Saturday, August 20, 2005

Kaus Rebuttal Rebuttal

As pointed out on Instapundit, Mickey Kaus comes to Krugman's defense, pointing out correctly that he stated a "full manual recount". This is true and is somewhat of a defense to Krugman's statement, which is why I pointed that out in my original post on this subject, although some bloggers missed this subtlety. Kaus doesn't mention my comments, either because he didn't notice my humble blog, or because I was right and thus he had nothing to rebut. Krugman's comments are still in the wide scope of things misleading though, because Krugman does not point out that only under certain scenarios and intepretations is this true, and that Gore would not have won the election under ANY recount process which was being conducted at the time.

Remember, Krugman is not arguing merely that this was a close and poorly conducted election, which nobody would debate, but rather that this was a stolen election on behalf of Bush. He is relying on the (apparently correct) assumption that most readers would not notice the subtlety of his wording and assume that he is saying that it is proven that the Supreme Court stopping the recount somehow gave Bush the election. The weakness of his article is not based on one big lie, but rather than a whole bunch of half truths, innuendos and omissions. Much like a Michael Moore film, he weaves a bunch of items together, which although they may have some loose basis in reality, together form a completely misleading conclusion. It is not a coincidence that Moore in Fahrenheit 9/11, a film that Krugman praised as "performing a public service", also attacked Katherine Harris in a similar manner, also inaccurately represented the "felon purge" and falsely claimed "under every scenario Gore won the election." a claim even more misleading than Krugman's precisely worded one.

Ironically, Krugman also had this to say about Fahrenheit 9/11:

There has been much tut-tutting by pundits who complain that the movie, though it has yet to be caught in any major factual errors, uses association and innuendo to create false impressions.

Aside from the fact that it actually has been caught in major factual errors, Krugman seems to have learned from the master.

UPDATE: Richard Bennett (no relation) looks into the statements of the "judicious" journalist who started this whole thing. Apparently he doesn't know the difference between "under some circumstances" and "every time" either. Powerline does its usual excellent work, as well as pointing to a very detailed breakdown on this in the American Thinker. I am thinking I might be going too easy on both Krugman and Kaus. I can't help it, I am just too nice of a guy.