In a post on his New York Times blog "The Conscience of a Liberal," Nobel-prize winning economist and Times columnist Paul Krugman asks, "Is it just me, or are the 9/11 commemorations oddly subdued?" He then goes on to explain why: "What happened after 9/11…was deeply shameful. Te [sic] atrocity should have been a unifying event, but instead it became a wedge issue. Fake heros like Bernie Kerik, Rudy Giuliani, and yes, George W. Bush raced to cash in on the horror." Krugman then declares that "the memory of 9/11 has been irrevocably poisoned; it has become an occasion for shame. And in its heart, the nation knows it."
Krugman certainly isn't the only one to sharply criticize those who exploited 9/11 for personal or political gain, or the unity that occasionally bordered on mindless jingoism after the attacks. Former New York Times editor Bill Keller recently addressed his "unfinished business," offering a quasi-apology for his own major role in what Krugman describes as a push from "professional pundits" who "took the easy way out" in advocating for war.
Author Greg Mitchell expertly dismantles Keller's piece, and ends with a quote from former Bush press secretary Scott McClellan on Keller and other liberal "useful idiots" that beat the drum for war after 9/11: "In this case, the 'liberal media' didn't live up to its reputation. If it had, the country would have been better served." Is Krugman's post a forceful, necessary reminder of our country's failings or a poorly timed, tasteless act of overcompensation?