Former Fed Chair Janet Yellen Backs Effort to Fire Economist Who Opposed ‘Defund the Police’

Federal Reserve Board Chairwoman, Janet Yellen testifies during a House Financial Services Committee hearing on Capitol Hill, February 10, 2016 in Washington, DC.
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Former Federal Reserve chair Janet L. Yellen told the New York Times on Wednesday that she backs an effort to have Harald Uhlig fired as editor of a prestigious economic journal that began because he opposed “defund the police.”

Uhlig, a professor at the University of Chicago, edits the Journal of Political Economy — and happens to support the Black Lives Matter movement. However, he criticized it for looting and riots, and for calling to “defund the police.”

As Breitbart News reported earlier Wednesday, a group of economists is circulating an online petition asking that he resign because of his tweets and a past blog post in which he was critical of the national anthem protests in the NFL.

Uhlig offered an apology for using unwise language in some of his commentary. But as they scrutinized his social media posts, Uhlig’s critics found more views to oppose. And now, the Times reports, Yellen has entered the fray:

Janet L. Yellen, the former Federal Reserve chair, said in an email on Wednesday that “the tweets and blog posts by Harald Uhlig are extremely troubling” and that “it would be appropriate for the University of Chicago, which is the publisher of the Journal of Political Economy, to review Uhlig’s performance and suitability to continue as editor.”

Some conservatives hailed Mr. Uhlig as a champion of free speech and a victim of “cancel culture” — although

Critics … held up Mr. Uhlig as an example of the deeply embedded advantages of white economists, including nearly full control over the journals that determine, in their selections for publication, which economists receive acclaim, tenure and top jobs.

Yellen is the latest prominent figure to join the effort, which is also supported by Times columnist Paul Krugman.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). His new book, RED NOVEMBER, is available for pre-order. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.

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