August 21, 2012

"Is Niall Ferguson's Newsweek attack on Obama 'embarrassing' and 'unethical'?"

"Paul Krugman is among the intellectual heavyweights tearing apart the British historian for a 'careless and unconvincing' article."
In a forthright cover story for Newsweek magazine entitled Hit the Road, Barack, Ferguson argues that Obama has broken almost all of his campaign promises of four years ago, and attacks the US president's foreign policy, healthcare reforms and economic and fiscal policy.

To say that commentators in the US have criticised the piece would be an understatement....

93 comments:

Scott said...

"Paul Krugman" and "intellectual heavyweight" in the same sentence -- I'm going to be sick.

Marty said...

Paul Krugman an "intellectual heavyweight"? Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! The banal MSM commentariat's drooling all over itself is now beyond parody.

Matthew Sablan said...

The only reason this Newsweek cover story is being attacked is because it is negative on Obama. Newsweek's fair is usually fairly light and requires a bit of forgiveness in being completely rigorous. Yet, for some reason, all of a sudden, everyone expects it to be super academic.

yashu said...

"Romney is a wimp!" on the other hand is high quality analysis.

Rick Caird said...

When Krugman is mentioned as an "intellectual heavyweight", you know the fix is in. Looking at the Guardian story, everyone quoted is a lefty and supporter of Obama. Quelle Surpise.

Original Mike said...

Paul Krugman may be an intellectual heavyweight. If he is, it just makes the fact that he is also a partisan hack all the more unforgivable.

The Crack Emcee said...

"Paul Krugman is among the intellectual heavyweights,..."

And there goes the credibility of anything that follows,...

YoungHegelian said...

"Embarrassing" and "unethical" Oh yeah, those are terms I would use for Niall Ferguson's work! /sarc

More likely, Prof Ferguson just made the hideous faux pas of pointing out to his bi-coastal buddies not only that the emperor is buck nekkid, but that's he's also got a really, teeny-tiny, ............

Joe said...

Krugman and Fallows make all sorts of outlandish, unsupported statements about those with whom they disagree.

And the so-called "take downs" are pathetic, usually conceding Ferguson's point, and then saying "but..." and then using bizarro "garage" logic.

BarryD said...

Paul Krugman calling someone else's article "careless and unconvincing."

That's pretty funny, actually. Has he taken up satire?

AprilApple said...

Paul Krugman. LOL.

Scott said...

Ferguson did a great job of flushing out the partisan hacks and public pseudointellectuals.

He deserves a Pullet Surprise.

Or maybe a "Pull it, Sir" prize.

AJ Lynch said...

It ain't safe these days to yell "The Emperor Has No Clothes".

garage mahal said...

Ferguson did a great job of flushing out the partisan hacks and public pseudointellectuals.

Haha. Ferguson is the pseudo intellectual partisan hack and he is getting a thrashing he won't soon forget. And it's not just coming from the left, and it ain't even over.

Scott said...

Oh, pray tell what conservatives are "thrashing" him. (And the pseud's pseud, Andrew Sullivan, by his own admission is not conservative.)

Sam L. said...

Ah, it's The Grauniad printing this article. Where's George (Moonbat) Monbiot when one needs him? Paullie (The Beard) Krugman and Andrew (Sarah's Uterus) Sullivan are quoted.

Intellectual heft, my sore butt!
A thrashing, sayeth garage mahal.

A lot of words an fury, signifying next-to-nothing, say I.

Marshal said...

Any article referring to Krugman as an intelelctual heavyweight should be dismissed out of hand. Krugman made a conscious decision to sell the credibility of his Nobel prize to further his lefty political beliefs. Anyone treating him as anything other than a partisan attack dog doesn't know shit about anything.

LarsPorsena said...

"Paul Krugman" and "intellectual heavyweight" in the same sentence -- I'm going to be sick.

Once upon a time, he was an intellectual of note. But then, the spirochetes of BDS entered his brain and they began their deadly work.

garage mahal said...

Intellectual heft, my sore butt!
A thrashing, sayeth garage mahal.


