Skip to comments.World's Worst Columnist? ( and the prize goes to.... )
Posted on 04/14/2009 4:24:23 PM PDT by SeekAndFind
It's a tough competition, of course, but it's hard to imagine that any columnist in America could be more inept than Paul Krugman. I used to enjoy beating up on Krugman, but haven't read him for a long time--life is short. But today I happened to notice this column, which attacks the Republican Party and the tea party movement.
I'd rebut Krugman's arguments, only he doesn't make any. Does he ever? Krugman doesn't argue, he just vents. This is what we used to call "mailing it in." If Krugman spent more than 20 minutes writing this column, I'd be shocked.
Krugman describes the Republican Party as "very much a minority party" with only "some limited ability to obstruct the Democrats" that is "embarrassing to watch" because it consists of "crazy people," while all "real policy debates" are "among Democrats." Of course, Krugman continues, the GOP "looked as crazy 10 or 15 years ago as it does now." The tea parties are "the subject of considerable mockery, and rightly so"--but such foolishness is "standard practice within the Republican Party." Republicans, Krugman says, make "bizarre claims" about Democrats which are often "crazy." Not only that, the Republicans engage in "Stalinist show trials" that enforce "ferocious party discipline." Krugman says the tea parties, as authentic an outpouring of political sentiment as we have seen in a very long time, are "Astroturf." (Evidence? You're kidding, right?) So, to continue, "Republicans are refusing to grow up" so that the Democrats have "no credible opposition," especially on economic policy where Republicans are "particularly clueless." As opposed to the Democrats, apparently, who propose to run up more debt in the next five years than the Republic incurred from the Washington through the GW Bush administrations.
So, what facts--what arguments--are presented in support of this invective? None. It's just hyperventilating. I know it's only the New York Times, but wasn't there a time when even that paper expected its columnists to expend at least a little effort? Krugman might as well have written "I am a Democrat" over and over again until it added up to 750 words.
Krugman did dip his toe into the waters of factual controversy at least once, when he wrote this:
Going back to those tea parties, Mr. DeLay, a fierce opponent of the theory of evolution -- he famously suggested that the teaching of evolution led to the Columbine school massacre -- also foreshadowed the denunciations of evolution that have emerged at some of the parties.
Actually, though, DeLay said no such thing. Krugman was just recycling, as he so often does, lies from the far-left blogosphere. (Hey, those guys work for free. Does Krugman get paid?) Tom Maguire has the details. And, by the way, have you seen any such "denunciations of evolution" at tea parties, which are concerned with government spending, waste and taxes? No, neither have I. What Tom DeLay, who has been gone from the Republican leadership for years, has to do with the public's well-justified concerns about the administration's economic policies, is a mystery on which Krugman sheds no light.
In a world of lazy journalists, Paul Krugman takes the prize. The New York Times' willingness to continue publishing his drivel is one more nail in the company's coffin.
No matter what Krugman does, he’ll never be as bad as Andrew Sullivan.
More on Krugman here from Tom Mcguire :
We Farm Out The Krugman-Bashing (And Help Truth Get Its Boots On)
Eddy Elfenbein of Crossing Wall Street criticizes Paul Krugman’s fixation on Tom DeLay:
Paul Krugman writes about Tom DeLay:
Going back to those tea parties, Mr. DeLay, a fierce opponent of the theory of evolution he famously suggested that the teaching of evolution led to the Columbine school massacre also foreshadowed the denunciations of evolution that have emerged at some of the parties.
These are the kinds of the things Krugman writes that are so frustrating. Hes a brilliant economist but too often drives off the reservation into dishonesty.
After reading Krugmans account, are you led to believe that Tom DeLay said in a clear declarative sentence that Columbine was the result of the teaching of evolution? That he repeatedly said it and would say it again today if asked?
I really wonder how many people understand that saying something thats factually correct isnt good enough. An accurate fact can be presented in a dishonest way. I think if I said this to many political pundits, their heads would explode.
