The Atlantic Magazine blogger Ta-Nehisi Coates tries to make sense of claims that Ron Suskind, author of Confidence Men, manufactured quotes about the White House — or of the idea that high-ranking public officials would lie about giving quotes to a journalist. He opens his blog with a New York Times story about the book:

From Ron Suskind's new book:

"The most withering assessments of Mr. Obama in this volume come from bickering former members of his economic team, a team that Richard Wolffe, the author of two books about Mr. Obama, has described as 'the most dysfunctional group of the president's advisers.' Mr. Suskind quotes a former chairman of the National Economic Council under Mr. Obama, Lawrence H. Summers — who is himself characterized by colleagues in these pages as a bullying know-it-all who acted as a kind of gatekeeper to the Oval Office on things economic — as saying to the budget director, Peter Orszag: 'We're home alone. There's no adult in charge. Clinton would never have made these mistakes.' 

… Christina Romer, former chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers, is quoted as saying, after being excluded by top economic adviser Lawrence H. Summers at a meeting, "I felt like a piece of meat."  

It's really hard to believe that Suskind would simply manufacture quotes — almost as hard as it is to believe that high ranking public officials would give quotes like that to a journalist, and then turn around and lie about doing so.


Read Ta-Nehisi Coates' entire blog entry at the Atlantic.