Could you please ask the senior editor you’re trying to hire to get your reporters to tone down their rants? Most writers learn early to show, not tell, when doing reporting. But Garance Franke-Ruta (“Bull Market,” 3/8) never learned this rule, as the following examples indicate.
* Franke-Ruta shows that the Mercatus Center people are a bunch of libertarians. She then says the center practices “extreme libertarian ideology,” but offers no evidence that they are either extremists or ideologues.
* Franke-Ruta shows that Mercatus head Tyler Cowen has interesting ideas about popular culture. She then says that Cowen’s ideas violate “the right-wing consensus on the cultural impact of racy prime-time TV, the Internet, and other pop media.” She offers no evidence that such “consensus” actually exists. (Where in this “consensus” would Franke-Ruta place Pal Cantor, a conservative who argues in Gilligan Unbound that our culture is immoral and getting worse—so therefore we need to watch more TV?)
* Franke-Ruta shows that Mercatus scholars are doing what most economists do: coming up with policy proposals to make markets work more efficiently. She then says that these scholars have a hidden agenda, to pursue “the holy grail—the Platonic form of a perfectly functioning market.” But she offers no evidence that Mercatus scholars aren’t doing anything more than practicing microeconomics.
Your new editor might also teach Franke-Ruta to be a more supple writer. Right now, Franke-Ruta only has one tool in her writing arsenal: the bludgeon. This ensures that she presents herself as a rigid, humorless ideologue. Franke-Ruta would be a better writer if she were more subtle in her critique.
Silver Spring, Md.