Conservative media blast Krugman for column about right-wing extremism

››› ››› CHRISTINE SCHWEN

Several conservative media figures attacked Paul Krugman over a recent column in which he wrote that "right-wing extremism is being systematically fed by the conservative media and political establishment."

Several conservative media figures attacked New York Times columnist Paul Krugman over his June 12 column. In the column, Krugman wrote that "right-wing extremism is being systematically fed by the conservative media and political establishment" and went on to state that "the likes of Fox News and the R.N.C. ... have gone out of their way to provide a platform for conspiracy theories and apocalyptic rhetoric, just as they did the last time a Democrat held the White House." Media Matters for America documented numerous examples of such rhetoric in an April 13 report titled "Emerging Culture of Paranoia."

On the June 12 edition of MSNBC's Morning Joe, during a discussion of the Holocaust museum shooting, co-host Willie Geist said, "Both sides exploiting this. For sure. Here's Paul Krugman in this morning's New York Times, on the op-ed page." After Geist read a portion of Krugman's column, co-host Joe Scarborough said people who write him "use Paul Krugman as their shield for their left-wing hate. This is because Paul Krugman, like a lot of I would say extremists on the right, they only see their side. They have a close-minded worldview. And so Paul Krugman uses this tragedy, uses this death to try to knock down his opponents on the right."

During a discussion of Krugman's column on the June 12 edition of The Neal Boortz Show, host Neal Boortz asserted: "He's talking about all of the right-wing -- the conservative opposition to the programs of Barack Obama. You know what he refers to it as? It's all hate. It's all hate." After a caller responded, "It's not hate," Boortz stated, "You and I both know that. We know that. But the liberals, they're very effective at indoctrination and brainwashing techniques."

And on the June 12 edition of Fox News' Glenn Beck, Beck said of Krugman's column: "[H]e's linked conservatives now to conspiracy theorists. In other words, this isn't about me. It's not about Bill O'Reilly. This is about you. You -- you're crazy. You're a conservative? Oh my -- they're watching you, aren't they? Is that that black helicopter there? I mean, they're just trying to make you feel like a crazy person. Why? To silence you." As Media Matters documented, during his June 12 radio program, Beck "demand[ed] a retraction" for Krugman's assertion in the column that Beck had "warned viewers that the Federal Emergency Management Agency might be building concentration camps as part of the Obama administration's 'totalitarian' agenda (although he eventually conceded that nothing of the kind was happening)." But Beck had previously said that he couldn't "debunk" the FEMA conspiracy theory.

From the June 12 edition of Fox News' Glenn Beck:

BECK: In today's New York Times, that, yes, is still in business today, Paul Krugman took some nasty shots at me, Bill O'Reilly, and some other commentators saying, quote: "For the most part, the likes of Fox News and the RNC haven't directly incited violence." Uh, really? I mean, is that saying that in some small part, we have?

He also said, quote: "And at this point, whatever dividing line there was between mainstream conservatism and the black helicopter crowd seems to have been virtually erased." OK, OK. All right. So, he's linked conservatives now to conspiracy theorists. In other words, this isn't about me. It's not about Bill O'Reilly. This is about you. You -- you're crazy. You're a conservative? Oh my -- they're watching you, aren't they? Is that that black helicopter there?

I mean, they're just trying to make you feel like a crazy person. Why? To silence you. Tonight, here's "The One Thing." If offering opinions on the news can be linked to hate and extremism, then Paul Krugman should be in the cell right next to me, and on the other side will be Bill O'Reilly. Oh, and Paul? We can talk for years. Oh, yes, we can.

From the June 12 broadcast of Cox Radio Syndication's The Neal Boortz Show:

BOORTZ: Well, we -- maybe we believe some of the worst press about -- I mean, Paul Krugman has an article today. What is it, New York Times? He's talking about all of the right-wing -- the conservative opposition to the programs of Barack Obama. You know what he refers to it as?

CALLER: What?

BOORTZ: It's all hate. It's all hate.

CALLER: It's not hate. It is not hate.

BOORTZ: No, no. You and I both know that. We know that. But the liberals, they're very effective at indoctrination and brainwashing techniques.

We've changed our commenting system to Disqus.
Instructions for signing up and claiming your comment history are located here.
Updated rules for commenting are here.