November 29, 2003

Lying in Ponds

Lying in Ponds summarizes his view of Paul Krugman very well:

lying in ponds: November 2003 Archive: ...My only basis for evaluation is the record of [Krugman's] 372 Times columns, and I would argue that they were written by a gifted economist and lively writer who also happens to be extremely partisan. I've said many times before that I believe that the partisanship scores of Democratic pundits will naturally be systematically higher during a controversial Republican administration such as this one, and that I hope to be still doing Lying in Ponds the next time that the administration changes parties, to observe how Mr. Krugman and others respond. To me, the most amazing thing about the current partisanship scoring is that Ann Coulter is ranked as the most partisan, despite the lack of high profile Democratic targets in the White House. One can only imagine how high her partisanship score will go when a Democrat regains the presidency...

Touche. But I would ask two questions:

  • Why are those 372 columns the "only basis for evaluation"? Why not feed in some of Paul's earlier columns from Fortune and essays from Foreign Affairs?
  • The word "partisan" carries a strong negative evaluative component. Should it, in this case? Isn't the most interesting thing the fact that a guy whose underlying type is not that of a strong partisan is nevertheless writing such "shrill" criticism of the Bush administration?

Posted by DeLong at November 29, 2003 08:58 AM | TrackBack

Comments

I'm not sure "touche" is appropriate here. Perhaps the reason Ann Coulter is considered more partisan than Paul Krugman is simply because nearly all of what she writes can be categorized as vicious falsehoods.

Posted by: Matt Taylor on November 29, 2003 09:49 PM

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I never didn't think Krugman was partisan, I just thought he was right!

I never see Krugman throwing "low blows" (in boxing's sense), as I often seem to feel the other side has been busy doing, for years now.

What can one say? If Krugman is partisan, or even shrill, it's amazing how the side that's been dishing it out for years, can't take a little of their own medicine. I'm grateful he's out there for me, fighting for something like my views.

tjallen

Posted by: tjallen on November 29, 2003 11:10 PM

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Rats - never change one's wording just before hitting post!
My first sentence's wording can be either:
I didn't think Krugman was partisan, I just thought he was right!
or
I never thought Krugman was partisan, I just thought he was right!
but not the sentence I first posted.
tjallen

Posted by: tjallen on November 29, 2003 11:18 PM

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A better counterweight to Ann Coulter than Krugman would be Al Franken. Although conservatives and Republicans generally repudiate Coulter, while the Democrats openly embrace Franken. But Franken in turn comes off much less vicious than (say) Alec Baldwin, who once said:
“We would stone Henry Hyde to death, and we would go to their homes and we’d kill their wives and their children. We would kill their families." Of course he later said: “I was just kidding.”

Of course Krugman doesn’t belong in that group at all. He is generally civil, albeit somewhat bilious at times.

Posted by: A. Zarkov on November 30, 2003 12:40 AM

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LiP is pretty useless.

Since when is onesidedness (which is all LiP measures) either good or bad for a columnist?

Posted by: GT on November 30, 2003 06:33 AM

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"Although conservatives and Republicans generally repudiate Coulter, ..."

And your evidence for this assertion is what exactly? Thought so.

Posted by: SavageView on December 1, 2003 07:26 AM

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"Why are those 372 columns the "only basis for evaluation"? Why not feed in some of Paul's earlier columns from Fortune and essays from Foreign Affairs?"

Why not some amateur poetry or short stories ?

Krugman, while always an important economist and academic, wasn't really a " pundit " until he had a NYT column - an old media soapbox of the first magnitude.

He's regarded as " shrill " by people like myself in his NYT role because if Bush said the sky was blue Krugman was start yelling " No ! It's Azure !". I have a hard time taking ppl who argue like that as seriously as I do those who are equally partisan but a little more realistic.

Posted by: mark safranski on December 1, 2003 10:49 AM

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It makes more sense to weight an analysis more heavily with more recent writings. If someone used to be reasonable and thoughtful but has gone thru a transformation into a foaming lunatic then he's fairly useless as a source for understanding the most recent events and it is his most recent and future writings that will be read more in the future.

I don't see the point in reading people who write with their main motivation as making a partisan case. I read for understanding and for information that I do not already possess. Someone whose chief motive is to write to advance his side's case is typically not going to provide as much insight as someone who writes to try to increase understanding.

Posted by: Randall Parker on December 4, 2003 05:45 PM

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Brad, I am confused on one point. What underlying type do you refer to as not being strongly partisan? Ph.D.? College professor? Princeton faculty member? In my mind those are all indicators for partisanship on the Democratic Party side.

Posted by: Randall Parker on December 4, 2003 06:00 PM

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