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New York Times public editor Daniel Okrent bitch slaps Paul Krugman on his way out (along with Bill Safire and Maureen Dowd.) I particularly love that last line.

Op-Ed columnist Paul Krugman has the disturbing habit of shaping, slicing and selectively citing numbers in a fashion that pleases his acolytes but leaves him open to substantive assaults. Maureen Dowd was still writing that Alberto R. Gonzales "called the Geneva Conventions 'quaint' " nearly two months after a correction in the news pages noted that Gonzales had specifically applied the term to Geneva provisions about commissary privileges, athletic uniforms and scientific instruments. Before his retirement in January, William Safire vexed me with his chronic assertion of clear links between Al Qaeda and Saddam Hussein, based on evidence only he seemed to possess.

No one deserves the personal vituperation that regularly comes Dowd's way, and some of Krugman's enemies are every bit as ideological (and consequently unfair) as he is. But that doesn't mean that their boss, publisher Arthur O. Sulzberger Jr., shouldn't hold his columnists to higher standards.

I didn't give Krugman, Dowd or Safire the chance to respond before writing the last two paragraphs. I decided to impersonate an opinion columnist.


Of the most frequent definitions (from Wikipedia) of the term "bitch slap"..

(1) an overpowering backhanded slap delivered by a supposedly docile female to a dominant male.
(2) a slap given, particularly but not necessarily, to a female who is being rude or hysterical to calm or subdue her (or him).
(3) the act of literally slapping a prostitute, the slap usually being delivered by her pimp, usually when the prostitute is behaving out of line (sometimes pimp slap).
(4) an open handed slap with the non-dominant hand given to a lady (usually a wife or girl friend) most often when the lady is "talking back".

..my assumption is that you mean the second definition, which is that Krugman needs calming down from his hysterical girliness. (This use of rhetoric would be in keeping with your calling those who opposed the Bolton nomination "wusses" and officially labelling/dismissing the once admired Andrew Sullivan as an hysterical drama queen.)

Perhaps, however, it is you that needs calming down for, of the three columnists cited here, Okrent has far more detailed questions for Safire and Dowd. Besides which, the opinion columnists he cites are just that. Does the Washington Post edit Charles Krauthammer or George Will? Frankly, I don't think they should, because the opinions expressed are clearly that of the columnist, not of the paper.

As far as the last line, Okrent is expressing his opinion, not writing a news story, and therefore is functioning as an opinion columnist. No impersonation necessary.

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