Context? We don’t need no stinkin’ context!
However! In the course of trying to establish just what Tom DeLay did or did not say, a little chestnut emerged at AlterNet, the Public Citizen, and About.com, as well as at other sites including Kevin Drum’s (who emerges as the comic foil). Here is Drum:
R.I.P. TOM DELAY....Ruth Marcus memorializes Tom DeLay in the Washington Post today and does a fine job. However, I like many others will always remember him best for his reaction to the Columbine shootings in 1999:
Guns have little or nothing to do with juvenile violence. The causes of youth violence are working parents who put their kids into daycare, the teaching of evolution in the schools, and working mothers who take birth control pills.
Ooops! Turns out that Tom DeLay never actually said that, as Drum notes a bit later - the “quote” is a very simplified paraphrase of a letter DeLay read on the House floor, as explained by Mr. Elfenbein. Here is a NY Times story covering the House debate in 1999 which does include a part of the paraphrase:
Mr. DeLay said that in a way he was pleased with the final result.
‘’The guns have little or nothing to do with juvenile violence,’’ Mr. DeLay said, adding that he ‘’had a great time this week’’ getting to debate cultural issues.
WE WRITE OF MISSING CONTEXT: Here is Krugman simplifying DeLay on July 13 2004:
Mr. DeLay, who, in the debate over gun control after the Columbine shootings, insisted that juvenile violence is the result of day care, birth control and the teaching of evolution.
Really? Just glancing at the letter Mr. DeLay read, I would say he passed along the view that juvenile violence may be due to broken homes; parents not spending time with their kids; kids in daycare; kids watching, on average, seven hours of violent, sexualized televsion per day; violent video games; kids being viewed as a burden and a failure of birth control; humans being presented in schools as glorified apes; and kids being taught “that there are no laws of morality that transcend us”.
Hey, no mention of rap music? Well, Tipper Gore could have signed up for some of these concerns, as could any earnest lib.
MY FAVORITE CITE: My favorite instance of this bum quote comes from The Transnational Institute, “a worldwide fellowship of committed scholar-activists”.
When it comes to raising money for his PACs, however, DeLay shows his mastery of the modern world. He saves his anti-modernism to explain the real causes for the school terrorism at Columbine. “Guns have little or nothing to do with juvenile violence. The causes of youth violence are working parents who put their kids into daycare, the teaching of evolution in the schools, and working mothers who take birth control pills (Stephen Pizzo, Inside Job: The Looting of America’s Savings and Loans,” alternet May 16, 2002). The man who has promoted himself as a champion of children took “a $100,000 check from a
Hmm. The AlterNet cite is the one linked above; the book by Stephen Pizzo, “Inside Job”, was published in 1989, covers the S&L debacle, and, I am quite confident, does not contain any of Mr. DeLay’s thoughts on the 1999 Columbine shooting.
LACKS NUANCE, BUT SEEMS TO BE LEFTY-APPROVED: Based on the notion that if a person cites multiple causes a critic can cherry-pick one or two and insist they have fairly represented the person’s view, I can now reveal that Obama attributed the racial divide in America to Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society, compounded by spotty garbage collection in poor neighborhoods. Hey, this is a powerful new tool for the King.
Obama’s insight was offered in his famous race speech - the one where he couldn’t disavow Jeremiah Wright, not the one where he did.
WAS IT ONLY A YEAR AGO? Last May 5, 2008 Paul Krugman not-so-famously wrote that “the worst of the financial crisis is over. Thats the good news.” He then deplored the fading prospects for meaningful reform of the financial system. Eerily Prescient! And don’t vex me by restoring the context - I look right past his weaselly qualifiers:
Cross your fingers, knock on wood: its possible, though by no means certain, that the worst of the financial crisis is over.
RANDOM FUN: At the Times website they promote some Krugman columns form the archives; their second selection is this:
Fuels on the Hill
By PAUL KRUGMAN
Why are politicians so eager to pin the blame for oil prices on speculators? Because it lets them believe that we dont have to adapt to a world of expensive gas.
