Stephen Walt's Media Strategy for Grabbing an Academic Third Rail
March 5, 2010
Stephen Walt got in trouble for calling into question America's pro-Israel foreign policy. His co-authored article was sufficiently hot so that it was published in London. He survived.
Here, he offers advice for similarly imprudent academics. Here are the topical headlines.
1. Think Through Your "Media Strategy" before You Go Public.
2. You Have Less Control Than You Think.
3. Never Get Mad.
4. Don't Respond to Every Single Attack.
5. Explain to Your Audience What Is Going On.
6. The More Compelling Your Arguments Are, The Nastier the Attacks Will Be.
7. You Need Allies.
8. Be Willing to Admit When You're Wrong, But Don't Adopt a Defensive Crouch.
9. Challenging Orthodoxy Is a Form of "Asymmetric Conflict": You Win By "Not Losing."
10. Don't Forget to Feel Good about Yourself and the Enterprise in Which You Are Engaged.
I don't think Keynes is a third rail. A hot potato, yes. Anyone who attacks his ideas is saying, "the emperor had no clothes." There are a lot of tenured emperors out there, as well as would-be emperors. They have been fooled by a man whose magnum opus is an incoherent mish-mask of clearly preposterous arguments. The critic is calling his disciples blind. They will not like this.
I think a joint attack on his ideas will be more effective than lone-wolf attacks. You need friends.
For more information, come here:www.KeynesProject.com