MSNBC host Joe Scarborough said Thursday that a public editor at the New York Times considers liberal columnist Paul Krugman’s work to be an ongoing “nightmare.”
During a segment on “Morning Joe,” conservative historian Niall Ferguson joined Scarborough to pile on Krugman. Ferguson said that Krugman lacks “humility, honesty and civility.”
“And there’s no accountability,” Ferguson said. “No one seems to edit that blog at the New York Times. And it’s time that somebody called him out. People are afraid of him. I’m not.”
Scarborough then recalled a conversation he had with a Times editor following his televised debate with Krugman earlier this year.
“I actually won’t tell you which public editor it was but one of the public editors of the New York Times told me off the record after my debate that their biggest nightmare was his column every week,” Scarborough said.
By his own admission, Krugman was not at his best in that showdown, taking to his blog before the debate aired to acknowledge that he “wasn’t prepared for Joe Scarborough’s slipperiness.”
Scarborough emailed the conservative blog NewsBusters on Thursday to say that his conversation with the unnamed public editor “occurred several years ago,” and not immediately after his debate with Krugman in March.
Margaret Sullivan, the current public editor at the Times, clarified on Twitter that she never complained to Scarborough about Krugman:
— Margaret Sullivan (@Sulliview) October 10, 2013
This post has been updated.