Opinion

Felix Salmon

Ben Stein whines about being fired

By Felix Salmon
August 10, 2009

There are a couple of noteworthy nuggets in Ben Stein’s whiny account of his defenestration from the NYT. The main one is that, contra all appearances, he really was edited there:

I started criticizing Mr. Obama quite sharply over his policies and practices. I had tried to do this before over the firing of Rick Wagoner from the Chairmanship of GM. My column had questioned whether there was a legal basis for the firing by the government, what law allowed or authorized the federal government to fire the head of what was then a private company, and just where the Obama administration thought their limits were, if anywhere. This column was flat out nixed by my editors at the Times because in their opinion Mr. Obama inherently had such powers.

Stein is, of course, a highly unreliable narrator here. But I do believe that there was some mechanism by which he would run proposed columns by an editor before writing them. If that’s the case, however, then how come the columns themselves showed no sign of being edited?

Stein also insists on characterizing FreeScore, the sleazy bait-and-switch merchant he’s appearing in ads for, as “an Internet aggregating company”. He writes:

This commercial was red meat for the Ben Stein haters left over from the Expelled days. They bombarded the Times with letters. They confused (or some of them seemingly confused ) FreeScore with other companies that did not have FreeScore’s unblemished record with consumer protection agencies. (FreeScore has a perfect record.) They demanded of the high pooh-bahs at the Times that they fire me because of what they called a conflict of interest.

Of course, there was no conflict of interest. I had never written one word in the Times or anywhere else about getting credit scores on line. Not a word.

But somehow, these people bamboozled some of the high pooh-bahs at the Times into thinking there was a conflict of interest. In an e-mail sent to me by a person I had never met nor even heard of, I was fired. (I read the e-mail while having pizza at the Seattle airport on my way to Sandpoint.) I called the editor and explained the situation. He said the problem was “the appearance” of conflict of interest. I asked how that could be when I never wrote about the subject at all. He said the real problem was that FreeScore was a major financial company and I wrote about finance. But, as I told him, FreeScore was a small Internet aggregator, not a bank or insurer.

Stein should read this if he genuinely believes that FreeScore “has a perfect record”. And he should also read the NYT’s ethics guidelines, which say that “it is an inherent conflict for a journalist to perform public relations work, paid or unpaid”.

Besides, of course there’s a conflict here: Stein provides financial advice in his column, and he provides financial advice in the ad. FreeScore isn’t an “internet aggregator”, it’s a way of tricking people into paying money they can’t afford for a service they don’t need.

The best bit of the Stein column, however, comes at the end:

It’s sad that the Internet has become a backyard gossip freeway for the whole world’s sick people to pour out their neuroses. I have seen a tiny fraction of all of the hate mail that’s come in the wake of the NY Times announcement (which they promised they would not make in any event). Too many sick people out there on the web for comfort.

Sick people? Does Stein mean me? Should I be flattered? But also, it’s interesting that the NYT promised Stein that they wouldn’t announce his being fired. That only serves to underscore how much of a scoop Ryan Tate had when he not only learned that Stein had been fired but also got the NYT to confirm it. Many congratulations to him. I wonder how long it took for the news to reach Gawker.

(HT: Roush, via Chittum)

Update: I’ve just noted that the Ben Stein page on the NYT website has been completely deleted. If you try to go there by clicking on the byline of one of his columns, you just get a blank page. Stein is now an unperson at the NYT!

(To clarify: Stein’s archived columns are still there. It’s just his personal webpage on nytimes.com which has disappeared.)

Comments
43 comments so far | RSS Comments RSS

“The Internet has become a backyard gossip freeway for the whole world’s sick people to pour out their neuroses.”

Stein should re-read his own sentence while looking in the mirror. His neurotic desire for self-promotion while wrapping himself in the cloak of “economist” is both sickening and disgusting to those of us who give 2 snaps about things called “facts.”

Not surprisingly, as Felix has chronicled, Stein’s prognostications are of less value than backyard gossip.

Posted by Unsympathetic | Report as abusive
 

Cough and move on Ben! fact is the nyt are as sucky as it gets. I aint no fancy writer but I do know crap when I see it and seems like them liberal types just cant grasp the fact they fucked up electing Obama, Dumb ASS AMERICANS 800 billion in bailout my God people do you realise there are only apx 350 million in this country we all could have had 2 mill to spend that would have helped our economy and our lifestyle But no you idiots just sit around and pick your nose.I am so Glad I sent my kid to be educated in another country so he would be as blind and narrow minded as most of you are Brain washed, scared, childlike whiners without so much as a clue as to the reality’s of money

Posted by Brad | Report as abusive
 

All I have to say is his proper name is President Obama NOT Mr. Obama you are obviously not friends so show some respect because if it was any other president you would do so even if you didn’t agree with their policies. So I am totally NOT surprised by Stein’s firing.

