The Ol’ Gray Lady ain’t what she used to be!

On Sunday, New York Times columnist and left-wing economist Paul Krugman set off a firestorm when he blithely referred to the 9/11 anniversary as “an occasion for shame.”

That’s right, “an occasion for shame.”

Why?  Because “fake heroes” like then New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani and President George W. Bush “hijacked” the day in an attempt to “cash in” on the atrocities.

In typical paranoid fashion, Krugman seems to believe that Giuliani and Bush took some maniacal pleasure in the attacks on our country — the better to consolidate their power.  (Insert evil Halloween laugh track.)

Now, regardless of whether one agrees with the policies of Messrs. Giuliani and Bush, most Americans — of all political stripes — are grateful for the leadership of these men during a time of grave crisis.  Indeed, even Vice President Joe Biden (not one to shrink from partisan rhetoric) last week thanked Bush for “bringing our country together, when it could have been torn apart . . . and helping us stand tall and strike back.”

Yep, on a weekend in which our leaders put aside partisan differences to mourn and pay tribute, over at The New York Times Paul Krugman wallowed in shame.

But, wait!  Krugman wasn’t alone.   Apparently, the entire nation felt equally embarrassed — why else, he wonders, would the events marking the terrorist attacks have been so “subdued?”  What did he expect?   Joyful parades and fist pumps?

Krugman’s comments, of course, would have been offensive on any day.  But one has to marvel at the audacity of Krugman’s timing.

Why did Krugman choose the 10th anniversary of 9/11 to express his embarrassment of our country?   Does he harbor a sadistic desire to rub salt in the wounds of his fellow Americans?   Or is he simply oblivious to the pain caused by his words?  (Unlikely, or he would not have taken the cowardly step of disabling the “comments” section of his blog in anticipation of the reaction.)

Regardless of the reason, Krugman’s 9/11 invective should not be seen as an isolated diatribe by a rogue columnist.

Krugman is well known for his vitriolic attacks on ideological opponents.  Recall that Krugman once asked progressives to “hang Sen. Joe Lieberman in effigy” and, in fact, burned actual effigies at his home on election night 2008.

Were Krugman’s inflammatory 9/11 rantings simply a window into his tortured soul, they would hardly merit comment.  But, unfortunately, Krugman’s 9/11 piece is emblematic of the blame-America politics of the paper for which he writes.

As William McGowan notes in his book, “Gray Lady Down,” the Times stands alone in its refusal to cover in any depth the threat of Islamic extremism.  Yet, it never misses an opportunity to condemn our government and the American people for alleged Islamophobia.

Take, for example, its coverage of the 2009 Fort Hood massacre by Major Nidal Malik Hasan.  Although Hasan’s tendencies toward radical Islam and his e-mails with Anwar al-Awlaki (a Yemen-based terrorist associated with al-Qaeda) are well documented, the Times portrayed the shootings as little more than a psychiatric episode. Indeed, the Times went further, cautioning readers against making too much of Hasan’s fundamentalist beliefs or otherwise “drawing prejudicial conclusions.”

Such coverage is part of a deliberate strategy to minimize public support for anti-terrorism policies.  By downplaying threats to our national security from Islamic fundamentalists and anti-American Middle Eastern despots, the Times seeks to paint anti-terrorism measures as extreme.

But by publishing Krugman’s hateful blog post on Sunday, the Times went too far.  It has now lost all credibility, rendering it (and Paul Krugman) irrelevant.

 

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