He just makes stuff up

Matthew Hoy
By Matthew Hoy on July 21, 2006

Now that the New York Times has locked its nutty columnists in the sub-basement known as TimesSelect, the likes of Maureen Dowd, Frank Rich and Paul Krugman have become far less influential in our public debate.

This is a good thing, since Krugman continues to just make stuff up.

Today's column is a case in point. Two versions of the column were sent over the wires. If you opened up a copy of the Times you found lying in a recycling container (surely you wouldn't spend your own money on that fishwrapper), and glimpsed Krugman's column you would have read this lede:

Today we call them neoconservatives, but in the 1980s, those who believed that America could remake the world to its liking with a series of splendid little wars were known within the White House as "the crazies." Grown-ups in both parties, including the first President Bush, rejected their vision as a dangerous fantasy.

This was the rewrite that came over the wires after the first version. This is a new lede. The original lede read:

Today we call them neoconservatives, but when the first George Bush was president, those who believed that America could remake the world to its liking with a series of splendid little wars -- people like Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld -- were known within the administration as "the crazies." Grown-ups in both parties rejected their vision as a dangerous fantasy.

There's a noticable and substantial difference between the first and second versions. But I call Bolshevik Storytelling on both.

Let's leave Rumsfeld out of this analysis and focus just on Dick Cheney. According to Krugman, Cheney was characterized within the White House of Bush 41 as a "crazy" -- at the same time he was running the first Gulf War as secretary of defense.

Does this hold any water whatsoever? Are we seriously to believe that Bush 41 had someone he viewed as a "crazy" in charge of the military? If you read the article, you'll see that Krugman isn't bashing Bush 41, he's praising him as someone who knew better than to trust the so-called "crazies," but he puts one of them second-in-command of the nation's armed forces during a major conflict?

Krugman has demonstrated himself to be a fool for years. If you actually read all of today's article, you'll see that hasn't changed. But Krugman is also a liar. He makes stuff up out of whole cloth and since facts aren't a requirement on the Times editorial pages, he gets away with it.

The reason why the lede was changed was allegedly to "recast 1st graf, remove specific names and add time context." The change was really to hide the outrageousness of Krugman's lies. By moving the first reference to Dick Cheney farther down in the story and changing the reference to the Bush 41 administration to "the 1980s," the Times is able to hide Krugman's outrageous claim that President George H.W. Bush thought his secretary of defense was a "crazy."

You can't believe a word Krugman writes -- including "and" and "the."


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July 2006



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