Monday, June 05, 2006

J. Bradford DeLete

One of the privileges of having my own blog is that I get to re-post the comments that Brad DeLong deletes. As everyone knows, he is quite trigger-happy with that delete button. Well, I can kind of understand: his threads would go on for miles of drivel if he let every Tom, Dick, and Harry post comments. But moi...? For my latest, first some background:

1. Brad attacks a political reporter for making light of Hillary Clinton’s “wonkish” energy proposals. The media should cater instead to careful and concerned readers who really care about her speech.

2. Brad attacks another reporter for not stating prominently enough that global warming skeptics are liars, lunatics, and charlatans. The media should cater to careless and sloppy readers, who will be more influenced by the skeptics’ statements than by the author’s unambiguous but subtle challenges.

3. More of the above: the post on which I commented.


Will the real Brad DeLong please stand up? Is it the one who believes readers are dumb and casual and need to be spoon-fed the truth about global warming? Or is it the one who believes readers are subtle and sophisticated and need to be given more substantive details about Hillary Clinton’s energy proposals?

Oops, I forgot: It’s the one who deletes posts from those who find problems with what he says. I suppose one might be able to avoid this fate by stating the criticisms in unusually diplomatic language, instead of trying to be witty. But isn’t Brad himself the one who is always attacking reporters for being too diplomatic in their criticisms?

My latest comment agrees with something he said, though, so I’m guessing it won’t be deleted. (To be fair, I did make some mildly hostile comments on the first post cited above, and Brad didn’t delete them either. I guess it’s hard to predict.)

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Anonymous mvpy said...

Knzn, Im appalled by DeLongs antics. AS I mentioned to you before, he did that to almost every comment I ever put there. And Ive never put any there since. Why would I? Once, I was in a debate with his readers and my comment just vanished. Thing is, I thought it was even insulting to his readers since they had all *referred* to my comment when they made theirs. It was completely shameless of him; he made no secret of deleting it. And, further, the comment was very respectful. I would never, ever, put an abusive or obscene comment anywhere. It was all the more galling since he claims his site is "fair and balanced"; and based at the home of free speech. I said this before to you, but his deletion was a signal to me that this guy was a fraud. Such hypocrisy to claim the media is biased when he himself is shamelessly so. Could you imagine if this guy was in public office?

Its also disturbing that the comments are deleted so quickly. Hes clearly continually scouring the comments; is this what the Cal taxpayer is paying him to do. Huh.

If you google "catallarchy delong comment" theres a posting about delongs deleting by some other blogger, catallarchy.

"But isn’t Brad himself the one who is always attacking reporters for being too diplomatic in their criticisms?"
And is also does so in a very abrasive, undiplomatic way. Like crowing about the "Stupidist Man Alive" etc.

"and Brad didn’t delete them either. I guess it’s hard to predict"
Well, idea is, if theres a large chance he will, say a prob of .8, whyd you post in the first instance. The marginal gain of posting is pretty low in the first place, right? Thats how I feel. I think many people have exp this (like I) and have just vanished from his blog. So in time, his comments will be completely biased. Im disgusted with this fatuous fraud.

Tue Jun 06, 10:32:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Mark Thoma said...

I'm glad you have a blog - some of the better comments around are from you. I always worry you will catch me in some dumb error (again...)!

Have you on the blogroll, RSS, and will keep an eye out for good stuff that is sure to show up here.

Tue Jun 06, 09:08:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Commenterlein said...

I don't think Delong should have deleted your comment, but it was a pretty lame comment anyway.

Delong wants journalists who don't dislike substance and policy details, and who do not simply report the opinions of cranks as if they were respected scientists. I don't see any contradiction between the two demands, and certainly no need for the real Delong to stand up.

Tue Jun 06, 11:08:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Commenterlein said...

Oh, and mvpy, what makes you so angry? Delong is a "fatuous fraud" because he deletes comments on his blog he doesn't like?

You seem to be an econ grad student, so I'd politely recommend you have a look at his publication record. Doesn't look like a fraud to me, but I may just have my standards too low.

Tue Jun 06, 11:11:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Commenterlein said...


I am feeling a bit bad about my earlier comment - let me add that I really like the vast majority of your comments left on several of the blogs I read.

Where did you graduate from?

Tue Jun 06, 11:34:00 PM EDT  
Blogger knzn said...

Well, I admit it wasn’t my best comment, but I still think there’s some substance to it. The demands are not inconsistent, but the rationales for the demands are inconsistent, at least as applied to those particular articles. In the global warming story, even a moderately careful reader could tell that the opinions in question were those of cranks (at least in the judgment of the author). The reason it was ostensibly necessary to be more obvious about it was that most readers are not even moderately careful. If those are the types of readers one is to expect, one cannot reasonably expect them to care about policy details. (Brad might say “substance” rather than “policy details,” but he’s being a little unfair there. In general, it is possible to be substantive on a less detailed level, but in regard to that particular Clinton speech, I think it would have been quite difficult to give a substantive report without dealing with details. In that respect, the fault is more in the way the senator organized her speech rather than in the reporting of it.)

Wed Jun 07, 12:03:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Commenterlein said...

Delong was upset about Joshua Green because *Green* seems unable or unwilling to follow a wonkish discussion of energy policy. Given Green's job this is indeed pretty sad.

Delong wasn't making any statement whether the average reader cares about policy detail or is attentive in this particular post, and given his anger at the global warming story he in fact probably doesn't think so.

Wed Jun 07, 12:14:00 AM EDT  
Blogger knzn said...

Perhaps you have uncovered the true Brad DeLong. But I think that true Brad doesn’t have much of a case against Joshua Green. How can we reasonably require journalists to care about things that their readers don’t care about (or won’t pay attention to)? His article gives the flavor or Mrs. Clinton’s speech, which is all most readers would want.

Speaking for myself, I am an economist and as such someone who presumably ought to be more interested in policy than the average reader. I’m not an energy expert, but I am someone who thinks about energy issues from an economic point of view. But I start to drift off when James Hamilton (or one of his commentators) starts going into the technological details of what energy sources are feasible. For the reporters that I read, I don’t care if they were willing or able to follow Mrs. Clinton’s discussion, and I don’t want to hear about which particular alternative energy sources she wants to subsidize. The important fact about the speech, from my point of view, is that it did contain an uncomfortable amount of detail. That’s not necessarily a negative in my opinion of the senator, but I’ll leave the details to the energy wonks.

Wed Jun 07, 05:46:00 AM EDT  
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