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Sunday, December 11, 2011

Paul Krugman, "Depression and Democracy": No Mention of Anti-Semitism at The New York Times

Yet another instance of the pot calling the kettle black?

In his latest New York Times op-ed, "Depression and Democracy" (http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/12/opinion/krugman-depression-and-democracy.html?_r=1&ref=opinion), Paul Krugman tells us, "It’s time to start calling the current situation what it is: a depression." He goes on to express concern over Europe and the euro, and devotes much of the remainder of his opinion piece to the contention that democratic institutions are being undermined in Hungary:

"One of Hungary’s major parties, Jobbik, is a nightmare out of the 1930s: it’s anti-Roma (Gypsy), it’s anti-Semitic, and it even had a paramilitary arm. But the immediate threat comes from Fidesz, the governing center-right party.

Fidesz won an overwhelming Parliamentary majority last year, at least partly for economic reasons; Hungary isn’t on the euro, but it suffered severely because of large-scale borrowing in foreign currencies and also, to be frank, thanks to mismanagement and corruption on the part of the then-governing left-liberal parties. Now Fidesz, which rammed through a new Constitution last spring on a party-line vote, seems bent on establishing a permanent hold on power."

Sure, Paul is correct: Economic hardship spawns political radicalism. But why does he only focus on Hungary?

Elsewhere in Europe, under the ruling Islamist AK Party, Turkey has become the world leader in "imprisoned journalists" (http://archive.hurriyetdailynews.com/n.php?n=ipi-report-declares-turkey-world-leader-of-imprisoned-journalists-2011-04-08), while Turkish Kurds are denied their freedom, and women's rights are swept under the rug (e.g., murders of women have increased by 1,400 percent under the AK government, and only two of Turkey’s 26 ministers -- those responsible for education and women’s affairs -- are women). But why should Turkey trouble the "Conscience of a Liberal"? "Liberals" are apparently only concerned with injustices perpetrated by rightist, not Islamist, governments.

Much closer to home, Krugman is apparently indifferent to manifestations of anti-Semitism at his own newspaper (see: http://jgcaesarea.blogspot.com/2011/11/new-york-times-and-israel-bashing-yes.html). The publication of anti-Semitic, purportedly "moderated," online readers' comments by The Times, and the obsessive need of his newspaper's editorial department to regularly publish derogatory opinion pieces concerning Israel, lacking an iota of balance, are symptomatic of the "new" anti-Semitism of the left, which is also being fueled by economic decline.

It was remarkable how left-leaning columnists from The New York Times , including Krugman who visited the Zuccotti Park encampment of Occupy Wall Street (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/21/paul-krugman-visits-occup_n_1023812.html), pointedly refused to acknowledge the anti-Semitism being disseminated by this group (see: http://www.commentarymagazine.com/2011/10/11/occupy-wall-street-has-an-anti-semitism-problem/). Is anti-Semitism less worrisome when it issues from the left?

Sorry, Paul, don't lecture me on anti-Semitism in Budapest, when it's right under your nose at The New York Times.

1 comment:

  1. Jeffrey, there is no conscience there, just posturing. Krugman, a political hack and opportunist, will never confront HIS power. Look at his personal history - it's a history of an opportunist.
    There is a book published by a former NYT person (sorry, I don't know her name and the book's title) about whistleblowers as true heroes - people who just can't sleep unless they do "the right thing" even if it means personal destruction. Paul isn't one of them. He will never confront those in charge or challenge HIS group. This requires courage and decency. He doesn't have either.
    When I came to New York in the mid 1980s, I met an elderly writer who had an interesting history. Among many things he did, was giving up his promising carrier as Izvestiya's journalist in Berlin in 1923 (yes, that early) just because he concluded that the Soviet Union was on the wrong path. It meant years of isolation, a certain risk and no career again. I can't imagine Paul doing something similar. I can't imagine him doing anything decent - making a statement, resigning, protesting ... He'll continue marching ... Why give it up, if it brings him millions and crowds?

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