Posted by Candy | Report as abusive
 

Ben who?

Posted by David | Report as abusive
 

Ben Stein is and always has been an entertainer. His credibility in financial circles has always been respectable. It is truly telling of the times when a noted public figure is black-balled by the socialist press because he expresses opinions that are shared by the majority of thinking people in these United States.

 

Candy,
Respect Obama? Why? respect is earned and he certainly hasn’t earned mine or I’m reasonably sure that of millions upon millions of other American’s. Obama is a joke as a president and soon will go down in history as being worse that Jimmy Carter.
Everett

Posted by Everett | Report as abusive
 

Brad, I’m not one that likes bantering on intelligence, but your mathematical abilities are quite amazing. The number is actually about $2200 per individual for the bailout and if you base purely on taxpayers alone (not kids, etc.) it might come out to about $6000 per taxpayer (still quite a lot of money for the individual) unless you know some super secret bailout plan in fine print that was 700 trillion that is conspired by the obama administration and didn’t announce to us (someone call rush and hannity!).
i’ll personally reserve judgement on the success for a few years to see how the stimulus and keynesian economics works out versus the more closely laissez-faire that sustained the great depression. theoretical models and predictions can only mean so much, but unless the ideas are implemented in a real world situation, we all truly don’t know how it will turn out. it may turn out bad in the end, but it’s another lesson learned that we may hope to learn from to avert something worse 30 years from now on the next major economic downturn.
subjectively speaking, it may seem the economy is stabilized (market has upticked quite a bit, etc) which seems to be what the purpose of the plan was. are we going to get a huge excessive bull run, probably not, but for the traders out there that like to exploit those cycles, maybe think about a more stable day job that requires less gambling of the rest of america’s economic well being. that would be perfectly fine with me.

Posted by do your math | Report as abusive
 

I’m not so cool with Stein’s reaction being characterized as “whining”. In fact, I’d like to spend a minute whining about the time I just wasted on Salmon’s liberal spin. However, the real point I wanted to make is that Stein should be flattered that he’s no longer NYT material.

Posted by Jessica | Report as abusive
 

Ben Stein had a very dry way of putting thins. But, I agree that obama had no right or even close to a right to fire the ceo of gm. when will Americans wake up to the fact that they voted for a man who is on his way to destroy us. He even implied it in his books and you voted for him. people are so afraid of offending obama that they get rid of people who speak out against him. Use to be in the USA that you could do that. Freedom of Speech, in case you forgot. now, they don’t want anyone to speak out against the most dangerous man in America. what has happened to us, people?

Posted by Gordon | Report as abusive
 

Seems as if YOU think just like the times. Obama is ruing this country, he better hope its only tea parties some of the extreme right are going to throw. Ben Stein is a gentleman and a damn fine economist.The times got their panties in a bunch because Mr. Stein is correct and believes in free speech.

Posted by Rich Budway | Report as abusive
 

SOUNDS LIKE U HAVE A PROBLEM WITH MR STEIN . IF HE WAS PRO OBAMA HE WOULD STILL HAVE A JOB. TYPICAL TREE HUGGER, LIBERAL PRO OBAMA TACTICS.

Posted by CESAR | Report as abusive
 

Wow, who invited the birthers?

Posted by Jon H | Report as abusive
 

” All I have to say is his proper name is President Obama NOT Mr. Obama you are obviously not friends so show some respect because if it was any other president you would do so even if you didn’t agree with their policies. So I am totally NOT surprised by Stein’s firing.”

To you who wrote that, you are a moron. I have no RESPECT obama. Notice the small o. He is a useless liar and a charlitan to anyone that has a funtioning brain cell. You far left meatheads know this, but will not admit to your mistake.

As far as Mr. Stein, you sir should say good riddance to the NYT because it is (and publishes)garbage. Move to a paper that will allow you to express your views and not suppress your views. (like this monkey brained Felix Salmon gets to)

Posted by BEW | Report as abusive
 

Congrats to Ben – I’m surprised NYT has kept you on this long. Big Brother is not just watching, it is crashing in the front doors of us all.

