Misrepresenting Paul Ryan

by Ramesh Ponnuru

Representative Paul Ryan (R., Wis.) released a report on poverty that, according to several news stories and commentaries, distorted the research it cited. Charles Blahous points out that the ultimate source of the claim of distortion is a Fiscal Times story that seems itself not to have been put together very scrupulously.

Yesterday I logged on to Facebook to find a post from my friend and former colleague Dr. Jeffrey Brown, saying that a reporter had called him to see whether Congressman Paul Ryan had quoted his research accurately; Dr. Brown said he had. Dr. Brown’s post was suggestive that a reporter was working on an article exploring the possibility of inaccurate citation of academic research. Sure enough, yesterday there appeared in the Fiscal Times an article sensationally titled, “Economists Say Paul Ryan Misrepresented Their Research.

Remarkably, one of the economists so cited was Dr. Brown, who had actually told the reporter that Ryan had quoted his research accurately . . .