Seriously dude, you would not last 5 seconds in a debate with Krugman on economics. Nor would I. Who do you think you're kidding? Nobody.

Matthew Sablan said...

Garage: Is this Krugman the text book writer, who has fairly conservative/moderate views on economics, or Krugman the NYT Op-Ed writer, who offers standard Democrat boiler-plate views on economics?

Balfegor said...

"Paul Krugman" and "intellectual heavyweight"

Well look. He is. He's also a partisan hack. The two are not mutually incompatible.

Re: garage:

Ferguson is the pseudo intellectual partisan hack and he is getting a thrashing he won't soon forget.

Frankly, he is probably enjoying it. I mean, you don't write an anti-Obama article for Newsweek if you aren't hoping to provoke people into howls of slavering outrage.

garage mahal said...

Garage: Is this Krugman the text book writer, who has fairly conservative/moderate views on economics, or Krugman the NYT Op-Ed writer, who offers standard Democrat boiler-plate views on economics?

Krugman has criticized Obama's economic policies pretty consistently.

What you won't see in this thread? Any substantive rebuke of Krugman's analysis of Ferguson's piece.

KRUGMAN??? HE A HACK!!!!!

So trite and boring.

AJ Lynch said...

"Paul Krugman" and "intellectual heavyweight".

Don't forget to add "Enron Advisor" to his list of vaunted titles.

Jacques Cuze said...

You quite literally had to know only English and how to balance a checkbook to know that Ferguson was being disingenuous (lying).

1) READ ENGLISH

"The president pledged that health-care reform would not add a cent to the deficit. But the CBO and the Joint Committee on Taxation now estimate that the insurance-coverage provisions of the ACA will have a net cost of close to $1.2 trillion over the 2012–22 period."

2) BALANCE CHECKBOOK

A) The President said our 2022 checkbook balance will be $X

B) FERGUSON: BUT WE WILL HAVE WRITTEN CHECKS FOR $1.2 TRILLION BY 2022

C) what goes here Althouse readers?

3) Conclude Ferguson was not telling you the whole story.

AF said...

The specific passage that Krugman calls out was deliberately misleading. It clearly implied that the CBO estimated that Obamacare would increase the deficit, which is false.

Also embarrassing and somewhat misleading, though probably not to the point of being downright unethical, is the imprecision and sloppiness of Althouse's post on the subject. The suggestion is that Krugman was just throwing invectives at Ferguson for being anti-Obama, when in fact he was highlighting a very specific error by Ferguson that Althouse does not even acknowledge let alone attempt to engage with.

AJ Lynch said...

Krugman's criticism of Obama is limited to whining that the Obama Spendulus should have been a Trillion or two higher. In Krugman's tiny brain, that means Obama is only a small "k" keynesian.

BarryD said...

"Any article referring to Krugman as an intelelctual heavyweight should be dismissed out of hand."

He's a bit of a heavyweight. He's definitely been having more trouble getting out of his chair, lately.

And "intellectual" doesn't necessarily signify anything other than a certain sort of image. It's not a compliment, any more than it's an insult, by itself.

What he is, is a partisan hack. He calls himself an economist, but social "scientists" would be expected to show more interest in empirical observation, I would think.

Hagar said...

The outrage is because it is Niall Ferguson and the article was published in Newsweek with that cover.

So it is kind of like when Assad's prime minister defects and goes on TV telling his people to join the revolution.
That is a threat that must be quashed immediately!

Hagar said...

And for those who don't know, Paul Krugman is the shifty-eyed character with the stubble beeard on ABC's This Week with George Stephanopolous.
He is indeed a Nobel prize winner in Economics from some years ago, and also a former Enron economic advisor.

Original Mike said...

"Krugman has criticized Obama's economic policies pretty consistently."

Right. He thinks we didn't go in hock nearly enough.

Balfegor said...

