I agree with Matthew Yglesias that George W. Bush could have found no one more appropriate than James Glassman to head his think tank. Glassman is well-known for his book "Dow 36,000", in which he predicted in 1999 a future of limitless growth through financial markets. The Dow, then at around 10,000, was supposed to reach 36,000 within five years through tech stocks. (It is currently around 9400.) He is also a former publisher (before Marty Peretz) of the New Republic (why oh why is that magazine described as leftist?), and was involved in other strongly Zionist publications such as The Atlantic and the conservative libertarian website TechCentralStation.
I met Glassman in Cairo a couple of years ago, as part of a roundtable of bloggers invited to meet him in his capacity as Undersecretary of State for Public Diplomacy. He did not seem too happy with me, and had no answer, when I asked him two questions:
1. Does he think Middle Easterners are stupid and don't know that the host of al-Hurra's Dakhl Washington, Robert Satloff, is a die-hard Israel advocate, as I've highlighted before? Most inappropriate, I think, to associate him with a US government station.
2. What is the point of Radio Sawa, which mostly broadcasts music and short, bland news briefs? How will it help develop independent local media if yet another government-funded station is competing on the local market? (I thought this would appeal to his free market fundamentalism.)
Needless to say I received no answers.