June 27, 2008 opinion Op-Ed
From the column we gain this insight:
In any case, one thing is clear: the hyperventilation over oil-market speculation is distracting us from the real issues.
Regulating futures markets more tightly isnt a bad idea, but it wont bring back the days of cheap oil. Nothing will. Oil prices will fluctuate in the coming years I wouldnt be surprised if they slip for a while as consumers drive less, switch to more fuel-efficient cars, and so on but the long-term trend is surely up.
“The long term trend is surely up”. No doubt. West Texas Intermediate was roughly $135 a barrel when Krugman wrote that and the long term trend persisted for another two weeks before beginning a short term swoon which took the price down to $31/bbl at Christmas; it is now about $50 /bbl.
I guess Krugman wasn’t surprised since he had predicted prices might “slip a little”.
I glanced at the top of the post;
“World’s Worst Columnist? ( and the prize goes to.... )
Tuesday, April 14, 2009 4:24:23 PM · by SeekAndFind · 7+ views
Powerline ^ | 4/13/2009 | John Hindraker
It’s a tough competition, of course, but it’s hard to imagine that any columnist in America could be more inept than Paul Krugman.”
I would swear it said “World’s Worst Communist?”
Is that a Freudian Thoughtslip?
but, but, but, he is a nobel prize recipient. according to MSM thinking that means he is smart about EVERYTHING.
the man knows literally nothing about anything
Hey, when the plane is in a tailspin at terminal velocity, no cares what the luggage monkeys are doing.
The beautiful thing about Krugman is that he has been poisoning the “elite” of NYC for years.
He’s always wrong. Every word he utters is always backward, never honest, never accurate.
And through the above, he’s single-handedly dumbed down vast numbers of “elite” Democrats.
WOW, Krugman’s was the first name to pop into my mind, before I read the body of this thread! Never woulda thunk it; I’d have thought there were much worse.
Nobody ever points out that Krugman and his Nobel Prize have nothing in common with his weekly political rants. In fact, they are almost total dichotomies.
But hey, as long as he hates Bush he still qualified for an award.
Al Hunt was one of the biggest G-d Damned liars I've ever read in print. I literally cheered when he left the editorial page of the WSJ.
My pick is Rosa Brooks. Whenever I see one of her columns, I know exaclty what side she is going to take, no matter the issue. She never, ever strays from the lockstep leftist playbook. She’s a joke.
Crap there are so many to choose from.
I say it is a tie from among about 1000 columinists.
Who is the BEST?
One word? Sowell.
Two words? Thomas Sowell.
I’d move to Wisconsin so I could vote for Thomas Sowell 50 times for president.
I agree. Krugman is the world’s worst communist.
Oh, it’s “columnist”. Not sorry. Same thing in his case.
There’s a lot of competition. Mo Dowd. Bob Herbert. Frank Rich. Thomas Friedman. Gail Collins. I could go on.
I love reading the Boston Herald these days which is now focused laser like on the coming soon demise of the Boston Globe that nobody else reads either.
Outstanding post (because I totally agree).
Krugman never really has any point. Its all just hateful invective.
“Theres a lot of competition “
Oh, absolutely. Frankly, I’m disappointed there couldn’t be a sudden-death semifinal round before the champ was announced, but it’s probably a vain hope in that there are likely to be even worse back-benchers ready to leap in as replacements behind any of these folks.
On the principle that Lilies that Fester Stink Worse than Weeds, I nominate Peggy Noonan.
Don’t forget Mo Do.
And if he were on the ticket, I'd seriously consider moving back to that suffocating hell-hole just to vote for him.
As for Worst Columnist Ever, I'll see your Rosa Brooks and raise you the Chicago Sun-Times' Mary Mitchell. One galactically sfugly broad, inside and out.
I realize where Sowell lives and works.
But you can vote for president in Wisconsin also.
That is the state that sticks in my mind where people voted and early and often.
Worst ever? Mark Morford. ‘Nuff said.