Re: Jacques Cuze:

Here is Ferguson's rebuttal on the $1.2 trillion point:

Krugman counters in his Conscience of a Liberal blog by saying: “The ACA would reduce, not increase, the deficit—because the insurance subsidies were fully paid for.” But I very deliberately said “the insurance coverage provisions of the ACA,” not “the ACA.” There is a big difference.
Krugman suggests that I haven't read the CBO's March 2010 report. Sorry, I have, and here is what it says:
“The provisions related to health insurance coverage—which affect both outlays and revenues—were projected to have a net cost of $1,042 billion over the 2012–2021 period; that amount represents a gross cost to the federal government of $1,390 billion, offset in part by $349 billion in receipts and savings (primarily revenues from penalties and other sources)
.”

Which . . .I guess looks like Ferguson admitting that actually, yes, it's only $1 trillion not $1.2 trillion. But close enough.

This isn't terribly interesting to me, because the case for Obama's incompetence and mismanagement is pretty clear even without Ferguson's article -- that won't change whether he did deliberately distort the record or not -- but for anyone who interested, he has a follow-up here.

garage mahal said...

Right. He thinks we didn't go in hock nearly enough.

Nobody is telling you to read Krugman, but it's obvious you don't.

Colonel Angus said...

The specific passage that Krugman calls out was deliberately misleading. It clearly implied that the CBO estimated that Obamacare would increase the deficit, which is false.

Correct. Obama has been successful in increasing the deficit even without the boondoggle they is Obamacare.

AF said...

Balfegor:

You need to keep reading to where Ferguson acknowledges that the CBO estimates Obamacare's net impact to be budget-reducing. Apparently Ferguson disagrees with the CBO on that. But of course, Ferguson said nothing about that in the Newsweek article, because disagreeing with the CBO would have interfered with his efforts to misrepresent what the CBO said.

Original Mike said...

"The specific passage that Krugman calls out was deliberately misleading. It clearly implied that the CBO estimated that Obamacare would increase the deficit, which is false."

Actually, it's really not. When they scored ObamaCare, the head of the CBO wrote that ObamaCare did not increase the deficit "under the rules we are required to follow" (scoring ten years of revenue and only 6 years of outlays, double counting MediCare savings, the program for either catastrophic or nursing home insurance (I forget which) that everyone knew was a scam (and, indeed, DHS has already dropped that program). TO claim that ObamaCare does not increase the deficit is deeply, deeply, dishonest.

Original Mike said...

Garage - Krugman has consistently claimed the reason the stimulus didn't work is that it was too small.

dbp said...

" Krugman accuses Ferguson of "unethical commentary" and "deliberately misleading readers""

In all fairness, Krugman is exactly the kind of guy who would recognize such things.



AF said...

Original Mike:

If Ferguson had written that "despite the CBO's estimate to the contrary, my view is that Obamacare will increase the deficit" or even just "Obamacare will increase the deficit," that would have been fine.

But he wrote, in effect, the CBO estimates that Obamacare will increase the deficit. Which is false and not a matter of opinion or debate.

Michael K said...

The point of the cover is the amusing view of an Obama acolyte rejecting him. Krugman's textbooks don't agree with his NY Times columns. He has converted from a Nobel Prize economist to a partisan hack. There are Nobel Prize economists who take the opposite view of economics.

The Congressional Budget Office is being drawn into the debate. No one seems to realize that it musty use the data it is given for its analysis. Garbage in-garbage out.

crosspatch said...

The political left is fairly predictable in their hyperbole whenever anyone disagrees with them. They seem to experience disagreement as "hate" or something. The usual reaction is to attempt litter the path with straw men and piles of red herring before going in for the ad hominum kill after having filled the air with a bunch of hyperbolic smoke.

Shark jumping is the latest recreational fad among Democratic campaign officials.

I think the article deserves three yawns for being just exactly what we would have expected him to say.

Michael said...

One of the critics of this article noted that Obama did too create jobs in the private sector: 470,000 of them! Over three and a half years. For the math inclined that is a sparkling 134,000 jobs per year. That, for the math imclined, is 7,000 jobs per year more than needed to absorb new entrants into the job market. Ferguson's critics would do well not to call attention to these splendid results of our smartest president. Ever.

garage mahal said...

Garage - Krugman has consistently claimed the reason the stimulus didn't work is that it was too small.

So have other economists, like Roubini and others. That's far from Krugman's only critique however.

Marshal said...

