Krugman in the doghouse over ‘shameful’ 9/11 blog
Critics continue to attack author and New York Times days after explosive piece first appeared
LEFT-LEANING New York Times columnist Paul Krugman is at the centre of a political firestorm in America after posting a blog on the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks that veered wildly away from the orthodox sentiments about the tragedy.
The short but explosive piece denounced "fake heroes" including Rudy Giuliani and George W Bush for the "hijacking of the atrocity" and, clearly referring to the ensuing war in Iraq, said: "The memory of 9/11 has been irrevocably poisoned; it has become an occasion for shame. And in its heart, the nation knows it."
Krugman, a Nobel Prize-winning economist, obviously knew what was coming when he wrote the piece, entitled: 'The conscience of a liberal'. He signed off by saying: "I'm not going to allow comments on this post, for obvious reasons."
That has not stopped people expressing their thoughts on his article. And most of them have been pretty strident. Donald Rumsfeld called the article "repugnant" on Twitter and immediately announced he had cancelled his subscription to the New York Times. Blogger Michelle Malkin called him a "smug coward".
The attacks have come thick and fast ever since and show no signs of abating. Even the liberal media appear confused by the tone and timing of the piece, though the claim that the attacks were used to justify an overseas war for political ends is hardly a new one.
Greg Sargent said as much in the Washington Post, but added: "Making the charge on the 10th anniversary itself seems deliberately provocative."
Erik Wimple, also at the Washington Post, notes that the row is now in its third stage, with anger focusing on Krugman's decision not to allow comments. He calls the decision "cowardly", "bewildering" and "arrogant".
Chicago-based blogger Peter Bella says he was initially lost for words at the notion of not being able to comment on Krugman’s posting. Now he has come to the conclusion that "Krugman is vile. He has no conscience... He used his blog to poison the day."
While Krugman deals with the fall-out, the Times iself is also coming under attack. Jennifer C Braceras in the Boston Herald wrote: "By publishing Krugman's hateful blog post on Sunday, the Times went too far. It has now lost all credibility, rendering it (and Paul Krugman) irrelevant."
Jennifer Rubin in the Washington Post also turned on the 'Gray Lady': "The jewel of the liberal media is revealed to be an intellectual black hole and a spiritual wasteland. No wonder it is a dying enterprise. Its countrymen have better things to do than be insulted by the likes of Krugman."