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Paul Krugman Slams New York Times Colleague, CNBC: 'One Zombie Idea After Another'

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Paul Krugman slammed CNBC just after appearing on it for regurgitating
Paul Krugman slammed CNBC just after appearing on it for regurgitating "zombie ideas."

Whatever you do, don't watch the zombie forum that is CNBC, says Paul Krugman.

"Wow. I just did Squawk Box — allegedly about my book, but we never got there," Krugman, the New York Times columnist and Nobel Prize-winning Princeton economics professor, wrote on his NYT blog after appearing on CNBC's "Squawk Box" Wednesday morning. "Instead it was one zombie idea after another — Europe is collapsing because of big government, health care is terribly rationed in France, we can save lots of money by denying Medicare to billionaires, on and on." He added: "People getting their news from sources like that are probably getting terrible advice about any kind of investment that depends on macroeconomics."

Notably, one of the pundits interviewing Krugman was New York Times columnist Andrew Ross Sorkin, editor-at-large of the paper's DealBook blog.

The interview started off on a bad note when Sorkin asked Krugman whether receiving the "Squawk Box" Blue Chip Book Award compared to winning the Nobel Prize in Economics in 2008.

"I think this compares with a Nobel. I don't know how you think about this," Sorkin said, teasing Krugman. "How does this compare?"

"They paid me some actual money," Krugman said. "Can you do a Swedish accent? I think it would be a little bit more impressive."

Then "Squawk Box" host Joe Kernen compared Krugman to a unicorn.

"I was excited when you were coming in because I view you almost like a unicorn, almost, that you really exist in real life," Kernen said. "I'm confounded when I read your pieces."

Kernen then tried to engage Krugman in a conversation about how much government spending is too much, but Krugman did not directly answer. Instead, he pushed back by praising Sweden's economic record, noting the country's generous safety net.

The most striking flub probably came toward the end of the interview when Kernen, who was pushing the idea that the private sector is better equipped to help people, asked Krugman whether we need a strong safety net. "It goes back to our forefathers, who said limited government, low taxes," he said.

"I don't remember actually hearing about that," Krugman said. "I don't think that's in there."

Check out some more Krugman zingers below:

Paul Krugman Quotes
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