Monday, September 12, 2011

Rumsfeld and the New York Times

Donald Rumsfeld canceled his subscription to the New York Times in response to Paul Krugman's outburst of Bush Derangement Syndrome on September 11. I find Rumsfeld's reaction silly. Krugman has been writing columns for the Times for quite awhile, and he's been a member of the leftist fringe since he started. No one, including Rumsfeld, should have been surprised or shocked that Krugman put up a BDS-influenced post on 9/11. You can find the same sort of attitudes on various leftist sites.

When you read the New York Times you know what you are getting: one of the world's most prestigious newspapers that delivers the news through the lens of a liberal worldview. But despite the editorial bias, it delivers a huge volume of news, including much high-quality reporting. Like most papers, it has various columnists, some good, some bad, and some whose quality differs depending on the day and/or topic. When you read Paul Krugman on economic issues, you also know what you are getting. His largely one-note economic perspective can be educational as a contrast to approaches that are more likely to be in favor on the right. But when he writes about political topics, Krugman is nothing more than a typical, garden-variety leftist, rarely capable of making a serious argument, and useful only as an object of ridicule. I'm not sure why someone like Rumsfeld would even take him seriously. Canceling your subscription to the Times because of one idiotic post by Krugman is a silly overreaction that makes Rumsfeld look petty and thin-skinned, and inadvertently gives Krugman more stature than he deserves.