CNBC finds the bright side of Japan earthquake

Larry Kudlow says we can be "grateful" that human toll is worse than the disaster's economic cost

By Mary Elizabeth Williams
Published March 14, 2011 4:15PM (EDT)
Larry Kudlow
Larry Kudlow

Larry Kudlow has a unique way of looking on the bright side. On CNBC this week, the "renowned free market, supply-side economist" and host of "The Kudlow Report" noted, regarding the robustness of the markets in the wake of the devastating Japanese earthquake and tsunami, that "The human toll here looks to be much worse than the economic toll, and we can be grateful for that." He then added the caveat that "The human toll is a tragedy; we all know that," before his co-host added a line about what's "good news for the US economies."

Kudlow, who came under swift fire for the remark, quickly issued a Twitter mea culpa,  saying, "I did not mean to say human toll in Japan less important than economic toll. Talking about markets. I flubbed the line. Sincere apology." It may have been simple case of misspeaking off the cuff. But for Kudlow, a well-compensated talking head for whom the usual rules of being correct  or appropriate don't seem to apply, flubs seem to be a specialty.

Mary Elizabeth Williams

Mary Elizabeth Williams is a senior writer for Salon and author of "A Series of Catastrophes & Miracles."

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