"I am always amazed how people can misread plain and simple texts. Of course, many rely on second-hand accounts rather than reading original texts."
He's talking here specifically about Hayek and Coase. Hayek is an interesting case, because you can find him saying a lot of things over his long life. But certainly it's clear the sort of misreadings that O'Driscoll is referring to. I, of course, spend a fair amount of time marveling over misreads of other texts, and I think the point here that reliance on second-hand accounts drives a lot of it is generally right. When you're surrounded by people who say that Keynes thinks savings is bad, loves big government, thinks we should increase consumption, that's what less inquisitive people will start believing. This isn't to say that some of the misreading isn't deliberate, malicious, or ideological (we've had confirmation of the role of ideology recently) - I'm absolutely positive it is. But that can give birth to a lot of more innocent, second-hand misreadings.
Take this read on Keynes from Ron Paul that I heard on the radio over the weekend:
Yes, apparently Keynesianism is now about removing property rights in the energy industry.