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Tuesday, July 14, 2020

The New York Times has a Paul Krugman problem

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In June, the New York Times wrestled a resignation from its editorial page editor after he published an opinion article by Republican Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas. After former editor James Bennet’s abrupt ouster, the New York Times then attached a groveling note of apology to Cotton’s article, titled originally “Send in the Troops,” claiming the article had not been vetted properly.

Never mind if 58% of people in the United States shared Cotton’s opinion on how to deal with arsonists, looters, and rioters — it’s too icky to print.

“[T]he tone of the essay in places is needlessly harsh and falls short of the thoughtful approach that advances useful debate,” the apology read.

Yet, even as New York Times executives engage in various acts of self-flagellation for having published a “harsh” opinion article that upset newsroom staffers, one of the newspaper’s marquee opinion columnists continues to engage in some of the ugliest ad hominem political commentary of anyone in the news business. We are talking, of course, about Nobel Prize winner Paul Krugman, whose online presence is a professional embarrassment for the paper of record.

On Tuesday, for example, Krugman shared a June 29 Bloomberg News report detailing how a resurgence of the coronavirus in Florida is poised to take a deadly toll on “older, more vulnerable Floridians.”

In response to the disturbing article, Krugman had this to say, “Reality is coming for white supremacists driving golf carts.”

So, does Krugman believe all Floridians are “white supremacists?” Or does he believe white, elderly Floridians are “white supremacists”? On what basis does Krugman presume that? Is the assumption based on the fact that Florida has a Republican governor? Does Krugman know what “white supremacist” means?

Lastly, why on earth is he gleefully heralding the death of senior citizens in the Sunshine State? Because that is certainly how his tweet reads.

This sort of remark is not a one-time thing for Krugman. His brand is endlessly repulsive.

Earlier, on June 19, Washington Post opinion columnist Megan McArdle authored a thoughtful article, titled “We can’t bear the truth of COVID-19, so we’ve just decided to forget,” wherein she argued that a mixture of increased awareness and cabin fever has led to a relaxing of social distancing standards.

To this insight, Krugman responded with an inexplicably hostile remark: “What do you mean ‘we’, white woman? Seriously, ‘America’ hasn’t given up on fighting Covid-19; Cuomo’s NY, Murphy’s NJ, Whitmer’s MI haven’t given up. It’s Republicans who have given up.”

“White woman”? Also, of all the governors in all the union, why would Krugman highlight the ones whose states rank first, second, and sixth for most coronavirus fatalities? The answer is obvious: Because the governors of New York, New Jersey, and Michigan are Democrats, and he is a partisan.

Infections “have fallen to a quite low level in the New York area,” Krugman said of the state whose disastrously incompetent response may account for why it also has the most coronavirus deaths.

But then, Krugman adds, “The really bad news is coming from Republican-controlled states, especially Arizona, Florida and Texas, which rushed to reopen and, while some are now pausing, haven’t reversed course.”

Elsewhere, he sought to shame National Review and Gov. Ron DeSantis for the sudden spike in new coronavirus cases that Florida has seen following the George Floyd protests:

Imagine being such a miserable party toady that you would use a deadly viral pandemic as an occasion to score points against your political opponents. Imagine being so miserable that you would actually misrepresent the facts and reality to do it. Actually, scratch that. You do not have to imagine it. You can just follow Krugman online.

And as for the New York Times, which deems Cotton’s opinion piece “too harsh,” they have yet to explain whether Krugman’s particularly nauseous brand of commentary similarly “falls short of the thoughtful approach that advances useful debate.” A spokesperson for the newspaper did not respond to the Washington Examiner’s request for comment.

Read More at Washingtonexaminer

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