Krugman and Newsweek

Blog ››› ››› ERIC BOEHLERT

The Times' liberal columnist is on the cover this week, with a provocative story headlined: "OBAMA IS WRONG: The Loyal Opposition of Paul Krugman." It's about Krugman's criticism of Obama's economic policies made from the left.

Writes Newsweek chief Jon Meacham:

Every once a while, … a critic emerges who is more than a chatterer—a critic with credibility whose views seem more than a little plausible and who manages to rankle those in power in more than passing ways.

Here's what we think is telling about the whole thing: During the Bush years, Krugman, from his same perch on the pages of Times' opinion pages, waged about as vocal a campaign as humanly possible to warn readers and the country about what he considered to be the perilous policy decisions the Bush administration was embracing, and what the disastrous results for America would be.

Looking back on the Bush years, Krugman's track record was rather impeccable. But you'll note he didn't appear on the cover of Newsweek back then. (No "Bush is Wrong" cover lines.) And for years Krugman only occasionally appeared on the pundit talk shows. He wasn't referenced much inside The Village, either. Meaning, the Beltway press pros didn't seem to care what Krugman wrote about Bush and didn't think his writing--his opposition--needed to be examined closer. He was just a liberal critic, so who cared what he wrote about Bush. (That's my take on how much of the press viewed Krugman.)

But now a Democrat is in the Oval Office, Krugman is still hitting the president from the left, and suddenly the Beltway press thinks Krugman's work is fascinating and newsworthy. Trust us, it is. (For years he's been our pick as the country's premier columnist.) We just think everyone would have been better off if the press had paid this much attention to Krugman's work between, say, 2002 and 2006.

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