Posted by Larry Heacock | Report as abusive
 

My, my looks like the gop has email on their buses going between townhalls.

Ben Stein was fired because he was double dipping like many of the other gops, that sit on Insurance Boards, Oil Company Boards etc. Tree huggers are far better for the American People than the free cheaters that think Health Care and Energy
Plans are fine the way they are. SNAP out of it! Pay attention to the facts. Do you read your Health Care plan Insurance’s tiny fine print? Have you received an electric bill or a gas bill? Have you filled up your auto? Pay attention People!

Posted by Michele | Report as abusive
 

“i’ll personally reserve judgement on the success for a few years to seehttp://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon  /wp-content/plugins/peters-custom-anti- spam-image/custom_anti_spam.php?audiosel ect=1481748 how the stimulus and keynesian economics works out versus the more closely laissez-faire that sustained the great depression.” This statement is incorrect the depression was sustained by the poor decision making of the Roosevelt administration. They were clueless in their understanding of economics. The public works projects and massive government intervention did little to end the depression. The depression was ended by WWII and unemployment went from 20% to 1% because the Army grew from 170K to 12 million in less than three years. The market is up because interests are going down and the FEDs monetary policy is working. it has nothing to do with the small amount of stimulus money that has hit the street.

 

Too bad for Mr. Stein now he gets to join the rest of us out of work… Oh wait he still has a job, what was I thinking. Besides Mr. Stein WHY is the current president always blamed for the state of this country? This mess was created long before President Obama took office. Why can’t some get pass the facts that their candidate didn’t win and give this president some respect and allow him to do his job. FORMER PRESIDENT Bush AND VICE PRESIDENT Cheney CREATED THIS MESS!!!!!!!!! Accept it! Goodness why can’t you see that!?

Posted by Transitioning | Report as abusive
 

Well, Felix, this is disappointing. With this type of bombardment by the hyper-politicized, I’m worried that I’ll lose your comments section in the future (which is generally pretty solid).

Might some of these folk have better things to do?

Posted by ab | Report as abusive
 

Thanks “Do your Math”. I was about to pound on poor little Brad with the dead batteries in his calculator, but you handled it just fine. Sometimes I wonder if these people have calculators at all, or simply regurgitate what they hear on FOX News. My Mother actually said to me last week “Do you realize that Obama is going to put a Lien on our house to allow us to continue to use Medicare?”. Where does this crap come from if not for FOX News, and….Brad….Of Course…..

Posted by ken | Report as abusive
 

Ben Stein just got greedy and decided to overlook the lack of ethics in promoting a product for sale, when citizens can access the same information for free. The NYT is correct in releasing him.

Exactly how do the Obama haters that are chiming in, connect the firing of Ben Stein, with our excellent new President? There are plenty of venues for Obama haters. Let’s stick to the subject folks.

 

Hey, folks, how about the facts of the case? You can rant on about the big bad old librul New York Times and about victimized innocent little Ben Stein– but Freescore.com is a baby step away from being a scam– by calling it an ‘Internet aggregator’ Stein showed he knows exactly what was going on and exactly how they turn a profit.

Posted by MattF | Report as abusive
 

“The Internet has become a backyard gossip freeway for the whole world’s sick people to pour out their neuroses.”

Stein is right for a change…see comments section above (and I fear below, cos once the fruitcases start they never stop)

Mind you, believing that internet is somehow the cause of gossip shows how plain stupid Stein is.

Posted by otto | Report as abusive
 

Felix doesn’t look old enough to drive, let alone comment on the character of the great Ben Stein.

Posted by Mark Yuille | Report as abusive
 

Michele (the only one paying attention)

Tree huggers are better than free cheater? Really!! Very soon it appears that you will join the ranks of those that feel that animals, trees and a blade of grass have more rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness than we humans. Aren’t we all cheaters by your definition? Babe, you are absolutely clueless and only “paying attention” to those items the Dems want you to believe. Yes there is greed, unfortunately too much of it, but you can look to the tree huggers and those they prop up in public office to see who the real greedy SOBs are. They trample and spit the constitution saying, “We need change”. Indeed! mark my words, they lust for power and dominion, censorship of the real truth and ultimately want to enslave you and me while appearing to be doing you a favor.

