Welcome to another episode of “When Worlds Collide.” This episode explores what happens when the most politically biased disseminater of fake news on television, CNN, joins forces with the most politically biased opinion writer for The New York Times, which itself is America’s number one print purveyor of fake news.
Before going to the videotape, some background information is in order. On Monday, the Times’s Paul Krugman, who is certainly at least tied for most clueless Nobel recipient ever, published a doomsday prediction of where America is headed if (1) Donald Trump wins re-election and (2) the Republicans regain control of the House of Representatives — both very real prospects.
Krugman frames his prediction in terms of the fallout from Russiagate:
So all the “fake news” was true. A hostile foreign power intervened in the presidential election, hoping to install Donald Trump in the White House. The Trump campaign was aware of this intervention and welcomed it. And once in power, Trump tried to block any inquiry into what happened.
Never mind attempts to spin this story as somehow not meeting some definitions of collusion or obstruction of justice. The fact is that the occupant of the White House betrayed his country. And the question everyone is asking is, what will Democrats do about it?
It is remarkable to see someone with Krugman’s bully pulpit still perpetuating the myth that the Trump campaign colluded with Russia! He must be the only “journalist” living who still believes that. But his assertion was only the jumping-off point for his dire prediction, which came in the final two paragraphs of the article:
… [I]t’s later than you think for American democracy. Before 2016 you could have wondered whether Republicans would, in extremis, be willing to take a stand in defense of freedom and rule of law. At this point, however, they’ve already taken that test, and failed with flying colors.
The simple fact is that one of our two major parties — the one that likes to wrap itself in the flag — no longer believes in American values. And it’s very much up in the air whether America as we know it will survive.
The president, still not having learned to suffer fools despite having lived 72 years, the last two of them in the White House, chose to dignify Krugman’s ravings in a tweet:
Paul Krugman, of the Fake News New York Times, has lost all credibility, as has the Times itself, with his false and highly inaccurate writings on me. He is obsessed with hatred, just as others are obsessed with how stupid he is. He said Market would crash, Only Record Highs!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 23, 2019
Even those who wish he tweeted less are forced to admit that Trump is right. Paul Krugman is indeed blinded with partisan hatred, and so frankly is the paper willing to countenance, let alone publish, his weekly rants.
But Krugman got, as they say, the last word. The following day, he appeared with CNN’s Anderson Cooper, where he iterated his doomsday scenario. The segment begins at 4:00 in the video below, which in turn is followed by a transcript of the money portion of the exchange.
ANDERSON COOPER: When you say close to the edge, what does that mean to you?
PAUL KRUGMAN: I think we’ll — you know, on paper, we’ll stay a democracy. But I worry very much about us sort of Hungary type situation where you have on paper the institutions of democracy. You even hold votes, but the system is rigged, and in fact, it’s become effectively you have one-party rule.
COOPER: You actually — you really believe that?
KRUGMAN: Oh, it could — we could have this conversation two years from now and say that it happened, or maybe we couldn’t have this conversation because the media would demuzzle it. But the — we’re very close. If Trump is re-elected, if the Republicans retake control of the House, what are the odds that we will really have a functioning democracy after that?
COOPER: I mean that’s a pretty terrifying idea.
KRUGMAN: If you’re not terrified, you’re not paying attention.
This is why we as a nation can’t have nice things.