Writers who got Iraq right, Episode #2
For this foresight, he was called "deranged" one the pages of a competing, national newspaper. He was called shrill, gnome-like, disgusting by right wing bloggers. He was threatened with bodily harm in the landslide of hate mail driven by attacks from Bill O'Reilly and others. The National Review even instituted an on-line column dedicated to "debunking" Krugman's arguments.
If his status as Right Wing Target Number One is any indication, he clearly scared the crap out of Bush supporters.
Unfortunately for them--and for our country--Krugman was inarguably right in his predictions about the war.
In this second episode of Nitpicker's attempt to look back and remember the writers who were right about Iraq before the war began, I spoke with Paul Krugman about Bush administration intimidation, the failure of the media to properly question the "evidence" about Iraq's WMDs and how, in the American media today, being consistently wrong is good for a writer's career.
As the interview begins, I point out that, while it's suggested that he opposed Bush simply for partisan reasons, he was clearly willing to be convinced that the war was the right thing to do.
While you're here, consider donating to Nitpicker's Fund Drive. I have big plans for the site and, more importantly, as a former military journalist, I intend to blog from Iraq in the coming year, providing audio, video and photos from the country. I can't do it without your help, though.
(For Episode 1 and more background on this series, see this post.)
Update: I was asked by an e-mailer if I would type up a transcript, but I'm really not interested in doing that. I will, however, provide one of the high points of the interview here, since I think it's important. In discussing the way in which being wrong about Iraq was a smart career move, Krugman said:
KRUGMAN: Now that almost everybody agrees that (Iraq's) a total disaster, to discuss what we do about the total disaster, you get a panel of two journalists who both were for the war and both spent three years saying the next six months would be crucial.Meanwhile, as Krugman points out, a smart guy who was right about Iraq--Robert Scheer--was kicked to the curb, with Jonah "I'm certain I'd be against moral relativism if I knew for sure what it meant" Goldberg was installed in his place.