AP Scandal: Top 10 Quotes List Quoted Krugman Quoting Others

The Associated Press's list of the Top 10 Quotes of 2008 featured two from Nobel-winning economist Paul Krugman. But Krugman, it turns out, was not actually quotable enough to merit credit for either.

The AP obviously wanted some good easy-to-understand pithy quotes from economist types, this year, to round out their list, because the economy has cratered and no one understands what's going on. So they listed two from Krugman:

10. (tie) "Cash for trash." - Paul Krugman discussing the financial bailout, New York Times, Sept. 22.

10. (tie) "There are no atheists in foxholes and there are no libertarians in financial crises." - Krugman, in an interview with Bill Maher on HBO's "Real Time," broadcast Sept. 19.

The problem, as Krugman immediately pointed out, is that he borrowed the "atheists in foxholes" line from Jeff Frankel and the second line is not even a "quote," it's a catchy rhyming saying that can't be attributed to anyone.

And so now the AP has issued its correction. Paul Krugman, not actually worth quoting.

The real scandal is that both quotes were tied for number 10, which means it wasn't even a proper top ten list. Where is your correction of that, Associated Press? They even stuck in an extraneous third "tenth" quote from Donald Luskin, making it a "Top 12" list, and therefore useless as a piece of year-end filler journalism. Shame.