Hypocrisy on Stilts: Krugman Accuses Someone Else of 'Caricaturing' His Position, Making Him Sound 'Extreme'

Hypocrisy on stilts: Columnist Paul Krugman, who has accused the GOP of eliminationist rhetoric and global-warming skeptics of treason against the planet, chides a fellow Times writer for "caricaturing" his view on an issue, "making it sound far more extreme than it actually was."

Aww...columnist Paul Krugman, respected economist turned talking points purveyor for the left-wing blogosphere, has had his feelings hurt by a fellow Times writer, Andrew Ross Sorkin, and is demanding redress: "Andrew Ross Sorkin Owes Several People An Apology."

The source of Krugman's wounded feelings? These mild passages in Sorkin's Tuesday column, quoted by Krugman in his post:

You may recall that during the most perilous months of 2008 and early 2009, there was a vigorous debate about how the government should fix the financial system. Some economists, including Nouriel Roubini of New York University and The Times's own Paul Krugman, declared that we should follow the example of the Swedes by nationalizing the entire banking system.

They argued that Wall Street was occupied by the walking dead, and that no matter how much money we threw at the banks, they would eventually topple the system all over again and cause a domino effect worldwide.

Touchy Krugman hypocritically huffed in a Tuesday morning post on his nytimes.com blog:

I certainly never said anything like that, and I don't think Nouriel did either. First of all, I never called for "nationalizing the entire banking system" - I wanted the government to take temporary full ownership of a few weak banks, mainly Citigroup and possibly B of A. I defy Sorkin to find any examples of me calling for a total takeover.

Then Krugman, who has accused the GOP of "eliminationist rhetoric," called Ronald Reagan "an anti-government fanatic," accused Obama-care town hall protesters of racism and global-warming skeptics of "treason against the planet," actually accused Sorkin of making his position "sound far more extreme than it really was."

If you want to say that the advocates of nationalization were excessively pessimistic about the prospects for a light-touch bank strategy, fine. But caricaturing their position, making it sound far more extreme than it actually was, is definitely not OK.

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