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Poor Bobo

[ 16 ] April 7, 2012 |

Although it’s silly in the abstract, I actually kind of enjoy how the prohibition on New York Times columnists disagreeing with each other by name works in practice — Krugman is even more entertaining when he’s forced to completely demolish the arguments made by, er, certain random conservatives.

…as numerous commenters point out, it’s actually a twofer; presumably Bobo is the fake-reasonable apparatchik and James Stewart is the centrist with the “kick me Republican Daddy!” sign permanently strapped to his back. On Stewart, also read Gene Lyons; he was at the forefront of the Times’ utterly botched coverage of the Whitewater fake scandal.

…more on Stewart here.

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  1. R Johnston says:

    That post absolutely screamed Bobo at me. It’s quite hilarious. The only difficulty was trying to figure out whether Bobo’s a “pseudo-reasonable apparatchik” or a “professional centrist.” I think it depends on whether his underwear is dirty that day.

    • c u n d gulag says:

      He’s both!

      THAT’S what makes Bobo special!

      Krugman must lock the door of his office on the days Bobo’s columns come out.

      Either that, or he’s got The Marx Brothers on an endless loop, so if anyone asks him ‘what’s so funny?’ he can point at Groucho on the TV, and not Bobo in the paper.

  2. amok92 says:

    I think in this case he’s actually writing about James B. Stewart or some such nonsense, Balloon Juice linked to that column yesterday.

    • Scott Lemieux says:

      No, I think Bobo is the apparatchik and Stewart is the bulllshit centrist.

      • amok92 says:

        Ah, thanks for the clarification!

      • R Johnston says:

        I got through the headline there and longed for the return of the D-Squared digest archives. I’ll settle for quoting through a Delong link:

        Fibbers’ forecasts are worthless. Case after miserable case after bloody case we went through, I tell you, all of which had this moral. Not only that people who want a project will tend to make innacurate projections about the possible outcomes of that project, but about the futility of attempts to “shade” downward a fundamentally dishonest set of predictions. If you have doubts about the integrity of a forecaster, you can’t use their forecasts at all. Not even as a “starting point”. By the way, I would just love to get hold of a few of the quantitative numbers from documents prepared to support the war and give them a quick run through Benford’s Law.

        Application to Iraq This was how I decided that it was worth staking a bit of credibility on the strong claim that absolutely no material WMD capacity would be found, rather than “some” or “some but not enough to justify a war” or even “some derisory but not immaterial capacity, like a few mobile biological weapons labs”. My reasoning was that Powell, Bush, Straw, etc, were clearly making false claims and therefore ought to be discounted completely, and that there were actually very few people who knew a bit about Iraq but were not fatally compromised in this manner who were making the WMD claim. Meanwhile, there were people like Scott Ritter and Andrew Wilkie who, whatever other faults they might or might not have had, did not appear to have told any provable lies on this subject and were therefore not compromised.

        Anyone who reads past the headline on that article is missing the point. No, you can’t use a budget in which every number is a lie and a whole lot of missing numbers are lies of omission as a starting point for anything other than calling the liar a liar.

  3. howard says:

    Of brooks, there is nothing more to be said, but despite his egregious whitewater track record, stewart is usually saner on economics.

    But after his taking ryan seriously, i’m not going to bother to read him again: fool me once shame on me, fool me twice, won’t get fooled again.

  4. sleepyirv says:

    I like to imagine NYT as the country club from Caddyshack where Bobo’s Judge Snails is trying to eat lunch in peace when Paul Krugman’s Rodney Dangerfield comes barging in, “How you doin’ Bobo? Have you seen my Nobel Prize recently? No? That’s not possible It’s hanging right on my neck!”

  5. DrDick says:

    I have to say that watching a Nobel laureate disembowel mediocre hacks is rather amusing. While I have certainly seen better examples of the art form, the cavalier dismissal of Bobo is priceless.

    • Sev says:

      Well, intellectually, of course, no contest. But why do I see a vision of a limo delivering Brooks to the White House sometime next year to celebrate the signing of the ‘Grand Bargain’ between Obama and Ryan? Ok, must be the Barbancourt rum I’m drinking.

  6. Jim Lynch says:

    “He’s got to go”.

    “He’s a Nobel Prize winner”.

    “He’s got to go”.

  7. Per Lyons–

    The *Times* Whitewarer coverage was NOT botched. “Botched” implies it was intended to be sound, but something happened. *Fools For Scandal* makes it quite clear that the *Times* & the *Post* NEVER intended to do sound journalism on Whitewater.

  8. Jon H says:

    Boy, Somerby doesn’t think much of Hilzoy’s family, does he?

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