Semi-Daily Journal Archive

The Blogspot archive of the weblog of J. Bradford DeLong, Professor of Economics and Chair of the PEIS major at U.C. Berkeley, a Research Associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research, and former Deputy Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Treasury.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Why Oh Why Can't We Have a Better Press Corps? (The Problem of Easterbrook Revisited)

That half-evolved mammal Platypus writes:

Brad DeLong's Semi-Daily Journal: More Sabbath Theology Blogging: The Problem of Easterbrook...: I long ago stopped reading Easterbrook columns because it became clear to me after the first few that he not only lacked a basic understanding of the principles of science but was too incompetent to recognize his ignorance. What amazes me is that Slate, TNR and the Washington Post continue to present him as their in-house science expert. Don't their editors realize the corrosive effect this has on their reputation? Easterbrook's scientific illiteracy is easy for readers to see. If the editors of these fine publications either can't recognize it or don't care, then how do they expect the public to trust their judgment on anything else they publish?...

They don't think of it that way. The fact that Easterbook's writing is "lively" and "provocative" and that he is a member of the appropriate social networks is sufficient reason to publish him as a "science writer." The fact that this has an effect not just on how good their operations are at delivering accurate information but also on how the scientifically-literate regard their operations as a whole--I don't think that's something that enters Weisberg's (or Foer's) mind at all.

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