Krugman Rib-Tickler: Positive MSM Coverage To Blame for W's Election in 2000

If, as I am, you're stuck in a seemingly endless winter, here's something to bring a sunny smile to your lips, courtesy of that one-man cavalcade of mirth, Paul Krugman. The New York Times columnist this morning blames the election of George Bush in 2000 on -- ready? -- the MSM! Yes, according to Krugman, Bush

"got within chad-and-butterfly range of the White House because the public, enthusiastically encouraged by many in the news media, treated the presidential election like a high school popularity contest. The successful candidate received kid-gloves treatment — and a free pass on the fuzzy math of his policy proposals — because he seemed like a fun guy to hang out with, while the unsuccessful candidate was subjected to sniggering mockery over his clothing and his mannerisms."

Krugman can't leave the high school theme alone, a paragraph later quoting Newsweek’s Howard Fineman to the effect that “presidential elections are high school writ large.” Declares a horrified Krugman: "Oh, my goodness." Sounds like the columnist might be suffering from Post-High School Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Note also how Krugman blames "the public" along with the media for bringing high school values to a presidential election. Shades of Peter Jennings declaring, after the 1994 Republican revolution, in an MRC Notable Quotable, that "the voters had a temper tantrum last week." The MSM loves to love the American public -- except when it doesn't behave as it should at the polls.

In any case, as the MRC documented here, two different studies showed that about 90% of the elite media voted for Al Gore when he ran for Vice-President. Does Krugman seriously believe that those numbers were significantly different when Al went for the top spot?

Contact Mark at mark@gunhill.net
Mark Finkelstein
Mark Finkelstein is a contributing editor for NewsBusters.