At just before 9 a.m. this morning, New York Times Op-Ed columnist Paul Krugman took to his official Times blog, The Conscience of a Liberal, for a personal, two sentence post headlined, “I Love The Smell Of Death Threats In The Morning.” It’s humanizing! “Haven’t gotten one of those in a while; I was starting to think I was losing my touch,” he explains. But we see this tactic all the time — the subtle brag, the This Just Happened To Me winky face — from lesser bloggers. New York Times columnists, they’re just like us!
You know, just Krugman giving you a little window into his life, dropping by to tell you how much he matters. It’s just the latest in his increasingly personal blogging under the Times umbrella, also including YouTube music videos and correcting others on their spelling errors.
In theory it’s cool. Your favorite Times writers are people, too, not just words and a portrait on a page. (Show me your favorite cute baby video, Michiko!)
But it’s not a good look for a “professional” to take on some of the uglier, narcissistic traits of a chronic blogger. You wouldn’t brag about how much fan mail you received, right? Hate mail is like fan mail, but sexier. And someone should tell this guy to stop wasting his Verified Account; this might’ve been a passable tweet, if still a bit self-important.
It’s not that Times writers couldn’t use some sassing up, some casual cool, but it’s a slippery slope. What’s next, cat pictures?