Professors for ... Hoover?





Historians for Obama, Economists for Edwards, Academics for Ron Paul (president of the University of Florida for McCain) — scholars are coming out of the woodwork to support the presidential candidate of their choice, seemingly earlier in the campaign and arguably more aggressively than ever before. But lest anyone think that the current activity is a phenomenon purely of today’s punditocracy, our good friends at The Green Bag law journal have (as is their wont) dug into the archives to show us otherwise.

In preparing its election-themed Almanac and Reader 2008, the editors of the journal, which specializes in articles that are short, readable and entertaining (attributes not typically associated with that particular media form), came across a plea to agricultural economists from “The Non-Partisan Fact-Finding Committee for Hoover 1932.”

The request, the brainchild of Edward L. Bernays, whose work laying the groundwork for public relations earned him the moniker “the father of spin,” was designed to build support for the premise that the post-Depression economy was on the rebound, which wasn’t exactly the prevailing view being put forward by the campaign of Hoover’s Democratic opponent, Franklin D. Roosevelt. A September 16, 1932 telegram from Herbert Wachsmann (but charged to Bernays’s Western Union account) contained this plea:...


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