Posted by Jefe | Report as abusive
 

lawrence: i’m not going to disagree with your elaborating on FDR’s policies as well as some of the policies in the prior administration that created a sustained depression and agree with you on that. A lot of poor decisions were made at the time, and fortunately as a country today we have had the opportunity to learn what worked and what didn’t.

my point was to give the administration an opportunity to apply policies based on what was done ineffectively in the past to prevent that from occurring since sitting around and picking your nose and maintaining the status quo may not work so well analogous to a flood rolling through. The rich on the top of the hill may survive and you can argue that it’s a way to flush out the poor, but a modern society and government is one in place for the people (for rich and for poor equally). The stimulus has it’s issues and in any way may have been purely a band-aid, but in ways, it did loosen the belts (or divert a flood) on reinvesting even if it was purely psychological. and once the immediate flood danger is gone, maybe we can address and return sanity to the financial market.
again, let’s try to give it some time, thus far for what it’s worth, there does seem to be increased economic confidence we all can agree on.

Posted by do your math | Report as abusive
 

The CEO of GM was fired by the board of GM, not by anyone or anything else.

Posted by Vern Ward | Report as abusive
 

Ben Stein is actually a pixie named Sanderson.

Posted by E | Report as abusive
 

Hopefully Reuters gives Salmon the boot soon.

Posted by Terry | Report as abusive
 

I dunno Felix, haven’t you considered the possibility that this one is a fair bit more complicated than you’ve let on. I’ve read Ben Stein in the Spectator for about twenty years or so, and some of what he’s written was actually very moving. Over the last few years it’s a little sad that his writing has gotten weaker, as if you can almost see the aging process taking its toll right off the page. Ash to ash and dust to dust and all that.

Having written that, there are a few things to say in his defense.

1. Do you think one column every two weeks or four weeks is enough to bind Stein to the Times’ “journalist ethics” policy. Do you suppose that policy has been applied in an evenhanded way?

2. Do you think it’s possible that Stein has been scapegoated for his opposition to Pres. Obama, and furthermore that his column criticizing Obama for exceeding his authority wrt the auto industry was a completely legitimate argument for a person in his position to make?

3. Do you think it’s possible that Stein has been scapegoated for his opinions on other political-cultural issues unrelated to his financial column at the Times?

4. Do you think the Times’ has treated Stein fairly wrt the logistics of him being fired?

Posted by Koz | Report as abusive
 

I find the babble in many of these comments infantile, but somewhat entertaining – almost like Mr. Stein. Instead of intelligent discussion, most prefer to call people names or use labels. I find that kind of discourse boring, in that it fails to make a logical argument or reasonable statements in support of a given position or belief. It is all about labels and name calling – a practice that is devoid of any reason or intellect that is often quite telling of the writer.

For example, the idiot that prefers to call the President “obama” as a show of his comtempt for the person fails to understand the respect is shown for the position of President of the U.S. It makes no difference who is currently in office, I will always respect the office. Instead, we have some redneck who probably doesn’t even have a high-school education calling those who disagree with him “dumb ass Americans” and pretending to have a kid he sends to school out of the country. What a joke! If your kid isn’t attending Oxford, he or she is getting a poor education. If you wanted your kid to be as narrow-minded as you, you should have sent him/her to one of the Bible colleges available. On the other hand, for those of us who are educated (holding a doctorate from a top 10 rated US school), we prefer to send our young adults to schools that will challenge them to think about all sides to any issue and to develop their own ideas and positions – to always seek to learn more and hopefully to never become a follower.

What is a follower? One who blindly votes their religious and/or ‘conservative’ agenda thinking it is in their best interest. For idiot (I prefer to call him idiot because he has not “earned” my respect.) he does it and doesn’t even realize how the GOP has its hand in his pocket – i.e. to pay billions each month for a war that was completely unnecessary or to do away with the inheritance tax (aka the GOP death tax) that allows billionaires to pass their wealth on to their progeny without paying a very small amount in taxes that will benefit this country as a whole. Paying $50,000 in “death taxes” would be painful, if not impossible, for 97% of the people. For the other 3%, it is a drop in the bucket.

So the Democrats are trying to obtain health-care for all Americans – a laudable goal – and the idiots scream we can’t pay for it. We always seemed to find enough money to borrow to pay for our unnecessary war, but now, when its something that will actually benefit the people of the country, its too expensive.

