As New York noted this past winter, Andrew Ross Sorkin is somewhat of a polarizing figure at the Times. A number of his fellow reporters are jealous of his success, unconvinced of his reportorial skills, and suspicious of his fawning attitude toward sources. And this morning, Sorkin made a new enemy at the Times, when in an amazingly credulous column (even for him) lauding the effectiveness of the bailout, he declared confidently that “some economists, including Nouriel Roubini of New York University and The Times’s own Paul Krugman, declared that we should follow the example of the Swedes by nationalizing the entire banking system.”
This did not please Krugman, who equally disdains imprecision and being referred to, even obliquely, as wrong. So the graybearded Times columnist did what he always does when he gets angry: He padded over to his computer and wrote a somewhat blistering rebuttal on his Times blog. The resulting post, unsubtly headlined “Andrew Ross Sorkin Owes Several People An Apology,” takes issue with Sorkin’s statement and makes clear that the person who is owed an apology is Krugman. “I certainly never said anything like that, and I don’t think Nouriel did either,” he wrote. “I never called for ‘nationalizing the entire banking system’ — I wanted the government to take temporary full ownership of a few weak banks, mainly Citigroup and possibly B of A.” Then, he issued the ultimate challenge among newspaperman:
“I defy Sorkin to find any examples of me calling for a total takeover.”
Quick, Sorkin, to Nexis! It’s time for a reporting-off!
Andrew Ross Sorkin Owes Several People An Apology [Conscience of a Liberal/NYT]