This article does no good for the Economist's credibility. I'm asking myself: "If articles about a country which I know well (I'm French) are so misguided and misinformed, how can I trust the Economist for news about other parts of the world - which is why I read the Economist in the first place?"
I remember Atrios saying something like this years ago, and I was all, "OH THAT ATRIOS. He's just a meanie. He doesn't even take Instapundit seriously!" Atrios was right about Instapundit, and right about The Economist. Once you see them write about something you know something about, it's invariably at least questionable and then you start thinking--hey, is this page on Ecuadorean politics also suspect? And your interest in The Economist starts to trail off. Plus it's right bloody expensive, as they say over there.
(The comment appears in this article on Francois Holland's probable victory over Nicolas "Jon Corzine in 2009" Sarkozy in the French elections, where a right bloody war has broken out in that comments thread.)