Krugman Makes a Fool of Himself: 'The Press Just Doesn't Know How to Handle Flat Out Untruths'

October 7th, 2012 1:21 PM

New York Times columnist Paul Krugman made a fool of himself on ABC's This Week Sunday.

Seconds after claiming "The press just doesn't know how to handle flat out untruths," Krugman called factual misstatements by President Obama during Wednesday's debate "minor fudges" (video follows with transcript and commentary):

PAUL KRUGMAN, NEW YORK TIMES: But can -- I don't want to skip by without talking about the facts issue, because Romney...

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS, HOST: We have plenty of time coming up.

KRUGMAN: I don't know whether to blame Lehrer or blame the president but it was kind of amazing because Romney was not only saying things that are not true, he was saying things that his own campaign had previously said weren't true. The one that got me was not the stuff about taxes but the thing about covering people with pre-existing conditions which his plan does not, which he has said that before and his campaign has walked it back in the past and there he was right again saying, well, my plan covers people with pre-existing conditions which is displaying a kind of contempt to the public...

STEPHANOPOULOS: So you think it's the moderator's job to call him on that...

KRUGMAN: No, I'm not sure whose job it is, but it is -- there's a contempt for the whole process. There's a contempt for us people, because he's thinking the news media will not cover me on this, as long as they say it forcefully they'll say I won, which is more of the ways...

MARY MATALIN: Oh, you're going to say the press is against Obama now?

KRUGMAN: The press just doesn't know how to handle flat out untruths.

Amazing. This from a man who is regularly exposed for telling blatant untruths, even by his own paper's ombudsman.

In fact, minutes later Matalin said to Krugman, "You're hardly credible on calling somebody else a liar."

But the fun didn't end there:

JAMES CARVILLE: Look, they asked one time Lee Trevino, great golfer, who was having trouble with putting and they asked him if he thought he needed a new putter and he famously said, no, it's not the arrow it's the Indian. OK. It's not Jim Lehrer. President Obama was sitting right there. He would have confronted Governor Romney on any number of issues and drawn the distinction.

KRUGMAN: But isn't our job, at least partly, to actually never mind that the quality of the theatrical performance but to ask about, were there untruths spoken in that debate and there were a lot.

PEGGY NOONAN, WALL STREET JOURNAL: That was the president's job.


JONATHAN KARL, ABC: To be clear, I mean, President Obama also was loose with the facts.

KRUGMAN: No, they were, they were minor fudges.

Yes, seconds after claiming "The press just doesn't know how to handle flat out untruths," Krugman called Obama's factual misrepresentations "minor fudges."

You really can't make this stuff up. But he wasn't done making a fool of himself:

KARL: He said he had a $4 trillion plan to cut the deficit.

KRUGMAN: So it's about 3.2 trillion done right.

KARL He said health care premiums were rising at the slowest rate in 50 years neither of those was true.

KRUGMAN: Those are minor compared with the things that Romney said.

"Those are minor compared with the things that Romney said."

This from a man who moments earlier said, "The press just doesn't know how to handle flat out untruths."

Physician - heal thyself!