Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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January 22, 2007
By: Kevin Drum

OLD DOG, OLD TRICKS....Breaking news: Michael Fumento is a prick. I especially like this part:

In short, I was doing you a great favor and you spat in my face. Well, the wind has changed and the spit has gone back into your face. Goodbye and good riddance.

He has a real way with words, doesn't he?

Kevin Drum 2:26 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (23)

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Was it really necessary to post this twice, once as "Breaking news" and then as "Shocking news"?

Posted by: cmdicely on January 22, 2007 at 2:57 PM | PERMALINK

Twice as big a prick?

Posted by: Chocolate Thunder on January 22, 2007 at 2:58 PM | PERMALINK

I give up. Exactly why is this grump important?

Near as I can tell he is just some sort of a shock blogger. All mouth, no brain.

Posted by: Ron Byers on January 22, 2007 at 3:12 PM | PERMALINK

Sorry to ask but who the hell is Michael Fumento and why does he matter ?

Posted by: Fifi on January 22, 2007 at 3:15 PM | PERMALINK

Sorry for the double post. It's part of our ongoing database issues here. We're now down to one post.

Posted by: Kevin Drum on January 22, 2007 at 3:17 PM | PERMALINK

... all that science writing and not even close to being qualified. poli sci and law degrees, and stints at CEI, AEI, and Reason certainly don't qualify.

of course, anyone can have an opinion on science issues, but his in particular are easily shot down by people actually in the field ... and scientifically literate.

his kind, like many conservative opinionators, count on their public's ignorance for their claims. His recent misreading of the Nature Biotech paper is a classic example of someone who can barely pronounce the words in the abstract thinking he's qualified to editorialize on the sunject matter.

Posted by: Nads on January 22, 2007 at 3:19 PM | PERMALINK

Michael Fumento


Just one of the many dots needing connection in the movement conservative landscape:


Posted by: JJ on January 22, 2007 at 3:24 PM | PERMALINK

I guess even Kevin double posts now and again. This is also one of your more oblique posts in some time, Kevin. In any case, from what I can gather in tracking back through the blog you linked to, this Fumento dude seems like a sniveling, self-pitying, fudge-packing weenie - not a prick. Needs to have his ass kicked and his face stomped with some cowboy boots like mine. However, he would probably enjoy that. Better watch out, Kevin, or he will hit you with his man purse (i.e. murse).

Posted by: Joe Bob Briggs on January 22, 2007 at 3:34 PM | PERMALINK

Is a "murse" a male's purse or a male nurse?

Posted by: Nads on January 22, 2007 at 3:39 PM | PERMALINK

Repurposed lawyer joke:

What do you call Marc Danziger (Armed Liberal) AND Michael Fumento at the bottom of the ocean?

Posted by: jerry on January 22, 2007 at 3:43 PM | PERMALINK

While one definition that fits most bloggers is "People who can't get anybody to publish their material but themselves," that is quite the opposite of me.

I'd be more impressed with Fumento's position here if he could provide publication credits from legitimate news sources.

Within the last week (singular) I have been in TCS Daily, The American Spectator, the New York Post, and Citizen magazine.

I repeat: legitimate news sources. Not vanity propaganda mills with editorial policies several steps beneath "Bazooka Joe" comics.

Posted by: cminus on January 22, 2007 at 3:56 PM | PERMALINK

Thks JJ.

So Fumento is an AEI / CEI / Hudson creature. It would be breaking news if he was NOT a prick.

Posted by: Fifi on January 22, 2007 at 3:57 PM | PERMALINK

Tim Lambert has done the most work manning the ramparts against Fumento's choice brand of anti-science writing.

Posted by: Disputo on January 22, 2007 at 4:37 PM | PERMALINK

This brings to mind a version of the "chicken - egg" problem. Does being a wingnut make you a jerk, or vice-versa?

Posted by: CapitalistImperialistPig on January 22, 2007 at 4:50 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin: are any of the bots that posted the comments above Open Source?

Posted by: TLB on January 22, 2007 at 5:03 PM | PERMALINK

Fascinating to walk the thread back. This is a deranged man typing:


I don't know which is more insane, the Fumento: "FluWiki carries pharmaceutical ads"--FluWiki: "No we don't"--Fumento:"I didn't say you did" exchange at the beginning, or the Fumento:"You delinked me"--FluWiki:"Dude, it's a WIKI." one at the end.

The baffling bit is the guy proudly posting this exchange, somehow thinking he came out of it looking like anything other than a raving lunatic.

Posted by: BruceR on January 22, 2007 at 5:16 PM | PERMALINK

Fumento talks like KOS. Sneering, no humor, no grace or style.

Yeah, but they come to it via different routes. Markos is simply immature, whereas Fumento is fully deranged.

Posted by: Disputo on January 22, 2007 at 5:44 PM | PERMALINK

Ah, this brings back such fond memories of the legendary Fumento charm!

Posted by: Charlie Murtaugh on January 22, 2007 at 6:46 PM | PERMALINK

On the other, the Winds of Change blog seems to be a nest of chickenhawks. I can't really blame Michael for spitting back. Some times I want to spit when I read their posts ;-)...


Posted by: beowulf888 on January 22, 2007 at 7:58 PM | PERMALINK

I had no idea who this Fumento guy was or what this post was about. Now that I've followed the link and done some reading, I feel like I've been brought up to speed on something important. Thanks, Kevin.

Posted by: Ciccina on January 22, 2007 at 8:41 PM | PERMALINK

I was immediately alienated and thought we deserved better. Love you, Kevin

Posted by: consider wisely at times on January 22, 2007 at 10:52 PM | PERMALINK

I've been attacked by Fumento, myself. He's insanely unhinged by people who disagree with him, but he's surprisingly similiar to people who agree with him, too. He's gotten very pissy at TCS, for instance, because they ocassionally published a libertarian writer with an actually appropriate background who challenged one of his pet causes. It was a medical issue, and he had the audacity to tell a nurse/journalist that she had no qualifications to comment while he did. Even more amusing, though, were his efforts to pump up reviews for one of his books on Amazon. He'd go on this magnificant tirades about how brilliant he was, post them on his book and books which offered a differing view, all while pretending it wasn't him. Frankly, his tone and style is always a dead-giveaway. Amazon eventually scrubbed all of his fake posts. Alas, he's not an important enough person for this to have resulted in a scandal (nor was it an issue that his usual critics spend much time on), but its a shame he wasn't more publicly humiliated for that debacle.

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