Harvard Magazine has a profile of law professor Noah Feldman that is a strange combination of fawning and nasty.
Fawning, in that includes passages such as "His work displays the mix of synthesis and substantive mastery that serious journalists aspire to, and the combination of clarity and eloquence that few scholars display."
And nasty, in that it includes this anonymous stuff: "some who follow Feldman closely don't want to be quoted as saying what they believe: that he has squandered his talent, becoming a public intellectual too young, without developing his craft as a scholar and doing work worthy of his gifts; or that, in writing about so many topics, he has failed to fulfill his promise to reshape some field of knowledge. Aside from some comments about Feldman's arrogance and impatience, the harshest criticism is that he hasn't developed a theory about constitutionalism."
What I found even more striking than the shabby treatment of Feldman, though, were the political assumptions of the article. "The book came out toward the close of the first year of the Donald Trump presidency...Events since then add up to the worst American crisis since the Civil War." The profile-writer, Lincoln Caplan, doesn't specify what "events" he means. It doesn't seem at all clear to me that this is the "worst American crisis since the Civil War," a period that, after all, includes the Great Depression, World War II, Watergate, and Vietnam.
The article also claims of social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, "At their worst, they are havoc-wreaking platforms for conspiracy theories and other ravaging content, with momentous effects like helping Donald Trump win the 2016 presidential election with destructive lies rather than truthful information." This is an increasingly frequently made claim—a New York Times magazine subheadline the other day referred to the "online disinformation ecosystem that put" Trump "in the White House." But there is little evidence of it. This claim that voters chose Trump, and that he won the White House, mainly because the voters were deceived and not because they accurately and sincerely assessed the situation and their own interests and values is itself a conspiracy theory—and an odd one for a nonprofit magazine to hit its readers with the issue before the 2020 election.