Original Mike said...
"Krugman has criticized Obama's economic policies pretty consistently."

Right. He thinks we didn't go in hock nearly enough.


This isn't nearly damning enough. Krugman refuses to support specific policies which will be enacted to avoid accepting real world consequences of his political choices. So in this case, he continues to pretend a larger stimulus would have had the predicted effect, and when questioned about the risks of a debt crisis he hides behind his Nobel prize.

He is the most dishonest high profile political commenter on the planet.

BarryD said...

"Krugman has criticized Obama's economic policies pretty consistently."

True. When they were Bush's policies, he called them disastrous, I think. I sometimes agreed with him, back then.

Why Krugman wouldn't want Romney in office is really puzzling, though. How much more could he rant, if his words no longer had to be approved by his Democratic Party overlords? It has to get old, giving editorial blowjobs to the party in power, after a while, as a columnist, doesn't it?

gadfly said...

Paul Krugman, the columnist, not the great economist now deceased, wrote this closing sentence in his 10/18/2010 NY Times column entitled "Epitaph For An Administration" -

Or to put it another way, the [Obama] administration has never missed an opportunity to miss an opportunity. And soon there won’t be any more opportunities to miss.


Paul must have forgotten his words, just as he has forgotten what advice he gave to Enron.

Balfegor said...

Re: AF:

You need to keep reading to where Ferguson acknowledges that the CBO estimates Obamacare's net impact to be budget-reducing. Apparently Ferguson disagrees with the CBO on that. But of course, Ferguson said nothing about that in the Newsweek article, because disagreeing with the CBO would have interfered with his efforts to misrepresent what the CBO said.

Actually, the only one I had read was the first rebuttal to Krugman (I have just now read what I think are the relevant paragraphs of the original Ferguson article). I can see why you would say that, but on balance, his big point is that the actual price tag for Obamacare is $1.2 trillion. He didn't say that legislators also nibbled at other programs (principally Medicare) to get enough offsets to cover those costs, but I don't think including a line there would have weakened his point particularly.

I mean, he could have thrown in the Romney-Ryan talking point about taking $700B from Medicare, the now-abandoned savings from CLASS, exclusion of the Medicare "doc fix" from the baseline, the long-term mismatch between revenues and expenditures being obscured by the 10-year window, etc. He didn't though, probably because this was just one point in his long laundry-list of why he thinks the President does not deserve re-election.

BarryD said...

"Paul must have forgotten his words, just as he has forgotten what advice he gave to Enron."

I doubt he's forgotten the advice he gave. It probably bore a lot of resemblance to the advice he gives the Obama administration, European countries, et al., today.

He "forgot" that he gave it to Enron.

Balfegor said...

re: AF:

But he wrote, in effect, the CBO estimates that Obamacare will increase the deficit.

No, he wrote that the "insurance coverage" provisions of Obamacare will increase the deficit. That was the whole point of his rebuttal. Now, you may reject that distinction, but if you ignore it, you're committing exactly the same sin of misdirection as you're saying he did.

Balfegor said...

Actually, he didn't even call it Obamacare -- he called it "Pelosicare" and then started talking about it as the ACA.

AF said...

Balfegor:

Come on now. Ferguson wrote that Obama pledged no impact on the deficit "but" the CBO "now" estimates that the net costs will be 1.2 trillion.

Logically, that is like saying "Obama said 4 minus 5 is less than 0, but the CBO now states that 4 is a positive number." It's a complete non sequitur if read strictly. The only possible reason to utter such nonsense is to mislead the reader.

Colonel Angus said...

We are spending a trillion plus more than we did in 2008 and it doesn't appear to be stimulating anything other than the interest payments on the debt.

edutcher said...

The political equivalent of, "Say it ain't so, Joe".

Balfegor said...

Actually, he didn't even call it Obamacare -- he called it "Pelosicare" and then started talking about it as the ACA.

Denial is more than a river in Egypt at the Gray Lady.

They also insisted on calling Zarqawi's outfit Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia.

Nobody's said anything about Mesopotamia since the Armistice.

JackOfClubs said...

