Can’t Reich Get It Right?

Robert Reich invents dialogue, embellishes scenes … oh, hell, routinely devastates the truth in his new memoir, Locked in the Cabinet, attests Jonathan Rauch in SLATE. Washington Post media reporter Howard Kurtz has corroborated Rauch’s take in the 5/29 edition of the paper, and a SLATE reader informs ” Chatterbox” of a previous Reich truthbender.

According to a January 1994 Atlantic feature by James Fallows, Reich wrote in the New Republic in 1989 that Motorola makes cellular phones in Malaysia. Motorola informed the magazine by letter that it does not make cellular phones in Malaysia. Six months later, when Reich repeated the error in the Harvard Business Review, Motorola wrote another letter to the editor refuting Reich. He insisted he was right, and Fallows reports that when Motorola tried to engage Reich in a dialogue on the subject, he told the company that he resented having his intellectual and academic integrity challenged.

Then, in the Winter 1991 issue of the American Prospect, Reich repeated the Motorola example again, prompting another letter of protest from the company. Later that year he included the “example” once more in his book, The Work of Nations.

At this point Motorola should have caved to Reich and just started building cellular phones in Malaysia.