Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Krugman Backlash

It's when even the Clinton-leaning Huffington Post publishes a listicle called The Internet's 10 Best Responses to Paul Krugman's Hit Piece: 'Sanders Over the Edge,'  that you realize just how badly and deservedly the Times columnist's professional reputation has been damaged.

In case you've forgotten that nasty column published on Friday -- described by some critics as "Peak Krugman" -- the Nobel Bank Prize winner went on a demented tear, calling both Bernie and his supporters petulant, angry, purist, cultish, insubstantial, and vague. He also displayed a shocking ignorance of how banks work, which is probably why that group of Swedish bankers gave him a million or so bucks in the first place: to keep the ignorance flowing.

Naturally, the responses elicited by the column were just what the Clintonistas wanted: total outrage. I believe that this technique is called "gaslighting." See? Krugman and the other surrogates told you that Bernie Bros are off-the-wall paranoid! Tsk, tsk, tsk. You know, they never actually said Bernie is unqualified to be president: they just planted that headline so that he'd counterattack, just like they wanted him to. Of course they don't want him to drop out while they're busy blaming him for every shooting death in America! Now, let's everybody calm down and be civil about it.

Topping the HuffPo list is this withering critique:

And when you're done watching, be sure to check out #5.


Meredith NYC said...

Thanks, Karen for this re Huff Post! Maybe PK will now go further over the edge. He believes his own propaganda, and thinks his ‘breathtaking dishonesty’ as you put it is actually honesty. He’s giving the rest of us the truth we won’t admit, see. If he rolls back now, he’ll look like an idiot, so this is the PK we will get.

I do recall last year the head of the Swedish bank’s letter to the editor criticizing Krugman on his articles re their banks and interest rates—if I recall.

Will the new Times op ed page editor from the Atlantic make the page balanced and hire just 1 new columnist to express the progressive viewpoint on our issues that is gaining more advocates? How long can the Times stick it’s head in the sand?

Ste-vo said...

Oh my, Karen, I am not sure what to think about anything, anymore, it is too hard. I was in Washington, DC for several days last week - the People's Republic of Takoma Park actually, visiting a college friend, while my wife was visiting college friends in Florida. On Sunday, we ventured into Politics and Prose, the independent bookstore in Chevy Chase, former home of David Brooks, to hear Thomas Frank discuss his latest book, "Listen Liberal." His talk, maybe 45 minutes or so with good questions from the audience afterwards, impacted me like Tarantino's "Reservoir Dogs"(the cutting-off the guys ear scene) or the torture scene at the end of the Daniel Craig-Mara Rooney version of "Girl With the Dragon Tattoo." I am still thinking about it. I cannot erase what he said, it is permanently burned into my brain! But life is good. My almost four-year-old Golden is curled up at my feet, sleeping soundly, after spending six days at her kennel. She has so much fun with the other dogs. I am sure she did not sleep a wink.

annenigma said...

Congratulations to Karen for making it into Huffington Post as being one of the top 10 responses to Krugman!

Jay–Ottawa said...

#s 1 & 5 over at Huff are pretty good. Now for # 1,087, which never made it because written after comments were closed.

When someone stumbles and falls hard ahead of you, do you toe him into the gutter as you pass by? When someone is so ill they're soiling themselves uncontrollably, do you laugh and turn back to whatever you were texting before you were distracted by the odor? When someone is standing on the bar, waving his arms and babbling nonsense because another someone slipped powder into his drink, do you boo and throw peanuts at him? Of course not.

Then why are you all mocking Paul Krugman who, for some unknown reason, hasn't been himself lately?

Oh-oh, the new op-ed editor from the Atlantic is adjusting his monocle (useful Nazi souvenir), looking sharply in Krugman's direction, and frowning through the haze of his zigarette. PK will be gone from the Times within three months. He'll have more time to get expert attention (instead of catcalls) and to update his lecture notes about disparity for the CUNY grad students. You heard it first here.

DW said...

Congratulations Karen, Glad they noticed.

Jay—Perhaps this is some multi-layered irony or satire, if so, please ignore what follows.

If PK were a lyric poet, and his sonnets were less limpid than they were in the past, then your analogies would be apropos.

But Krugman is playing a significant role in a presidential elections. And his comments about Sanders, Sanders' supporters and others have been unethical and dishonest. To follow your analogy....if he were drunk in a bar and encouraging some thugs to beat up a non-conformist at the bar, would it be inappropriate to call him out and hopefully stop the attack?

