Krugman vs. CNBC

Nobel prize winning liberal economist Paul Krugman, who has often argued that President Obama’s $831 billion stimulus was too small, has now decided he knows what’s good for everyone’s health (besides government-controlled healthcare). His health advice? “Don’t spend much time watching CNBC” because it is “bad for your financial and intellectual health.”

Krugman has been feuding with CNBC since July 2012, although there were minor earlier disagreements. On July 11, he appeared on CNBC’s “Squawk Box” to discuss his new book. After the 15 minute appearance, Krugman posted a blog called “Zombies on CNBC” where he bashed the network and hosts he had spoken to just minutes before.

“Wow. I just did Squawk Box – allegedly about my book … Instead it was one zombie idea after another,” Krugman wrote. But he wasn’t finished. “But it’s amazing just how skewed the policy views are too.” This is ironic from a blog titled “The Conscience of a Liberal.”

The dispute has only escalated since. Not surprisingly, Krugman’s post led to some backlash from CNBC. Chief international correspondent Michelle Caruso-Cabrera and “Squawk Box” host Joe Kernen both responded on twitter. CNBC’s attitude towards Krugman had been negative since then.

On Sept. 11, Kernen referred to Krugman and Huffington Post writer and well-known left-wing economist Dean Baker as “co-communists in a lot of different economic circles.” And later, on Nov. 5, a panel on “Squawk Box” started laughing when Krugman’s name was mentioned. Kernen jumped at the opportunity to take a dig. “Everybody laugh because all you have to do is say the name and laugh because he is a joke.”

On Nov. 21, Krugman wrote about CNBC on his New York Times blog. He did not hide his disdain for the financial news network. He claimed it had “gone all in on behalf of the .01 percent.” A strange complaint from someone whose personal net worth is $2.5 million.

He then stated in that “Keynesians have been right about interest rates, inflation, austerity, and more” similar to his humble claim in an interview with Rachel Maddow where he stated that Keynesians “have been right about almost everything.” Keynesian economists believe that government spending can stimulate and drive the economy; as opposed to free market views of economics which argue that individual choices, rather than government intervention, will be better for the economy.

Krugman also claimed CNBC is a “tribal identity” and, in case there were any doubts about what he was implying, further explained his statement. “We’re talking about personality types who aren’t responsive to evidence.”