Lewis Lapham in Harper's:

Good thing that people still read the reliable, credible Real Media instead of those nasty inaccurate, un-fact-checked blogs. That way, they get the benefit of what Jacob Sullum (whose work I have generally found quite trustworthy) says is Lewis Lapham's clairvoyance:

In the latest issue of Harper's, Lewis Lapham has a long, tiresome essay on the "Republican propaganda mill" . . . . [Important substantive criticisms by Sullum omitted, in the interests of getting to the shallower but juicy stuff. -EV]

Perhaps the most revealing part of the article is the paragraph where Lapham pretends to have heard the speeches at the Republican National Convention that does not open until a week from today. Referring to "the platform on which [George W. Bush] was trundled into New York City this August with Arnold Schwarzenegger, the heavy law enforcement, and the paper elephants," Lapham writes:

The speeches in Madison Square Garden affirmed the great truths now routinely preached from the pulpits of Fox News and the Wall Street Journal--government the problem, not the solution; the social contract a dead letter; the free market the answer to every maiden's prayer--and while listening to the hollow rattle of the rhetorical brass and tin, I remembered the question that [Richard] Hofstadter didn't stay to answer. How did a set of ideas both archaic and bizarre make its way into the center ring of the American political circus?

True, the issue is dated September, but I got my copy in early August, and Lapham must have written those words in July. . . .

Ramesh Ponnuru (of the National Review) noted the same thing.

Is there some context here that Sullum or Ponnuru are omitting, which might make this make sense (for instance, if Lapham makes clear that this is his prediction, or that he's joking, or some such)?

Seriously, if Sullum's account (and Ponnuru's terser account) is correct and in context, this is the editor of a leading magazine knowingly making factual assertions — that he was at some place and heard some things — that aren't true. Not very good behavior, it seems to me.

The odd thing is that of course Harper's readers will realize they aren't true. What happened here? Did he prewrite the article, and then accidentally release it too early? (That would actually be pretty bad as well, unless he had been planning to go back to revise it in light of what he actually heard at the convention.)

UPDATE: Readers Michelle Dulak and Dick Riley (who regularly read Harper's) confirm that there's nothing in the context that would change Lapham's meaning.