I was disappointed to read Charles Babcock ’58’s admission that he canceled his New York Times subscription because the paper publishes Paul Krugman’s column (letters, Dec. 17). If you want to pick a cancellation-worthy Times columnist, how about Thomas Friedman, whose repeated promises of a turnaround in Iraq in about six months led to the coining of the derisive term the Friedman Unit? His Pollyannaish views on globalization have not been borne out by events, either. Or how about William Kristol, noteworthy for nothing more than his cheerful warmongering (a war in Iraq “could have terrifically good effects throughout the Middle East.” — Sept. 18, 2002)? In contrast, Krugman correctly predicted the collapse of the housing bubble and the generally deleterious effects that George Bush’s presidency would have on the economy.
I can understand that people disagree with Krugman’s views. And I can understand a desire to avoid columnists we have little trust in, given a track record of tragically wrong commentary. But I believe that as Princeton graduates we owe it to our society and ourselves to remain well-informed and involved in the important issues and debates of the day. I am giving my nephew a subscription to the Times this Christmas, in Charles Babcock’s name.