Eschaton: Creepy Cosmic Thought: Do Brookings and CFR exist to provide employment for the stupidest of our citizens?
I don't know how to answer. I am enough of a Millian liberal to believe that in the long run--except where huge piles of money are deployed on the other side by those with a direct material interest in misinforming or entertaining the public--expertise is rewarded, and experts gain authority, and organizations that want to be perceived as worth listening to focus on ensuring that the people they hold out as experts do in fact have expertise.
I think I understand why this Millian liberal process is short-circuited in the case of modern American journalism: too much money is at stake and too many media outlets are in the horse-race entertainment game rather than in the inform-the-public game.
But neither Brookings nor CFR are in the entertainment game. And both had, I thought, committed themselves to business models in which they were the antitheses of lobbyists rather than just another couple of flacks serving the short-run interest of their donors...