Monday, October 13, 2008

Today's Word—Snow, Pandering & Marriage

...But not necessarily in that order.

Editor’s Note: It's snowy and cold, as per this image from the yard this morning. Where the hell did “fall” go? The dogs are excited, but I just bought a lawn mower, and I think there's still some golf in my bag...

Today’s offering acknowledges professor, economist and columnist Paul Krugman, who is the 2008 Nobel Prize-winner for economics. A multi-faceted man.

We also must commemorate another snowy day, 17 years ago in Vermont, when Anita Hill and Clarence Thomas crashed our wedding. They weren’t invited, but everyone was much more interested in the hearings than in Brenda’s folly, when she said “I do” for the justice of the peace in the bar on North Hero Island. I’m still dazed and enormously grateful for her focus. The hearings came back on right after, of course. Click here to see the commemorative column.

Political Pandering:

“We don’t have censorship in this country; it’s still possible to find different points of view. But we do have a system in which the major media companies have strong incentives to present the news in a way that pleases the party in power, and no incentive not to.”

—Paul Krugman, columnist, New York Times (5/3/03) (Click here for column.)


  1. Congratulations to Krugman, but the quote is ridiculous. Irony people, Krugman is living proof all sides get equal time in the mainstream media, even more in the NY Times!

    Doug Gibson
    Ogden, Utah

  2. Actually, Doug, I do think Krugman is ridiculous, or at least simplistic, about half the time. But I also agree with him about the pandering of the press to power.

    Hasn't it always been true, though? What's a little off in this Krugman quote is that the press panders to "parties" in power. The real power in latter-day America has little to do with political parties. The winds of the day (or moment)--the press and other marketing entities go leaping and baying off after those, 9/11 or Sarah Palin or WMD.

    Of course there are still "different points of view," as Krugman says. They fall muffled in the woods every day or moment. But "power"... that's quite a different thing, and the mass media (not "the press" alone) chase it as long as attention lasts. That's the power that drives not the press--a tool of power--but the fleet and illusory things called public opinion and participatory democracy.


  3. Ted, You play with the hand you are dealt. I think the outer edges of the media, socialists, extreme rightists, have legit gripes with access and coverage. Krugman is establishment media -- he is a mild liberal. In my humble opinion, with political thought ranging from 0 (far left) to 100 (far right) in a circle (sometimes extremist elements converge) Krugman is a 40 and say, Bill Kristol, is a 60. The real story is how much similar mainstream thought really is.

    Doug Gibson
    Ogden, UT

  4. The proposed Clinton/McCain gas tax holiday is political pandering at its finest. One of the most pressing issues on voters minds is the high prices of gas.