Friday, November 29, 2002

Paul Krugman's Drivel

I promised myself I would never write another word about New York Times op-ed columnist Paul Krugman because, well, why bother? Unfortunately, in a weak moment at the St. Louis Airport, I made the mistake of reading his most recent screed, which contained the following paragraph:

Fox's Brit Hume even claimed credit for the midterm election. "It was because of our coverage that it happened," he told Don Imus. "People watch us and take their electoral cues from us. No one should doubt the influence of Fox News in these matters." (This remark may have been tongue in cheek, but imagine the reaction if the Democrats had won and Dan Rather, even jokingly, had later claimed credit.)

As it happens, Mr. Hume did not, in his interview on the Imus show, "claim credit" for the midterm election results. He was mocking the notion that he or anyone else at the Fox News Channel had that kind of power. "It was because of our coverage that it happened" was Hume's way of saying that anyone who believed that was an idiot.

The editors of The New York Times op-ed page know this. But they printed Krugman's drivel anyway. And the question is this: Why would you print something that everyone knows is nonsense?