Chronicle of the Conspiracy
Saturday, July 23, 2005DID YOU NOTICE? NO? YOU WEREN'T SUPPOSED TO From reader E. M. Schulze:
Have you noticed, Don, the skimpy coverage the New York Times gave to the recent acquittals and mistrials of Enron execs? Had there been convictions, we can be sure there would have been front page coverage, rehashing the entire saga. I've long time felt that the Times and its co-conspirators made the Enron collapse much worse than it would have otherwise been. The Times destroyed the wealth of a lot of little people.
Posted by Donald L. Luskin at 5:17 PM | link
BRAD DELONG WILL BE DISAPPOINTED TO HEAR THIS From some liberal hate-blog:
Rove, in his conversation with Matt Cooper, said, "you can't use this" about the information about Plame. This is a spin that Rove's lawyer, the world's dumbest Luskin, briefly tried to use...
Posted by Donald L. Luskin at 5:11 PM | link
UH OH... Fortunately the New York Times' new poker columnist James McManus isn't the president of Harvard, or he'd really be in trouble for today's column. You see, women are too poor, too unaggressive, and the wrong age to win major poker tourneys.
...a woman has yet to win the main event at the World Series. In 36 years, only Barbara Enright, who finished fifth in 1995, has even made the final table. Nor has a woman won a single World Poker Tour championship.Update [7/25/2005]... Reader Brian Krywko adds:
Sexist and wrong! Kathy Leibert won the initial Party Poker Million on the World Poker Tour. I'm guessing he forgot that Annie Duke got $2 million for winning the WSOP Tournament of Champions last year, as well.
Posted by Donald L. Luskin at 12:07 AM | link
Friday, July 22, 2005DON'T BELIEVE THE EXPERTS like Alan Greenspan when they say the economy is doing well. Instead, just ask random idiots on the street until you get enough of them to say the sky is falling, then put it on prime time. Thats what CBS did.
Posted by Donald L. Luskin at 12:40 AM | link
Thursday, July 21, 2005IT'S ALWAYS SAFE TO SLUR ASIANS Paul Krugman's reputation as an economist comes from his work in currencies and international trade. So one might have expected real wisdom from him on the subject of China's re-engineering of the yuan's peg to the US dollar. But no. Instead his column today begins with a casual ethnic slur masquerading as wit:
Thursday's statement from the People's Bank of China, announcing that the yuan is no longer pegged to the dollar, was terse and uninformative - you might say inscrutable.One wonders what Krugman's witticism would have been if the country in question had been an African one. Would he have said that the statement had a certain, you might say, rhythm?
Posted by Donald L. Luskin at 11:51 PM | link
Wednesday, July 20, 2005WHEN DO I TURN INTO A COCKROACH? I provided simple, clear, irrefutable factual evidence that Paul Krugman was in error in his Monday column when he said, "adjusted for inflation, average weekly earnings have been flat for the past five years." In fact, earnings are higher by one half of one percent, not "flat." Joe Plambeck, assistant to New York Times "public editor" Barney Calame responded, "OK, fine, but that doesn't make it factually incorrect. Had he said 'remained the same,' he would have been in error." Now, having checked with Krugman's editor Gail Collins, Plambeck is back, saying:
I guess that is so. I'm emphasizing a fact, and Krugman is emphasizing an error. Those are different things.
Posted by Donald L. Luskin at 4:09 PM | link
"IT WOULD BE IRRESPONSIBLE to take a position on the nomination of Judge Roberts until his background is carefully reviewed" intones the New York Times today. Oh, but what the hell. Let's take a position anyway: "If extremists take control of the Supreme Court, we will end up with an America in which the federal government is powerless to protect against air pollution, unsafe working conditions and child labor. There are reasons to be concerned about Judge Roberts on this score."
Thanks to reader Josh Hendrickson for the link.
Posted by Donald L. Luskin at 2:56 PM | link
MEDIA ARROGANCE IS MEDIA ARROGANCE Conservative media people are still media people. Listen to this pearl-drop from David Brooks, defending the only principle to which he is truly loyal (the sanctity of his own profession):
When asked why, according to surveys, the public loathes the (liberal) press, David Brooks replied that it was “because people are idiots. The press is more honest and less salacious now than ever before.”Thanks to reader Jameson Campaigne for the link.
