Ali Slivinski and Nathan Sussman: Taxation Mechanisms and Growth in Medieval Paris
Test Your Knowledge Questions for September 27 Econ 1 Lecture

Why Does Howard Kurtz Have a Job?

Why oh why can't we have a better press corps?

What we learn about Howard Kurtz from his profile of Paul Krugman: Kurtz does not understand patriotism.

Paul Krugman:

[T]here’s a hint in Kurtz’s article of an attitude one sees all the time – namely, that there’s something inauthentic about people who complain about current policies and the state of the economy when they are personally doing well. This brings to mind a review I once read of a bad movie in which Mel Gibson played a Revolutionary War patriot. The film made a point of showing the Gibson character as being apolitical – until the British did him personal harm; that’s when he got involved. As the reviewer pointed out, this gets the notion of patriotism all wrong – you’re supposed to care about the cause regardless of your personal interests. In fact, there’s something especially laudable if you oppose a regime even though you were doing fine under that regime.

So: I support tax increases that will reduce my own after-tax income; I worry greatly about unemployment, even though my own living is secure; I warn about growing inequality, even though I’m of the class that has gained from rising disparities; I’m upset about the direction this country is going, even though my own life is comfortable. And this is supposed to cast doubt on my motives?...

That Howard Kurtz takes George Will as his principal expert on economic policy is perhaps the most conclusive proof that no publication has any business publishing Kurtz. Kurtz quoting Will:

"If certainty were oil, he'd be Saudi Arabia," says conservative columnist George Will. "He is a Keynesian who believes government knows how to organize everything and should just get on with it. He believes government is dangerously frugal. I don't think so."... Will says Krugman undermines the administration "because he gives voice to the disaffected left." After one such Sunday morning appearance, the Fox Nation site headlined a piece, "Even Egghead Elites Are Fed Up With Obama."

But for Kurtz to actually interview somebody who knew something--that would be work.