Patterico's Pontifications


Krugman vs. the Truth

Filed under: Media Bias — Patterico @ 6:50 am


About the evidence regarding a manual recount: in April 2001 a media consortium led by The Miami Herald assessed how various recounts of “undervotes,” which did not register at all, would have affected the outcome. Two out of three hypothetical statewide counts would have given the election to Mr. Gore. The third involved a standard that would have discarded some ballots on which the intended vote was clear. Since Florida law seemed to require counting such ballots, this standard almost certainly wouldn’t have been used in a statewide recount.

The truth:

The newspapers then applied the accounting firm’s findings to four standards used in Florida and elsewhere to determine when an undervote ballot becomes a legal vote. By three of the standards, Bush holds the lead. The fourth standard gives Gore a razor-thin win.

. . . .

The USA TODAY[/Miami Herald/Knight Ridder] study shows that Gore would have won Florida by 3 votes if this [fourth] standard were applied to undervotes. Because of the possibility of mistakes in the study, a three-vote margin is too small to conclude that Gore might have prevailed in an official count using this standard.

According to Krugman, Gore wins in 2 out of 3 scenarios; the third is unrealistic. The Gospel According to Krugman.

According to the actual study, 3 of 4 scenarios had Bush winning — and the fourth, where Gore won by 3 whole votes, was too unreliable to count because of the negligible margin.

Krugman’s prevaricating is, of course, a defense of his recent statement:

Two different news media consortiums reviewed Florida’s ballots; both found that a full manual recount would have given the election to Mr. Gore.

In order to defend this statement in detail, Krugman resorts (as we have seen) to out-and-out misrepresentation of the study of undervotes.

Krugman’s latest column is titled “Don’t Prettify Our History.” How’s about just not lying, Mr. Krugman?

All this comes via the work of Richard Baehr, who provides the above analysis and much more. Baehr also skewers Krugman’s analysis of the overvotes, which (as far as I am aware) are never counted in recounts in any state anyway. But I stopped reading at the analysis of the undervotes. That was enough to conclude that, once again, Krugman is not telling his readers the truth.

If this were the only thing I had ever read by Paul Krugman, it would be enough to conclude that this man has absolutely no regard for the facts. His latest column is a disgrace, and he owes readers an immediate apology for his slipshod and dishonest work.

You will never see one.

UPDATE: Krugman doubles down in the form of a phony correction.

16 Responses to “Krugman vs. the Truth”

  1. Krugman: I can and will dig myself out of this hole

    Before even having a chance to read Paul Krugman’s latest column “Don’t Prettify our History,” I read Patterico’s assessment of it so I knew that it would be a doozy, even for Krugman:

    If this were the only thing I had…

    Independent Sources (4f7430)

  2. Do you expect the Father of Lies to produce truthful children?

    Raul Alessandri (0562b0)

  3. Sometimes I think the best thing to do with a guy like Krugman is to just ignore him.

    Dwilkers (a1687a)

  4. Thank you for the post. I know I had heard in the past that when major papers had done a “recount” themselves, Bush had still won.

    So somebody needs to attempt to create urban legends (again) 5 years after the fact. I guess the idea is if the BS still keeps getting dumped it becomes hard to clean it all up.

    MD in Philly (b3202e)

  5. Somebody’s gotta foment the lie that Bush was “selected, not elected”.

    Otherwise, how are peole like Judge Mathis gonna have material to fire up the wackos in the Democrat party?

    Glenn (3b59fc)

  6. I’ve been following this lie form Krugman on different blogs. The one that confuses
    me is:

    regardsm Hank

    Hank (9a99f9)

  7. I found that article confusing myself – here’s one of my favorite parts:

    “For our money, Krugman continues to be a bit too polite as he explains why newspapers reported the recounts in the manner they did. “The tone of these reports may have been influenced by the timing: the second consortium’s report came out just two months after 9/11,” he writes. “The country wanted very badly to believe in its leadership. Nobody wanted to write stories suggesting that the wrong man was sitting in the White House.” That’s all well and good, but in fact, the press corps’ reporting of these recounts plainly matched its bizarre reporting of Campaign 2000 as a whole. In fact, the press corps adopted a Bush-friendly line throughout Campaign 2000 as they conducted their War Against Gore”

    This paragraph alone is chock full o’ “howlers”; The press corps? Bush friendly? “Nobody” wanted to write stories saying the wrong guy was in the White House?


