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Classy Krugman: NYT Book Review Editor Sam Tanenhaus 'Very Much a Neocon' for Running Mild Criticism Of His New Book

Thin-skinned New York Times columnist Paul Krugman spoke at the left-wing Netroots Nation conference held in Providence, R.I. this weekend (a fact overlooked in his own paper's story). In his Saturday morning talk, Krugman displayed his usual class and charm by calling Times Book Review editor Sam Tanenhaus "very much a noecon," a slur in Krugman's liberal circles, for allegedly assigning an unsympathetic critic to his new book End This Depression Now! according to the liberal news site Talking Points Memo.

Economist and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman on Saturday morning called the current state of the U.S. economy “incredibly awful.”

“If you don’t know multiple people who are suffering, then you must be living in a very rarefied environment,” he said in a brief address to the Netroots Nation conference. “You must be maybe a member of the Romney clan, or something.”

Krugman is out with a new book, “End This Depression Now!”, and he told the progressive gathering that the country’s economic problems are solvable.

“None of this has to be happening. We didn’t have a plague of locusts, we were not hit by a tsunami, there wasn’t some act of God that created this terrible situation. It was acts of man.”

Krugman, who has seen an advance copy of his newspaper’s review of “End This Depression,” dinged the Times’ book review editor.

“The New York Times Book Review is run by Sam Tanenhaus, who is very much a neocon, and makes a point whenever a progressive comes out with a book to find someone who will attack it,” Krugman said. “It’s not really an attack, but the reviewer is shocked at the lack of respect I show for ‘highly respected people,’ I think he uses that phrase.”

Jonah Goldberg, author of The Tyrannyof Cliches, reviewed harshly in the Times, would likely disagree with the idea that Tanenhaus, author of the prescient 2009 book The Death of Conservatism, is sympathetic to neo-conservatives, or any other kind of conservative.