"Paul Krugman is among the intellectual heavyweights" and Brutus is an honorable man.

Michael Haz said...

How dare Niall Ferguson hold an opinion not approved by the borg!

yashu said...

Paul Krugman calling someone else's article "careless and unconvincing."

Remember that Krugman was probably the most prominent editorialist to blame Sarah Palin and the GOP for the Tucson shootings. "Eliminationist rhetoric," you see.

Ken said...

Garage,

you would not last 5 seconds in a debate with Krugman on economics. (emphasis added)

And a narrow sub-topic of economics at that. Additionally, Mr. Krugman of the NYT consistently contradicts Dr. Krugman who won the Nobel Prize.

When he opens his mouth these days, you can rest assured it's going to be some leftwing partisan rant, even if that means contradicting his old economic self.

Elize Nayden said...

"Paul Krugman is among the intellectual heavyweights..."

Paul Krugman:"Look at me! Look at me! A squirrel family lives in my beard!"

(Endorsed by Andrew Sullivan)

Cedarford said...

Michael said...
One of the critics of this article noted that Obama did too create jobs in the private sector: 470,000 of them! Over three and a half years. For the math inclined that is a sparkling 134,000 jobs per year. That, for the math imclined, is 7,000 jobs per year more than needed to absorb new entrants into the job market. Ferguson's critics would do well not to call attention to these splendid results of our smartest president. Ever.

===================
That doesn't even cover the 1.4 million illegals that Krugman's Black Messiah just Amnestied and put into the US job seeking ranks.

Chip S. said...

Fallows makes a fool of himself with his criticism, taking Ferguson to task for comparing the state of employment today with what it was at its previous peak (Jan. 2008) rather than when Obama took office.

Ferguson's point, of course, is how very, very far we are from any semblance of a bounce-back. Even a return to the previous peak in employment would be pretty weak stuff, given the increase in working-age population since then.

I didn't click thru to DeLong's commentary, b/c anything I've ever read by him seems like it was sent from a lunatic asylum.

Kirby Olson said...

It's incredibly incredible that the article got through and made it to the cover of Newsweek. Time for the orcs to cover for their master.

Astro said...

Whenever I see that photo of Paul Krugman it makes me think he is a lycanthrope caught in the middle of the change. But instead of turning into a werewolf, he is caught in the middle of changing into a shaggy dog, like that old Disney film.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

Will someone more familiar that I with CBO scoring please explain how it works? Because my rough understanding is that the CBO is constrained to pretend that everything stipulated in a bill will happen exactly as it is in the text; whereas (for example) the "doc fix" has happened for many years, and no one thinks it won't happen again.

Now we have, in addition to the problem fixed year after year as the "doc fix," another $716B in "savings" to be found in Medicare over ten years, and again the CBO has to score the legislation as though that will actually happen.

Original Mike said...

"my rough understanding is that the CBO is constrained to pretend that everything stipulated in a bill will happen exactly as it is in the text"

Yes, they are. It's why Elmendorf felt compelled to issue his disclaimer.

Chip S. said...

Michelle, There's what you mentioned, which pretty much has to be the way the CBO operates (o/w they're making forecasts of future legislation to put numbers in current legislation). But in the case of the ACA, there's something else that's the source of confusion.

The ACA has a ton of stuff in it, but these can be sorted into two basic categories: things that are related to health insurance, and things that are not.

The main non-health-insurance-related items are taxes. And I don't mean the "tax" that's assessed as a penalty on people who don't buy health insurance. I mean a grab-bag of excise taxes that make no more sense as a part of the ACA than they'd make on their own. They are free-standing by any rational accounting.

So Ferguson quite sensibly talks about the impact of the ACA's health-insurance provisions (which are, really, what the terms "Obamacare" or "Pelosicare" naturally conjure up) on the deficit. The CBO's initial estimate of that was, IIRC, around $1 billion a year, and it got raised to something like $1.2 billion (I'm just guessing at these figures, but I think they're in the ballpark).

Krugman's "gotcha" has to do with the difference b/w the ACA and what "Obamacare" means to most of us. It's true that Ferguson's wording was sloppy, but it's ridiculous to lambaste him as an academic fraud on the basis of an imprecisely worded op-ed.

