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Ralph H.

First, Susskind quoted a source out of context, as Brad DeLong demonstrated. In context it sounds like the old boys network was balanced by the President's more inclusive attitude. Susskind, whom I've met & greatly admire (not least for his dead-on impersonation of George W. Bush) apparently made an uncharacteristic stretch in trying to prove a point. Second, Summers habitually gets a bad rap from people who make no effort to understand what he was trying to say that fateful day up at Harvard. There seems to be some evidence that while the average performance of women in science & math might be higher, you do seem to find a few more men clustered at the top .0001 percentile, and also clustered in the lowest percentile. More geniuses & more idiots, perhaps. That's all Summers was trying to say, & a man better attuned to social cues would sensibly have refrained from saying it.

Lance Mannion

Ralph, thanks for the heads up on Brad's posts. I'll update with a link, but reading it, it seems to me that problem isn't that the quote is out of context but that it's truncated. Kevin Drum has a post quoting Suskind saying he did it at Dunn's request. It looks to me as though the whole quote makes the President look better but doesn't let the Old Boy's Net off the hook.

You're right though, I took a cheap shot at Summers. My point really wasn't to pick on him or Suskind. I was irritated by the Press Corps' eagerness to glom onto any story that's potentially scandalous and drop it immediately if it turns out to be really about something more complex. This one is already fading, I think.

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