Charles Murray: Frum Isn’t Telling the Truth About AEI
The “Bell Curve” and “In Our Hands” author and AEI scholar writes at length in National Review about the departure of David Frum from AEI. The argument: Frum had become “invisible as a member of the institute,” and that he can’t be serious about donors complaining about his work.
The idea that AEI donors sit down to talk with AEI’s president about who should and shouldn’t be on the staff, or what the staff should write, is fantasy. David has never seen the slightest sign of anything like that at AEI. He can’t have. He made it up. AEI has a culture, the scholars are fiercely proud of that culture, and at its heart is total intellectual freedom. As for the reality of that intellectual freedom, I think it’s fair to say I know what I’m talking about. I’ve pushed it to the limit. Arthur Brooks is just as adamant about preserving that culture as Chris DeMuth was, and Chris’s devotion to it was seamless.
Meanwhile, Frum’s wife Danielle Crittenden fires at the critics of her husband:
We have both been part of the conservative movement for, as mentioned, the better part of half of our lives. And I can categorically state I’ve never seen such a hostile environment towards free thought and debate — once the hallmarks of Reaganism, the politics with which we grew up — prevail in our movement as it does today. The thuggish demagoguery of the Limbaughs and Becks is a trait we once derided in the old socialist Left. Well boys, take a look in the mirror. It is us now.