I say BS. Its about time that this government started to take care of the people – the living breathing beings who are trying to make ends meet every day of their lives. Not the mega-corporations, lobbyists, wall street fat cats or the multi-millionaires and billionaires. For idiot, I hope that he never one day develops diabetes or cancer or some other malady that gets him dropped from his insurance. With medical expenses ranging from $5-8,000 per month, I doubt you will be able to send your kids to dog-catcher school.

My advice (take what you need and leave the rest): stop shooting your bigoted, biased mouth off, start listening more – a lot more, develop critical thinking, start trying to find solutions, make suggestions, and remember your fellow man. We all have a moral obligation to help one another. Anyone who believes differently is pure scum. Selfish scum. A fake – certainly not a community leader or someone to look up to. On health care reform – we should tell the insurance companies to take their billion dollar profits and find another way to screw people out of their money.

Here’s a suggestion: Pass a federal law that allows people to say no to ‘required’ insurance policies such as auto and home. Allow them to self insure. Anyone care to guess how quickly the prices will come down? That is exactly why the insurance companies do not want a single-payor option by the government. People will be able to say “no” to their high prices and get basic coverage through the government. Their prices will fall so fast, it might become a low-profit product. And it should be a low or no profit product. No company should be able to exploit the suffering and illness of humankind.

My label? Idealist. We should care about one another. Even redneck.

Posted by Jarah | Report as abusive
 

I’m not getting any blank pages at NYTimes.com.

As much as I wish the Times could pull a Marty McFly and undo Stein’s parents first encounter, I don’t think they are working on anything of the sort.

Posted by Shnaps | Report as abusive
 

I’m wondering if any of the people criticizing you about your criticizing Ben Stein bothered to argue with your critiques of him when they were posted.To those people: What are the points that Stein made and Felix criticized that you believe Felix was wrong or unfair about?

 

I can always count on Republicans to avoid facts and use strawman arguments.

Bush’s $800B bailout got your tongue, Brad? $1.2 trillion of the current calendar year’s deficit was already approved by Bush before Obama got elected. Oops! Nice try, though.

Posted by Unsympathetic | Report as abusive
 

It is reasonable for Ben Stein to be let go because he was selling out his good name, bolstered in part as a New York Times economist, to an organization that would harm consumers by charging $360 per year for something that can be had for free.

That said, I agree with Felix who has lamented the dearth of strong financial reporting in major media. Indeed, there is a gigantic, gaping hole in the area of hard-nosed, muckraking financial and business reporting at the New York Times and elsewhere. A whole generation of Americans has failed in aggregate to earn any positive return at all in the markets. While this happened in the past, this time it has occurred while the many in the financial sector reap rewards fit for pharoahs. From fund fees that eat a high percentage of all returns to unfair trading programs that front-run everybody to bonus schemes that dwarf reported profits to taxpayer-funded bailouts that enable the breathtaking compensation to continue to financial products which prey on the financially uneducated, to exporting of garbage assets abroad and destroying of trust in America, our financial sector has done a great deal of harm.

Here’s hoping Ben Stein gets replaced with a hard-working financial muckraker or two. Because as limited as he was, he was worth something as a columnist, expressing frustration at unfairness in the economy that we have all felt. His confusion and fearfulness at the how things were playing out week by week expressed nicely the feelings of hundreds of millions worldwide.

Posted by Dan | Report as abusive
 

I clicked on the keyword Ben Steins page in your last comment and was able to read a column:
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/12/busine ss/economy/12every.html?_r=1&scp=4&sq=be n%20stein&st=cse

Posted by Eileen | Report as abusive
 

Ben Stein is so fired. He’s trying to claim that someone who writes a finance column can take a paycheck from a credit report company. Its a crock.

Posted by Krissy | Report as abusive
 

All you have to do is reflect on Stein’s personal relationship with his wife/x-wife/wife and you can see the guy is crazy!!! But why wouldn’t it be all right with a republican to write about finance and hawk for another conflicting interest. Remember “C Street” the family’s motto— God put you in power not the people and so anything you do is okay—because it’s you not the “other guys”. Anyway watch Fox Fools Ben is on there all the time.

Posted by linda kaye | Report as abusive
 

“This commercial was red meat for the Ben Stein haters left over from the Expelled days. They bombarded the Times with letters.”

The sad thing is, no they didn’t. People are simply too bored with him now. (His being so wrong on the economy didn’t help.)

Ben Stein is a factoid in search of a trivia question.

 

These right wing posts – so heated, so empty of logic, evidence, reason, proportion – I wonder, are they planted?

