterested public intellectual like few others, right down to the frizzy hairdo and smock-y getups. His political aloofness, high-brow contrarianism and constant challenges to "popular wisdom" are all part of his shtick.

But beneath Malcolm Gladwell’s cleverly-crafted ambiguity, beneath the branded facade, one finds, with surprising ease, a common huckster on the take. I say “surprising ease” because it’s all out there on the public record.

As this article will demonstrate, Gladwell has shilled for Big Tobacco, Pharma and defended Enron-style financial fraud, all while earning hundreds of thousands of dollars as a corporate speaker, sometimes from the same companies and industries that he covers as a journalist.

Malcolm Gladwell is a one-man branding and distribution pipeline for valuable corporate messages, constructed on the public’s gullibility in trusting his probity and intellectual honesty in the pages of America’s most important weekly magazine, The New Yorker, and other highly prominent media outlets.
The rest of the article is available at the link.

Bonus: "Is this your goal, your final needs...Where dogs and vultures eat...Committed still I turn to go....I put my trust in you."


  1. Mr. Hicks, it's been a great morning. First thing, I saw this painfully funny view of what Chomsky called “manufacturing consent” in the developed world – from, of all places, North Korea. It’s actually a must see, because there’s absolutely no excuse for not understanding the extent of crimes committed by the corporate empire with our taxes and the propaganda used to disguise it:

    And then this wonderful article. Not even noon yet! Bodes well for a lovely weekend...

  2. One of the most disgusting people I've ever had the displeasure of meeting was another graduate of the National Journalism Center near the same time as Gladwell. This guy has been a lobbyist for Big Pharma and the health insurance industries.

    At any rate, such people have always existed and will continue to exist as long as there is big money to be made by skillfully lying.

    This guy I'm referring to does know at some level that has become a disgusting human, but I think he tries to paper it over with pseudo community service and other such things.

    It doesn't work, but that doesn't stop him trying.

    At the end of the day, people like him are great examples for the rising generation of what not to become.

  3. So his literary works espouse actionable and useful knowledge, but the man's ethics are questionable? This is not rhetorical. What is the answer?