Saturday, January 27, 2007
by Matthew Yglesias
As you can see here there have been some persistent attempts by someone at the Council on Foreign Relations to scrub the Max Boot Wikipedia page of some unflattering information. Boot, of course, is a fellow at CFR and a columnist for The Los Angeles Times. What information? Well, as you can read here on Altercation, what this is about is the fact that Boot is involved in some scandalously corrupt backstory. Before he was a prestigious military policy writer, Boot was simply a generic rightwing hack at The Wall Street Journal's hack-laden editorial page. While there he, among other things, wrote an editorial attacking public health officials that was edited by tobacco lobbyist Steven MIlloy.
The only reason we know anything about this is that it happens to have come up in tobacco-related litigation. It's possible, in principle, that when Boot was writing rightwing regulatory policy journalism for the Journal he just so happened to let one of his pieces be edited by a lobbyist and that that piece just so happened to have come up in a lawsuit. Much more likely, however, is that he did this on various occasions and there just so happens to have been a lawsuit that uncovered this.
And now Boot, or someone working on his behalf, is trying to keep this incident hushed up. I wonder why he's bothering. In case Boot hasn't noticed, he's a conservative. The rules of the media game are clear -- no jobs for the left, no accountability for the right. Corrupt or not, Boot seems like a smart, perceptive guy . . . surely he's picked up on this.