Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Krugman-Okrent smack down! Who's Right?? A Dozen Krugmanisms ... You Decide!

The NY Times public editor in his recent public good-bye to the job made 13-brief points, one of which was a well- earned shot at the foibles of various op-ed writers (how did Bob ever escape?), part of which was the now infamous:
Op-Ed columnist Paul Krugman has the disturbing habit of shaping, slicing and selectively citing numbers in a fashion that pleases his acolytes but leaves him open to substantive assaults.
In response to which, Krugman -- surely the most thin-skinned as well as most partisan of pundits -- and the acolytes howl in protest: Examples! Examples! You have a duty to fill the column with a list of examples when you make such a low claim, or you are a pseudo-journalistic cur!

Personally, this seems to me a bit like outrage erupting over a statement that the Pope has a penchant for speaking Latin or German, followed by a righteous demand for a list of proofs ... but here we are.

Is Okrent right? Does the evidence support his statement??

Being an ever helpful sort of guy, I've quickly put together a quick package of a dozen "Krugmanisms" noted now and then over time -- far from exhaustive to be sure, but a sampling -- to let you, the reader, decide for yourself.

And just to show I'm not biased, I'll even suggest defenses for each that the acolytes can raise to beat back the charge of statistical manipulation.

Here goes... (Smack-down fans, read on! ... More adult personalities can go elsewhere and have a nice day.)