12/11/2012 05:26 pm ET

Paul Krugman Bashes Politico For Taking 'Profoundly Ignorant And Wrong-Headed' People Seriously

Politico doesn't know how to cover economic policy, according to Paul Krugman.

"They talk to various Very Serious People, and divine the insider consensus on What Must Be Done -- which mainly seems to involve, naturally, cutting Social Security and Medicare while reducing corporate tax rates," the Nobel Prize-winning economist wrote Tuesday on his New York Times blog, in a take-down of Jim VandeHei and Mike Allen's Tuesday Politico column "Crafting a boom economy."

"The whole theme of the Politico piece is that great things would happen if only the insiders could override all this messy democracy stuff. But the real lesson is that those insiders are not only self-dealing, but profoundly ignorant and wrong-headed," Krugman added.

Politico's story essentially argues that the economy would boom if the government were brave enough to pursue policies that are whispered about "privately" between certain business leaders and politicians. The piece was greeted with widespread criticism in the business journalism snark-o-sphere on Tuesday.

The privately espoused policies are "just cliche ideas repackaged as apolitical wisdom," writes Joe Weisenthal in Business Insider. At Daily Intel, Jonathan Chait slammed Politico for "uncritically" parroting the talking points of the powerful.

But our favorite Politico takedown came from Esquire, where politics blogger Charles Pierce wrote that the piece made him "want to guzzle antifreeze." The policies advocated would "essentially do away with the American middle class, or at least impoverish its dwindling membership."

This is not the first time Krugman has bashed Politico. Last year, he took issue with the news outlet after it labeled Elizabeth Warren a hypocrite because of her wealth. "[Bangs head against wall]," he wrote. "We're supposed to disapprove -- rather than praising her ability to transcend narrow self-interest -- because she favors policies that would raise her own taxes?"



Paul Krugman's Greatest Takedowns