TechCentralStupid

TechCentralStation desribes itself as the place "where free markets meet technology". 

It  in fact a mouthpiece for right-wing claptrap of various sorts.  I particularly enjoyed this defence of Intelligent Design. Not exactly a robust advertisement for putting science first. 

For those who don’t know, TCS is published by a Washington lobbying company.  According to Washington Monthly:

TCS doesn’t just act like a lobbying shop. It’s actually published by one–the DCI Group, a prominent Washington "public affairs" firm specializing in P.R., lobbying, and so-called "Astroturf" organizing, generally on behalf of corporations, GOP politicians, and the occasional Third-World despot. The two organizations share most of the same owners, some staff, and even the same suite of offices in downtown Washington, a block off K Street. As it happens, many of DCI’s clients are also "sponsors" of the site it houses. TCS not only runs the sponsors’ banner ads; its contributors aggressively defend those firms’ policy positions, on TCS and elsewhere.

Update 11 August: I’ve just seen that Brad De Long has a similar criticsim of TCS, which provides more context and has some interesting comments.

4 thoughts on “TechCentralStupid”

  1. TCS is backed by wealthy contributors and produces broad church libertarian opinion that is often anti-progressive.

    AA is backed by wealthy contributors and produces progressive opinion that is often anti-libertarian.

    The Daily Telegraph is corporate sponsored and produces right leaning news that is often anti-left.

    The Guardian is corporate sponsored and produces left leaning news that is often anti-right.

    The genetic fallacy is not a promising line of reasoning and, in this case, looks suspiciously like cartoon Marxism.

    Owen replies: Right. And do you have any objection to people pointing out who is funding a media outlet? I think it is relevant, when reading a newspaper, website, blog, etc, to know where the funding is coming from. In the case of TCS, we are told that their corporate sponsors have some impact on the editorial policy. That is their right. And it seems to me useful for people who read it to know about it. Do you have a problem with that?

  2. Sure, it is useful to know who pays the piper when evaluating the tune. But this does not address the substance of music (observe that De Long resorts to snearing at rather than responding to the articles he hand picks from TCS).

    Owen replies: You can’t accuse me of merely sneering. I have addressed the substance of articles published by TCS in detail, for example blog entries like this one on the role of the supply side in development and this one on the role of markets in famine.

  3. Granted. You yourself actually do engage the content of TCS articles. Thoughtful, substantive post often require a fair amount of time to research, compose, and write. De Long produces a prodigious amount posts on any given day. Readers like that. But the quality of his posts tends to suffer as a consequence.

    Keep your output low, Owen. ;^)

  4. I’ve been reading TCS for the last few days. I’d never heard of it before I saw it in a book I’m reading, “High Tide” by Mark Lynas. His report on the site wasn’t good, which is why I went to read it. You see, I found much of what Mark Lynas wrote a bunch of romanticized nonsense. Not ALL of what he wrote but some. The same is true of TCS. Some of the articles beg to be tossed in the trash but some of them are right on. I guess this makes me a moderate? Hmmm ….

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