Krugman Calling Kettle Black?

Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:

Climate of Hate

New York Times columnist Paul Krugman blames the Arizona massacre -- in part -- on what his headline calls a "climate of hate."

Krugman writes -- quote -- "Where's that toxic rhetoric coming from? Let's not make a false pretense of balance: It's coming, overwhelmingly, from the right." But The Weekly Standard points out, Krugman himself warmed that climate of hate during the health care debate, writing -- quote -- "a message to progressives: By all means hang Senator Joe Lieberman in effigy."

And Krugman's wife told The New Yorker magazine about their 2008 election night party -- quote -- "We had a little portable outside fire pit and we let people throw in an effigy or whatever they wanted to get rid of for the past eight years."

The Standard writes -- quote -- "Krugman provides no evidence that 'toxic' rhetoric played a role in Saturday's shooting, but if it's soul-searching Krugman demands, perhaps he should start with his own soul."

Coming to Terms

Washington Post ombudsman Andrew Alexander writes that the debate over immigration language is heating up at news organizations. He says that many adhere to the Associated Press stylebook which prefers "illegal immigrant."

However we recently reported that a member of the diversity committee of the Society of Professional Journalists is lobbying for the term "undocumented immigrant," which many Hispanic groups prefer.

Alexander writes -- quote -- "a review of Post terminology in stories during the second half of 2010 shows that 'undocumented immigrant' was used about six times more frequently than 'illegal immigrant.'"

Public Disservice

And finally, three present and former city council members in Bell, California charged with public corruption want their cash-strapped city to foot their legal bills.

They are accused of receiving nearly $100,000 for little or no work. Lawyers involved said their clients did nothing legally wrong.

A recent audit shows the fiscal woes brought on by those scandals and sky-high salaries threaten basic services for residents in a city now on the verge of bankruptcy.