Arrogance: Paul Krugman Edition

by Pejman Yousefzadeh on August 6, 2009

Consider the following from a recent Krugman post:

I was tentatively scheduled to be on a broadcast dealing with — well, I won’t embarrass them. But first they had to find someone to take the opposite view. And it turned out that they couldn’t — which led to canceling the whole segment.

In a way this goes beyond my original point, which was the unwillingness of the news media to referee a controversy by actually reporting the facts. Now it seems that a fact isn’t worth reporting unless someone is prepared to deny it.

Several questions follow:

1. Who was the “them” that Krugman thought about embarrassing?

2. What was the debate about?

3. What was Krugman’s position?

4. What was the opposing view?

5. Could it be possible that the opposing view may have had some validity?

6. Why should we just assume–with no back-up whatsoever for the proposition–that Krugman’s position was the fact-based one, and his putative opponent would have had to have been making stuff up in order to argue against Krugman?

I am certainly not averse to the belief that Paul Krugman is a smart guy who ought to be taken seriously in debate. I am, however, averse to the belief that I ought to just take him at his word when he tells us that he is the Vessel of Light and Truth, that all others who contemplate arguing with him are frauds, and that we don’t need no stinkin’ details to agree with his claim that people ought to just listen to him without hearing contravening voices. If a Republican pundit made similarly grandiose claims, Krugman would excoriate that poor soul. Why should he escape excoriation here?

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