I really don't think Krugman should advocate for that standard of review.

Quaestor said...

garage mahal wrote:
Haha. Ferguson is the pseudo intellectual partisan hack and he is getting a thrashing he won't soon forget. And it's not just coming from the left, and it ain't even over.

Titus' sock puppet whistling through the graveyard.

Saint Croix said...

intellectual heavyweight?!

that gave me the giggles

Quaestor said...

Paul Krugman, intellectual heavyweight

Marty said...

I enjoy the little gaggle of Krugman defenders among the Althouse commentariat. They are earnest and thoughtful. And, like him, they focus on the trees of factoids and ignore the forest of lies and distortion.

brio said...

So who would be more embarrassed and unethical here? Niall Ferguson for writing a supposedly false story or Tina Brown for allowing said false story to be printed? Should we ask Newsweek's lawyers that question?

Insufficiently Sensitive said...

Mr. Ferguson has adroitly put the ball back in the court of the 'critics' - aka mindless attack dogs - and he unglues said intellectuals by chapter and verse in the Daily Beast.

Amusing, that Newsweek used to say we're all socialists on its cover, and now tells Obama to get outa Dodge. You'd think the magazine has adopted exhibitionism as a business model.

mccullough said...

So Ferguson is using the same tricks that Krugman uses in his columns and now Krugman is pissed.

John Lynch said...

I'm a huge Ferguson fan from 'way back when he wrote "The Pity of War."

It would be far more dishonest if Niall Ferguson were an Obama supporter. The theme of "War of the World," was that huge wars are caused by economic volatility, ethnic conflict, and empires in decline.

Sound familiar?

If he wrote a pro-Obama piece it would be a betrayal of all of his work.

Kind of like Krugman, actually.

Don't Tread 2012 said...

Any panning of the Obamastablishment is frowned upon by our MSM elites. Predictable? Of course. Ask Daniel Hannan.

That it bothers them is proof of its effectiveness. I have read a bunch of Mr. Ferguson's stuff and find him to be accurate and respectful of the truth.

Don't Tread 2012 said...

garage gleefully typed

"Right. He thinks we didn't go in hock nearly enough.

Nobody is telling you to read Krugman, but it's obvious you don't."

-facepalm-

Garage, its clear you thought they said 'trains'...caboose anyone?

treeofmamre said...

If it had been about Romney, no one would question it. The real scandal is Krugman's own embarrassing partisanship and unethical behavior.

Alan said...

"Paul Krugman is among the intellectual heavyweights,..."

All fat, no muscle.

creeley23 said...

It wasn't just Krugman attacking Ferguson but a dozen or so prominent liberal bloggers, and their attacks did not just take issue with with this point or that made by Ferguson but were direct, personal and nasty. Brad De Long, an economics professor at UC Berkeley, went right for Ferguson's jugular:

Fire his ass.

Fire his ass from Newsweek, and the Daily Beast.

Convene a committee at Harvard to impose proper sanctions on this degree of intellectual dishonesty.


The accusations are mostly about Ferguson's claim that long-term Obamacare breaks Obama's promise that it would reduce the deficit -- which I didn't realize was controversial at this point.

In any event the emotional pitch is unseemly for a technical argumetn. It appears this is a concerted campaign to render Ferguson beyond the pale of acceptable dialog, a typical practice of the left.

Ferguson has already fired back a four-page defense. Here's his overview which matches my impression.

My critics have three things in common. First, they wholly fail to respond to the central arguments of the piece. Second, they claim to be engaged in "fact checking," whereas in nearly all cases they are merely offering alternative (often silly or skewed) interpretations of the facts. Third, they adopt a tone of outrage that would be appropriate only if I had argued that, say, women’s bodies can somehow prevent pregnancies in case of "legitimate rape."

Fen said...

the intellectual heavyweights tearing apart the British historian for a 'careless and unconvincing' article."

Oh lookie. The media finally remembered how to "speak truth to power"

*snort*

The MSM really should be subject to campaign finance laws.

John Lynch said...

This isn't really about Ferguson or his views.

