Monday, October 13, 2014

Rand Paul's Office Refuses to Back Up Walter Block

Many of you have emailed with regard to the New Yorker interview of Rand Paul and a claim of a senior person close to the campaign that Rand was misquoted and that he does know that Walter Block's views were distorted by NYT. and that when  Rand discussed Walter with the New Yorker reporter, he did say that he believed Walter was misquoted by NYT.(SEE: BREAKING: Rand Paul Says He Was Misquoted by The New Yorker).

The New Yorker released a statement in response to the charge:
We have an audio recording of the interview; we've reviewed the recording and the interview is quoted accurately and in context, as reported in the piece.
I challenged Walter to give me permission to request a copy of the audio recording from the New Yorker. He agreed. (SEE: It's On: Walter Block Responds to My Challenge).

When I contacted the New Yorker, they said I had no direct proof that Rand or his campaign were objecting. I then emailed Walter:

  Hi Walter,

In a telephone discussion with the head of The New Yorker, I have been advised that they will not go beyond their initial statement regarding your allegation that the Rand Paul campaign charges that The New Yorker has misquoted Rand.  Their position is that I do not have, and they do not have, direct confirmation  of the charges that a highly placed person in the Rand Paul campaign alleges that Rand was misquoted. In the interests of pursuing truth, would you be willing to release the email you received concerning the charges?


Walter responded:
 Dear Bob:
I'd like to do so, but, I'm not a liberty to do so, since I made a promise to the contrary. 
Best regards,
[On a side note, by not willing to release the email, I believe that Walter has a problem here from his anti-IP perspective. He has argued many times that no damage is done by reproducing words of others because the person who originally created the specific formulation of the words still holds them in his mind, thus "there is no scarcity," and, thus, no reason for IP protection. But is Walter contradicting this position by failing to release the email? If the only measure of whether there should be IP protection, or not, is whether the creator still has possession of the idea, then he should release the email. Or does he really believe, as he seems to implicitly acknowledge in his email to me, that a creator of a specific formulation of  a group of words may want it protected for reasons other than this odd anti-IP version of "scarcity."

[So which is Walter? Do you protect the intellectual property or are you going to release the email?]

Getting back to Rand and his smearing of Walter, I also gave Rand an opportunity to respond in the sense of asking his office to just confirm what Walter's mysterious correspondent alleges Rand said to the New Yorker reporter. My thinking was that if Rand had already said this to a New Yorker reporter, as alleged, then he would have no problem confirming it or stating it again.

This is the email I sent to Rand's press office and also to his Senate office:
Request for comment


Prof. Walter Block has charged that a person close to Senator Rand Paul has emailed him and stated that the Senator was inaccurately quoted by The New Yorker in their recent profile on the Senator and that the Senator's  conversation with the reporter "bears little relationship to the mangled one (that appeared) in The New Yorker today. He (Rand) clearly noted (that) The Times butchered what a bunch of people believe, including you ( Block)."

If the Senator views were mangled and he did want to make clear that the Times piece was a butchering, could you please confirm that this is the Senator's view, so that libertarians can continue to know that the Senator stands by such great and important libertarians as Dr. Block.

Thank you for your attention to this matter.

Robert Wenzel
Editor & Publisher
Neither Rand Paul's campaign nor his Senate office has responded.

Thus, Rand leaves Walter twisting in the wind, when it is alleged that he already backed Walter up in his conversation with the New Yorker reporter. Sounds peculiar to me, why wouldn't Rand take the opportunity to make clear that he does support the important work of Walter Block, instead of leaving the alleged distorted version of Rand's position out there, if Rand had already said the same to a New Yorker reporter?



  1. All Rand's campaign has to do is ignore your's like when Rand ran away in the middle of eating his hamburger when that Dreamer girl introduced herself.

    He isn't going to answer any tough questions, he's not like his father.

    Glad you dinged Block on his IP view again RW. There's all sorts of philosophically inconsistent definitions swirling around Block's view of what "property" is....

    It's ironic that he respects the campaign workers request to keep his e-mail "secret", in fact Block has now established it as a form of property by doing such, right along the line of Rothbard's examples of contractual IP.

    I wonder what Block would do if someone hacked his e-mail, copied the e-mail in question, and then sent it out to everyone? Would he try to reclaim the e-mails if he could(pretend it's not impossible to do so and think about it), or accept the liability and then agree to compensate Rand's campaign worker?

    Would he still reject the idea of allowing the campaign worker to try to track down the thieving parties and use violence if necessary to stop the dissemination of the secret, EVEN THOUGH THE THIEVING PARTY DIDN'T AGREE TO THE CONTRACT?

    Uh huh....lots of fun in this scenario.

  2. I doubt Walter feels like he’s “twisting in the wind”, or he’d be doing more than he is. He may figure Rand won’t smear him again, knowing he could then release the email. His support of Rand in itself shows he has a high tolerance for Rand political bs.