Perhaps you’ve seen that on Sunday George Will made things up so he can claim global warming isn’t happening. And two days later, Will and Fred Hiatt, the editor of the Washington Post op-ed page, still won’t explain their behavior.
It must be unpleasant for Will to get used to blogs, because he’s spent his entire career with total impunity. Here’s a funny story of Noam Chomsky’s from the book Understanding Power about a column Will wrote in 1982:
CHOMSKY: [A] few years ago George Will wrote a column in Newsweek called “Mideast Truth and Falsehood,” about how peace activists are lying about the Middle East, everything they say is a lie. And in the article, there was one statement that had a vague relation to fact: he said that Sadat had refused to deal with Israel until 1977. So I wrote them a letter, the kind of letter you write to Newsweekâ€”you know, four linesâ€”in which I said, “Will has one statement of fact, it’s false; Sadat made a peace offer in 1971, and Israel and the United States turned it down.” Well, a couple days later I got a call from a research editor who checks facts for the Newsweek “Letters” column. She said: “We’re kind of interested in your letter, where did you get those facts?” So I told her, “Well, they’re published in Newsweek, on February 8, 1971″â€”which is true, because it was a big proposal, it just happened to go down the memory hole in the United States because it was the wrong story. So she looked it up and called me back, and said, “Yeah, you’re right, we found it there; okay, we’ll run your letter.” An hour later she called again and said, “Gee, I’m sorry, but we can’t run the letter.” I said, “What’s the problem?” She said, “Well the editor mentioned it to Will and he’s having a tantrum; they decided they can’t run it.” Well, okay.
I’ve stuck the Understanding Power footnotes, with references and excerpts, over at my site.