    The credulity required to not only pass that along but to do it supportively says a lot about the author.

    Scott (57c0cc)

  8. Its important to note that the USAToday study is (I think) the _fourth_ newspaper examination.

    The first several all had the conclusion ‘Bush would have won under all types of recounts examined’.

    A second piece to note is the steadily declining number of actual ‘ballots counted’. These ballots are losing chads as they get rererererecounted.

    So, the _one_ case of ‘Gore wins by three’ actually has substantially more lost ballots from ballot handling – and considering that the ‘recount methods’ include ‘how to handle over/undervotes’ this error can get erroneously magnified.

    Not that I can complain too much. Here in Washington the ‘Findings in Law’ has roughly 2000 illegal votes in a race with a 129 vote margin of victory.

    Al (00c56b)

  9. Krugman is so far out in left field the NY Times is going to have to give him the sack, or the Pulitzer. Nothing else will do.

    After all, the Times had similar problems with Walter Duranty and he got the Pulitzer Prize. Krugman is every bit the “useful idiot” old Walter was, and the Gray Lady is still as faithful to her collectivist masters as any battered woman ever was. The smart money is on the Prize.

    Black Jack (ee3eb6)

  10. The newspaper recounts also ignore another factor that would have affected the totals. The Gore campaign used hundreds of lawyers to try to disqualify military absentee ballots by challenging every single one. These cases were tried separately in each county. The Bush campaign won most of those cases, but there were still hundreds of military ballots uncounted when the Electoral College voted, at which point the remaining lawsuits (as I recall) were declared moot and the ballots thrown out. If Gore had won Bush v. Gore and recounts had continued, these lawsuits would also have continued, and (given the voting tendencies of the military) added to Bush’s lead even if recounts were subtracting from it. To put it another way, a 3-vote Gore margin from recounts would almost certainly have been canceled out by the additional military ballots.

    Dr. Weevil (775e86)

  11. There’s more. In this post, I explain why Gore could not have won a legitimate victory in any recount. There was simply too much vote fraud benefiting Gore, beginning with the nearly 6,000 felons found by the Palm Beach Post and the Miami Herald in separate investigations.

    As for Doctor Weevil’s comment: It is true that Democratic lawyers threw out many military ballots — but it is also true that they mostly were blocked in counties controlled by the Republicans. My own rough estimate is that Bush lost, net, a few hundred votes, from this effort. See my Q&A on the election for more.

    And, of course, some of the actions by Democratic election boards during the recounts don’t bear close inspection.

    Jim Miller (f5eefa)

  12. Krugman should go back to his old job as Enron advisor. Oh, that’s right, he advised those crooks right into jail.

    David (e98238)

  13. Gore benefited by voter fraud??!!?! I never heard of such a thing!!! (Just because 10 of 100 new voters in Philly at the last election were dead…)

    MD in Philly (b3202e)

  14. […] Patterico’s Pontifications: If this were the only thing I had ever read by Paul Krugman, it would be enough to conclude that this man has absolutely no regard for the facts. His latest column is a disgrace, and he owes readers an immediate apology for his slipshod and dishonest work. […]

    PrestoPundit » Blog Archive » Patterico on Krugman (d881ce)

  15. Wednesday Specials

    James at Chicago Boyz considers obesity rates. Patterico recounts the recount. Mr. Right rewrites Monty Python. P’nut is a gruntled employee. basil interviews the famous, albeit one-sided….

    Cafe Oregano (ad1416)

  16. It just goes to show you that the way you keep your job is to please the boss. Forget about work ethic, accuracy, attention to detail; it’s giving ’em what they want. His bosses want this kind of stuff; he willingly obliges. He has a job there, for life.

    bureaucrat (825e78)

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