Far out contrarianism
Prospect Magazine claims to have 'acquired a reputation as the most intelligent magazine of current affairs and cultural debate in Britain'. Given the state of the competition, it wouldn't be hard.
But as ways to lose a reputation for intelligence go, this month's cover story is as good as it gets. It's by a 'public intellectual' called Edward Luttwak, who was last spotted writing about how Barack Obama would be a bad choice as President because he is an apostate Muslim.
It's about how in fact President Bush's foreign policy will be seen by future historians as a great success (and Iraq recognised as a sideshow). He argues that '"You are with us or with the terrorists" was the right slogan and the right policy'. It almost goes without saying that the article is an absolute total mess of bad faith arguments, unsupported claims and so on.
The Prospect blog gleefully admits that this is a piece of 'far out contrarianism' which they hope will get people to read their magazine. So much for the approach of trying to sell a magazine with the strategy of 'here are some intelligent and thought-provoking articles that you might learn from'. It's almost enough to make the New Statesman look good.