The Exile has an ongoing feature called the S.H.A.M.E. media transparency project. It made me very happy indeed when the first two people profiled were Malcolm Gladwell and Steven Levitt. These talking heads have been passing themselves off as public intellectuals to the young, trendy people who aspire to seem smart and counter-intuitive. Both are essentially corporate shills. It’s spooky how pervasive their influence has been this past decade or so.
Gladwell writes the Exile some “friendly” emails under the pretense of discussing the tobacco lobby details of his profile. This is not the sort of story in which one grudgingly admits that he has a sense of humor. Gladwell remains a shameless manipulator diligent in crafting his messages, looking for new ways to obfuscate the truth.