The other day, a fight broke out on the website of the New York Times that in retrospect, was probably a long time coming. In one corner, we had Paul Krugman, the thoughtful, paunchy Nobel Prize–winning economist. In the other, Andrew Ross Sorkin, slick young reporter turned bestselling author. At issue was Sorkin's characterization of Krugman's opinion, in the dark days of 2009. Sorkin wrote in his DealBook column that Krugman said that the country should "nationalize the banking system." Krugman disagreed, loudly, on his blog. He had written, he said, that some banks should be nationalized, not the entire damn system. Sorkin then disagreed with that, as though Krugman didn't know his own mind. Today, public editor Clark Hoyt stepped in to mediate, and found that, unsurprisingly, the two men disagree on basically everything, from who was in the right to what the definition of nationalization is to the tone of their own makeup conversation.
According to Hoyt:
Krugman and Sorkin told me that they talked Thursday. Sorkin said the conversation was “very cordial.” Krugman called it “not much fun.”
On the question of who was right about Krugman's opinions about nationalization, Hoyt sides, obviously, with Krugman. He doesn't say who he believed more with regard to the level of friendliness present in the two men's conversation, but personally, we think we'd take Krugman's word for it on that one, too.
Dueling Columnists [Public Editor/NYT]
Paul Krugman Challenges Andrew Ross Sorkin’s Reporting