It's about him being on the cover of Newsweek, a liberal publication.

If he's on Fox or published elsewhere, there's no reaction. In fact, he's been on Fox and there's been no reaction.

This is about controlling liberal media and keeping out opposing views.

Rusty said...

garage mahal said...
Right. He thinks we didn't go in hock nearly enough.

Nobody is telling you to read Krugman, but it's obvious you don't.

Well. I do. And I can tell I know a hell of a lot more about economics than you do.

Krugman read Keynes and thought he found god. If he had finished the book he would have gotten to the part where market intrusion by the government should be limited and
short lasting.
November is coming up, Garage. Don't forget to vote as often as possible and tell your friends too. What am I sayin'. Your a Democrat. Of course you're going to vote
often.


wv CPenho What Sean Penn does for Hugo Chavez

Marshal said...

creeley23 said...
Brad De Long, an economics professor at UC Berkeley, went right for Ferguson's jugular:

Fire his ass.

Fire his ass from Newsweek, and the Daily Beast.


I fondly remember the early days of blogging when the back and forth was often about learning and left room for disagreement. It was difficult for the left to meaningfully participate since they were so used to complete institutional control and seemd to regard the entire process as a threat (which it was). But Delong was someone people thought made an effort.

When people whine about Reynolds being sharper than he used to be (which in my opinion is both true and understandable) compare his evolution to DeLong's and the rest of the left.

Craig said...

God Save The Queen.

AprilApple said...

Paul Krugman is an idiot and a clown. No surprise he worships Obama and acts as Obama's court jester.

creeley23 said...

But Delong was someone people thought made an effort.

Marshal: Yes. I used to read De Long in the early 2000s and that's what I remember. Later he came out hardcore in the anti-Bush camp, so I'm not surprised to find him defending Obama now.

But this "Fire his ass" shrieking and demand for academic sanctions is more than I would have expected.

The left's inability to abide disagreement without ratcheting up the matter into campaigns to destroy an opponent's livelihood is too Stalinist for my blood.

furious_a said...

You'd think the magazine has adopted exhibitionism as a business model.

...or you'd think that Tina Brown had discovered a heretofore untapped market niche: ~50% of the American people.

It's about him being on the cover of Newsweek, a liberal publication.

Like earlier it was about Juan Williams being a contributor to Fox News.

hombre said...

Any journalist/publication/academic who departs from the template must be immediately silenced by the "intellectual heavyweights" lest it be discovered that said heavyweights are, in reality, lightweights and probably dupes as well.

Paddy O said...

I think Brad De Long should be fired for both betraying free speech and academic standards.

Academics disagree all the time. It can get nasty but there's an assumption that it's part of the game.

Making it personal and attacking one's very right to speech and calling for removal from an institution isn't academic rebuttal. It's a witch hunt. Krugman might as well be shouting, "Ferguson turned me into a newt!"

And it's not accidental or inadvertent. They know exactly how they are using language and acting one way in public and another way in academic life. It's pernicious--they're being disingenuous in their outrage in order to attempt to put Ferguson beyond the pale in both academic and public discussion.

Even if Ferguson is wrong, the way they are using language undermines their argument, because it's not about actual discussion it's about persecution.

Marshal said...

creeley23 said...
The left's inability to abide disagreement without ratcheting up the matter into campaigns to destroy an opponent's livelihood is too Stalinist for my blood.


Yes, DeLong's disgusting. As appalling is the lack of response from anyone else. In a decent institution someone would speak to DeLong and if he didn't apologize everyone else would shun DeLong.

I don't think this is about Ferguson, although obviously DeLong and the other brownshirts would love to get him. This is about intimidating the rest of the academy. He's showing the moderates and centrists they will be turned into pariahs if they say anything negative about leftism.

And this behavior comes from a section of society that looks down on others. Unbelievable.

Chip S. said...

I used to read De Long in the early 2000s and that's what I remember.

What *I* remember is that DeLong deleted every critical comment I ever posted there. Of course, it's a small sample b/c I stopped bothering to read his distortions and half-truths pretty shortly after discovering his site.

Rusty said...