See
http://mandatemedia.typepad.com/photos/u ncategorized/2007/07/16/blogattack.jpg

If it froths like a rabid dog, it’s probably bought and paid for by the RNC.

Posted by lark | Report as abusive
 

Thanks, Koz, for the considered tone of your questions.

“1. Do you think one column every two weeks or four weeks is enough to bind Stein to the Times’ “journalist ethics” policy. Do you suppose that policy has been applied in an evenhanded way?”

I do think it is enough, personally. The policy itself states: “Thus as far as possible, freelance contributors to the Times Company’s journalism, while not its employees, should accept the same ethical standards as staff members as a condition of their assignments for us. If they violate these standards, they should be denied further assignments.”

Though I suspect you’re right that not every columnist has been entirely clean in this regard. That said, once it was brought to the NYT’s attention in a fairly high profile manner, I doubt they felt they had much choice in the matter.

“2. Do you think it’s possible that Stein has been scapegoated for his opposition to Pres. Obama, and furthermore that his column criticizing Obama for exceeding his authority wrt the auto industry was a completely legitimate argument for a person in his position to make?”

No I don’t think it’s possible, except in so far as such opposition may have made it more likely for NYT readers to kick up a fuss. The NYT recently hired Ross Douthat, a vocal conservative critic of Obama, as a columnist. He replaced Bill Kristol, one of the most hardline conservatives in public life.

“3. Do you think it’s possible that Stein has been scapegoated for his opinions on other political-cultural issues unrelated to his financial column at the Times?”

See above. Also, the real question is what on earth the NYT was doing hiring Stein to write about finance in the first place.

“4. Do you think the Times’ has treated Stein fairly wrt the logistics of him being fired?”

Depends what you mean by fairly. It wasn’t very gracious, but then firing never is. He’s not a staff member, so I’m not sure what other “fairness” he could expect.

Posted by Ginger Yellow | Report as abusive
 

“See above. Also, the real question is what on earth the NYT was doing hiring Stein to write about finance in the first place.”

I have some sympathy for this. Otoh they already have Bob Herbert and Mo Dowd, so it’s not like the standards are that high.

“No I don’t think it’s possible, except in so far as such opposition may have made it more likely for NYT readers to kick up a fuss. The NYT recently hired Ross Douthat, a vocal conservative critic of Obama, as a columnist. He replaced Bill Kristol, one of the most hardline conservatives in public life.”

I don’t think any of them had a regular opinion column spiked. That’s a truly extreme measure and very rarely done. If Stein’s story on that checks out I for one think that speaks very poorly of the Times.

“Though I suspect you’re right that not every columnist has been entirely clean in this regard. That said, once it was brought to the NYT’s attention in a fairly high profile manner, I doubt they felt they had much choice in the matter.”

Paul Krugman was essentially a PR tool for Enron, which was especially troubling in his case because he did no real work for them IIRC.

Posted by Koz | Report as abusive
 

“Otoh they already have Bob Herbert and Mo Dowd, so it’s not like the standards are that high.”

The difference being that those columnists are hired to do precisely what they excel at, whether or not you or I like what it is. I’m certainly not happy about the NYT employing MoDo, but they’re gettting exactly what they want from her. Stein has no expertise whatsoever in finance, or apparently in writing about it.

“I don’t think any of them had a regular opinion column spiked. That’s a truly extreme measure and very rarely done.”

Well, that’s a counterfactual, so unless we hear from them we can’t know, but it’s not particularly rare in my personal experience. I’m a financial journalist, writing news and opinion pieces, and I’ve had several spiked, as have my colleagues.

“Paul Krugman was essentially a PR tool for Enron, which was especially troubling in his case because he did no real work for them IIRC.”

Again, the stated reason for terminating Stein’s column was paid PR in violation of policy. If Krugman didn’t do that, then he wasn’t violating the policy, whether or not he was systematically biased in favour of Enron. Personally, I don’t see that bias in the columns he wrote about them, though clearly he didn’t see through them at all.

Posted by Ginger Yellow | Report as abusive
 

don’t flatter yourself. If Ben is even aware of you, it would surprise me.

Do you ever notice that when someone of Jewish heritage posts a column all of the Jewish/Israeli haters feel entitled to spew venom en masse? Raise one question about bi-racial President Obama however and you are a racist. What ever happened to this country and the freedoms of tasteful discourse?

Posted by beebop | Report as abusive
 

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