Unfortunately, Krugman has been very much himself lately, only more so. Looking back on his entire body of comments on TPP is a sorry sight....and that is a year and a half. Reading his ode to Obama in Rolling Stone and similar stuff in the Times reveals constant caricature and mockery of the left. His silence on the Middle East since 2008, on the failure to prosecute a single major banker, the shafting of home owners in the post crash adjustments, etc etc etc speak volumes to his real loyalties.

But maybe this is a subtle irony that I am missing....

Meredith NYC said...

I appreciate this Huff Post list, and Karen’s inclusion in it.I’d like to also see a list of media pundit/ other economist criticism of Krugman. There’s one anyway--Matt Taibbi ---“ Why the Banks Should Be Broken Up, Bernie or no Bernie, 'Times' columnist Paul Krugman is wrong about the banks” April 6.

Now about Obamacare, today for some reason Krugman suddenly comes out with this: “True socialized medicine — an American NHS — would be feasible economically; so would single-payer, in the form of Medicare for all. The reasons we aren’t doing those are political.”

Oh really? How weird ....if Medicare for all is so ‘economically feasible’, why isn't Krugman supporting Sanders on this? And explaining it and how other countries do it?

Why isn’t he trying to overcome the political resistance instead of strengthening it? Is he getting schizophrenic? He makes excuses for ACA, dismisses Sanders ideas, and defends the world’s costliest and most profitable h/c system as the best the US can do, right now, so let’s just shut up and elect Hillary.

Has PK ever compared US profits with profits of insurance/pharma abroad, where even if not single payer, govts regulate prices? Would seem to be right up his alley and a crucial point.
The Wizard of Oz blog. Today for some reason, Krugman suddenly comes out with this: “True socialized medicine — an American NHS — would be feasible economically; so would single-payer, in the form of Medicare for all. The reasons we aren’t doing those are political.”

How weird ....if Medicare for all is so economically feasible, why isn't Krugman explaining it? Why is he making excuses for ACA? Why did he dismiss Sanders' ideas on h/c reform? And defend the world's costliest and most profitable h/c system as the best the US can do? Has PK ever compared profits of insurance/pharma abroad with US? Would seem to be right up his alley and a crucial point.

The wizard of oz blog. He pretends to be a humanitarian, yet a pragmatist held back by political realities and the rw congress. That’s the Dem establishment scam on America.

Meredith NYC said...

why do you say the new op ed editor from the Atlantic is frowning at Krugman, who will soon be gone? Any citations or are you just fantasizing about nazi monocles or something?

Jay–Ottawa said...


I should not mock people like Krugman, or have a go at facetiousness or irony. Such tactics only confuse people and are no better than taking Krugman apart by the numbers in all seriousness. I should follow my own best advice.

What best advice? Ignore Krugman––and Riley, Hannity, Brooks, Coulter, Matthews, Maddow and the rest of them. What time you do have for news and analysis would best be spent reading from sources on Karen's blog roll. Of course, boycotting the journalists who lie in the big papers and TV, boycotting their papers and networks, boycotting the goods and services of big corporations who own politicians––boycotting them would be as unlikely as convincing the mass of self-declared lefties to vote third party to do something meaningful on election day. Because paying attention to the corrupt, whether in praise or damning, is all they need to keep doing tomorrow what they did yesterday. Just as for Hollywood celebrities, our attention is their oxygen. Unless you're a prosecutor on the tails of criminals, just ignore those big-name writers and TV personalities, and they'll shrink, wither and die along with their outlets.

Do you know what would be better than hundreds or thousand of angry comments following Krugman's op-eds?

No comments at all.

DW said...

Not to prolong this too far, but—

The comments section of Krugman is probably one of the very few places to get information out to the "general public" or at least that portion that reads the Times. And in fact, the comments are not at all uniformly angry. Many are extremely informative, others are thoughtful analysis. And in fact, many are "more in sorrow than in anger."

There are some very thoughtful people and good writers among the commenters, much better than anyone being paid by the Times. If Karen had not been commenting, I would not have known about her blog.

Besides, there won't be "no comments at all" if leftists don't write in, there will be hundreds of "Oh Professor, thank you for making this so clear." comments by supporters of the status quo.

And Krugman's prestige and influence is strong, as these things go. Far beyond that of a newspaper columnist. The comments section and the outside articles have done a lot to expose him.

If every leftist boycotts the TImes, I doubt it will shrink and die.

And how will the truth reach those who don't read Monthly Review or Naked Capitalism!

Thanks though, for another angle!

Meredith NYC said...

jay...our attention is their oxygen? But suppose there was no one to refute them? Then what? Their truthiness stands, so it's worse. Sorry, won't work. Besides will you take on the job of organizing the boycott? It's a fantasy.
Plz answer q re new editor of op ed page, thanks.