9:39 AM, Mar 3, 2014 • By IRWIN M. STELZER
In an increasingly grim and dangerous world, we must give thanks to the Old Gray Lady for providing its readers with one howler after another. Some of the latest.
Friday, February 28: Paul Krugman is more often right than his critics concede, an understandable refusal given his off-putting, angry, strident presentational style that is the meat on which his fans feed. Krugman is a master at loading the rhetorical dice. Consider this: “Everyone knows that the Obama administration’s domestic economic agenda is stalled in the face of scorched-earth opposition from Republicans.” The “everyone” is precious, reducing to non-persons the majority of Americans who rate the president’s job performance as unsatisfactory. But the best comes next. Krugman analyzes the source of the likely demise of the president’s freer trade agenda – “it doesn’t seem to be making much progress, thanks to a combination of negotiating difficulties abroad and bipartisan skepticism at home.” But everyone knows that the Democratic Senate leader, Harry Reid, personally killed the president’s request for fast track negotiating authority – one of the sources of Krugman’s “negotiating difficulties,” and that Reid did so both because he has always opposed trade deals and because he wanted to spare his Democratic colleagues being forced to choose between telling the president to take a hike, and offending their anti-free-trade union funders. Republicans generally support the trade deals, the death of which Krugman attributes to “bipartisan skepticism.” Republican opposition is “scorched-earth”; Democratic opposition is “bipartisan skepticism.”
Saturday, March 1. In a report of Ukrainians’ accusation of a Russian invasion, a three-person team of reporters quite accurately noted that Obama has said, “There will be costs” if Russia intervenes. The trio characterized that statement as a “pointed warning.” That was the latest in a long line of the Times’s efforts to give heft to the President’s empty warnings. Earlier (February 19) Steven Lee Myers, reporting from Moscow on Obama’s statement aimed at Ukraine’s military during the crisis that “there will be consequences if people step over the line,” said the president “pointedly warned the Ukrainian military.” Empty warnings rarely have any point at all.
Sunday, March 2. A page 1 story headlined “Big-Money Donors Demand Larger Say in Party Strategy” devotes several paragraphs, running over onto page 17, to tales of Republican donors’ decreased willingness to defer to party elders on policy matters. Over to page 17, where the Times news reporters finally mention that elite donors “in both parties” are becoming more active in policymaking. Any reader who has better things to do on a Sunday than plow through this piece in its entirety just might miss that add-on point to an article that is, all in all, reasonably fair, but misleads by consigning mention of Democratic donors to a far less prominent spot than accorded their Republican counterparts.
Krugman is a commentator and can be forgiven his less-than-precise use of language; the “pointed” crowd are reporters, and should know better than to use that word in the context of Obama’s threats; the editors are the arbiters of balance, and might have used some of the page one space on donors to inform the reader that the rather long piece they were being invited to read related to developments in both parties.
8:23 AM, Oct 10, 2013 • By DANIEL HALPER
MSNBC host Joe Scarborough, a former Republican congressman, claimed today that a New York Times editor confided in him that Paul Krugman's column is "their biggest nightmare." Scarborough wouldn't reveal which Times editor told him that, and he said it was told to him "off the record."
Jul 29, 2013, Vol. 18, No. 43 • By THE SCRAPBOOK
"Something terrible has happened to the soul of the Republican Party. We’ve gone beyond bad economic doctrine. We’ve even gone beyond selfishness and special interests. At this point we’re talking about a state of mind that takes positive glee in inflicting further suffering on the already miserable.
Thinks "those who disagree with him are sociopaths."9:31 AM, May 5, 2013 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
As Clive Crook notes on Bloomberg, that while Paul Krugman does not suffer fools gladly, he does not necessarily believe that everyone “who disagrees with him [is] either a fool or a knave ... Many of those who disagree with him are sociopaths.”
9:16 AM, Jan 7, 2013 • By DANIEL HALPER
In a blog post on the New York Times website, columnist Paul Krugman says no to serving as treasury secretary. Which is clarifying, even though he was never offered the job anyway.
1:18 PM, Dec 5, 2012 • By DANIEL HALPER
According to Twitter, the official White House Twitter feed is similar to those belonging to the Washington Post, blogger Andrew Sullivan, liberal New York Times columnist Paul Krugman, NBC, and Chris Cuomo (the brother of New York Democratic governor Andrew Cuomo).
"I think Jon Stewart's brilliant."9:08 AM, Apr 25, 2012 • By DANIEL HALPER
President Barack Obama sat down with Rolling Stone for an hour long interview, which the editors there are billing the "most substantive interview the president has granted in over a year." The president used the opportunity to single out two conservative Americans for attack.
12:33 PM, Apr 18, 2012 • By MICHAEL WARREN
Charles Blahous, a senior research fellow at the Mercatus Center, published a study last week about the disastrous effect of Obamacare on the budget deficit--in direct contrast to claims by the Obama administration (supported by the Congressional Budget Office) that the law would reduce the deficit. Blahous estimates that over 10 years, Obamacare will add a net $1.15 trillion to the federal deficit.
10:00 AM, Sep 29, 2011 • By MARK HEMINGWAY
Well, sort of. Before I get to Krugman, a little relevant context.
Lots of people are talking about former OMB head Peter Orszag's latest article in The New Republic. Essentially, he argues in favor of solving America's problems by circumventing democracy, shifting more power to make policy away from elected politicians and giving it to nonpolitical technocrats.
3:33 PM, Sep 26, 2011 • By DANIEL HALPER
Princeton professor Paul Krugman, talking about Paul Ryan's budget:
"...His budget would kill people. No question," Princeton University and Nobel Prize [w]inning economist Paul Krugman told CNN. "The cuts in Medicare he's proposing, the replacement of Medicare by a voucher system would in the end mean that tens of millions of Americans would not be able to afford essential health care. So that counts as cruelty to me."
Sep 26, 2011, Vol. 17, No. 02 • By WILLIAM KRISTOL
Paul Krugman, of Princeton and the New York Times, was up early last Sunday morning, reflecting, as many of his fellow Americans were, on the tenth anniversary of 9/11. He chose to share his thoughts on the meaning of the day. Here’s his contribution in its entirety, posted at 8:41 a.m., five minutes before the first moment of silence was to begin at Ground Zero:
Rick Perry's entrance into the presidential race scares liberal critics.11:42 AM, Aug 15, 2011 • By MARK HEMINGWAY
One surefire way to tell that Rick Perry's entry into the presidential race is having a big impact is the sheer number of hit pieces that have been written against him in a 48-hour period.