Marshal said...
creeley23 said...
Brad De Long, an economics professor at UC Berkeley, went right for Ferguson's jugular:

Fire his ass.

Fire his ass from Newsweek, and the Daily Beast.

I fondly remember the early days of blogging when the back and forth was often about learning and left room for disagreement. It was difficult for the left to meaningfully participate since they were so used to complete institutional control and seemd to regard the entire process as a threat (which it was). But Delong was someone people thought made an effort.

When people whine about Reynolds being sharper than he used to be (which in my opinion is both true and understandable) compare his evolution to DeLong's and the rest of the left.


Which makes Christopher Hitchens passing all the more tragic.

creeley23 said...

What *I* remember is that DeLong deleted every critical comment I ever posted there.

Chip S.: Sorry to hear it. I've had that experience at other liberal blogs.

I never posted at De Long's. I was trying to get a range of opinions. Back when I was liberal, I thought that was part of what it meant to be liberal.

Of course, my interest in hearing more than one side eventually led me to leave the liberalism, so there is a thuggish, authoritarian wisdom to ganging up on dissidents like Ferguson.

Marshal said...

Which makes Christopher Hitchens passing all the more tragic.

Yes. I think the person I know who has best retained that early ethos is Eugene Volokh. Others on his site have changed similarly to others, but not him. I think it's because he limits his responses to a narrow range of topics and doesn't engage general interest stories. Which I've always considered a shame because the insight he brings to events within his self-defined scope is excellent. But if general engagement drives evolution I guess it's for the best.

I wonder if he understood the likely impact on him, or if his motivation was more staving off DeLong style reactions. Or maybe he just didn't have the time.

Vigilante said...

The stock market refutes everything Ferguson says, in spades, as it doubled since Obama took over. Economists never agree, except they all agree Obama inherited the biggest economic downturn since the great depression. By the time Obama took over, the economy was in freefall, losing over 700,000 jobs a month. The biggest American banks collapsed and had to be rescued. Banks that survived the Civil War, the crash of 1929, WWI & II collapsed. AIG alone needed a $180 billion bailout. General Motors, the top icon of American manufacturing, went bankrupt and had to be rescued by the taxpayer. The entire multi-trillion dollar housing market crashed, as did the stock market. Many millions lost their jobs and homes. Over $29 trillion was pledged to backstop the system. All under George Bush and Republican economic policies. Now Romney would have let the auto industry collapse, and that probably would have added momentum to bring the house down completely - which easily shows that he is even more stupid than Bush, if you can conceive that.

The metaphor is that Bush pushed the economy over a cliff. Obama caught it, and is trying to push it back up the hill. All the while Obama is being kicked and punched by the same people who pushed it over the cliff, and they're saying put us back in charge - sheer unbridled insanity.

Now Ferguson's man Romney is running to give tax breaks to the rich - even though we've tried that stench already and it didn't work. Didn't work is a hyperbolic understatement - reality is that it brought humanity to the brink of extinction.

Today corporate America is flush with cash - trillions. Banks are flush with cash - trillions parked at the Fed and elsewhere. The rich are flush with cash - trillions. Trillions sitting overseas in off-shore accounts of corporations. Trillions sitting in off-shore accounts of the rich. Given that under Obama the stock market has doubled from the Bush abomination - that's more trillions for the rich. They already have the cash, so where are the jobs? The rich and corporate America do not need more tax breaks to create jobs. That's sillier than silly, and represents the most despicable wanton criminal greed. In fact, if their taxes were being raised, they would put their money to work and get investment deductions rather than just hand it over in taxes from where they have it parked.

If Ferguson wants to know why the economy is sluggish - it's because the rich are getting richer, and everybody else is left with a smaller piece of the pie.

And Ryan would have these parasitic leeches pay just one percent tax, while implementing austerity. Children should not be allowed to play with fire.

What an embarassment that such idiocy as Ferguson's diatribe can flow out of Harvard.

This is not Greece - nothing can bail out the USA. Romney/Ryan economics is the biggest threat to human existence ever, as it would bring about total collapse of civilization in short order. But I guess that's what Ferguson wants to.