Posted by Donald L. Luskin at 8:28 AM | link
Tuesday, July 19, 2005"THAT'S ECONOMICS, PROF." Our old buddy Jude Wanniski has an answer to Paul Krugman's "Dropout Puzzle."
you ...believe the labor force is shrinking because people are giving up on finding jobs that are not there or they lack the skills to be hired for the jobs being offered. And unless people are actively seeking work, they are not counted among the unemployed.Thanks to reader Don Gher for the link.
Posted by Donald L. Luskin at 12:54 PM | link
POLITICS AT TRADESPORTS Over at Tradesports.com, trading in futures contracts on the next Supreme Court justice has heated up. Gonzales is out of the lead, and Edith Clement has pulled out in front, with about a 50% shot of getting the nomination. Meanwhile, contracts on Karl Rove's resignation are flatlining at a 20% chance of his resigning by the end of September.
Posted by Donald L. Luskin at 9:08 AM | link
Monday, July 18, 2005NOT EXACTLY CONFIDENCE-INSPIRING At least I heard back from him promptly (in response to my email earlier, in which I cited the inaccuracy of Paul Krugman's claim that average weekly earnings have been "flat" over the last five years, when in fact they are up).
Posted by Donald L. Luskin at 4:41 PM | link
KEVIN'S AUSPICIOUS DEBUT
Our friend Kevin Hassett has just started as a Bloomberg columnist -- and his first one is terrific. How's this for driving a stake through the heart of the myth that all our fiscal woes are the result of the Bush tax cuts?
Posted by Donald L. Luskin at 2:58 PM | link
LET'S SEND BARNEY CALAME BACK INTO THE LION'S DEN And maybe this time he'll bring back some dead lion.
Posted by Donald L. Luskin at 1:21 PM | link
CALAME: WHAT A SHAME The good news is that new New York Times "public editor" Barney Calame has dared to venture into the sacrosanct realm of the editorial page -- and it's only his third column. The bad news is that, like Dan Okrent before him, he has failed to forthrightly condemn the edit page's practice of influencing outside contributors to put anti-Bush spin in their columns, and -- what's worse -- blames the readers whom he represents for thinking there was a problem in the first place.
Background -- on July 6 the Times ran an op-ed called "The Quiet Man," written by Army reservist Phillip Carter, calling on President Bush to make a speech to stimulate recruiting. The next day, the Times ran the following correction:
It doesn't take a genius to guess what happened here. Here's what I wrote to Calame the day after:
According to Calame, that is almost exactly what happened. Editors proposed the language about Carter's "surprise" orders, which Carter rejected in the strongest possible terms. In fact, Calame reports he "volunteered" for active duty, and felt the editor's language "left the impression that I was conscripted." But, Calame reports, the editor "continued to press for mentioning the call to active duty." Finally Carter threatened he "would pull the piece before having textual references added." Finally it was agreed that it would be mentioned in the footnote describing the author. But then, through a technical mishap, the editor's version was published.
The only way in which Calame's reported version of events differs from my guess is that Calame does not acknowledge that the proposed changes would have slanted the op-ed to a more anti-war position. In his column's first section he prints a letter from a reader asserting that -- but then utterly fails to deal with that most crucial issue. Except, at his column's conclusion, he says "readers were left to suspect the worst" and then calls such expectations "mistaken perceptions."
What about these "perceptions" are "mistaken"? How is what actually happened different than "the worst"? Clearly the editors aggressively tried to alter Carter's manuscript in a way that was slanted to a more anti-war position -- and wasn't even factual. Carter had to threaten to pull the piece unless they backed off. Calame simply waves this away, characterizing it as "part of the give-and-take of the editing and updating process." He quotes the editor saying, "We do this for the benefit of our contributors, many of whom are not professional writers." So, in other words, what the Times did was their standard practice. Readers -- whom Calame represents as -- are "mistaken."
That's the worst.
Posted by Donald L. Luskin at 10:13 AM | link
Sunday, July 17, 2005THAT SINKING FEELING Dinocrat has an excellent analysis of the long, slow decline of the New York Times as a business. Read it and don't bother to weep.
Posted by Donald L. Luskin at 7:08 PM | link