Tuesday, December 11th, 2012

Columnist Indelicate

Paul Krugman may be a nice guy in real life, but the character he plays on the Op-Ed page of the New York Times is a real dick.


9 Comments / Post A Comment

barnhouse (#1,326)

Is this about persona, because whole Borgesian thing of reality and fiction are both fiction, maybe or maybe a more Bolaño thing of reality and fiction are interchangeable? Someone please explain all this to me.

@barnhouse It's not nearly as interesting as all that. He (Sunstein) is not really making a distinction between Person and Author except as a hedge against being cited for ad hominem. But he is basically just making some ad hominems along the lines of "Geez, this fella's a bit harsh, not like that nice David Brooks." It's kind of snoozeworthy.

Booth, also, was not really, in defining the phrase, attempting to make a big deal about what differences there might be between a person and author who share the same body. He was just being very specific about what it is we are experiencing when we read, from a purely empirical and phenomenological point of view, for the purpose of giving a more precise vocabulary to critics. He is mostly, therefore, making a distinction between implied authors and narrators, which doesn't really apply much to political commentary.

cuminafterall (#163,544)

@barnhouse I guess it's about Op-Ed writing as a kind of performance, where the writer plays a character. Paul Krugman's wife, for instance, is known to edit his columns to make them "less dry, less abstract, angrier."

Also David Brooks's columns all go like this: "Reasonable assumption, reasonable assumption, reasonable assumption, shockingly retrograde assumption, conservative conclusion that doesn't seem all that crazy compared with that last assumption, but is actually insane."

hockeymom (#143)

1. What David Brooks is the author reading? Because the Brooks I read is none of those things…implied or otherwise.

2. Kristof and Collins are the only two writers on the OpEd pages whose "implied" personalities seem consistently likeable. And that's probably because "implied" and "actual" are very close to being the same.

Sean Lai (#14,158)

@hockeymom I dunno, Nick Kristof's journalism persona strikes me as an imperious, self-involved poverty tourist and White Savior, whereas I'd like to think Kristof's actually an OK dude in his normal life.

My implied commenter has a boner.

So here you have the Obama administration's legal foundation for naming bankers to government instead of Krugman; they don't like his tone.

So it is Balk's actual or implied author who drinks all that bourbon?

@Setec Astrology There's a difference?

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