Andrew Gelman on The most clueless political column ever–I think this Easterbrook dude has the journalistic equivalent of “tenure”:

P.P.P.P.S. When I attack someone too hard in a blog post, commenters often have the natural reaction to defend the poor guy. So for strategic reasons I probably should’ve been super-polite to Easterbrook here and then let the commenters rip him to shreds. But I just don’t have the patience right now. This guy’s column is just so abysmally bad, it has nothing to offer.

Seems like Easterbrook has that effect on everybody.

Comments

  1. #1 John Mashey
    October 15, 2011

    Gelman is a serious statistician, and while some posts are very deep into statistics, many are of wider interest.

  2. #2 Lotharsson
    October 16, 2011

    Easterbrook also gets [taken to task](http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/degrees-of-freedom/2011/10/16/on-the-physics-nobels-the-atlantic-gets-dark-energy-all-wrong/) at a Scientific American blog for some of his other “science” coverage.

    Washington Monthly is (IMHO) one of the best US politics blogs – it’s a shame that Easterbrook degrades its quality with his writing gig there (which includes a posting of the piece that Gelman critiqued).

  3. #3 MikeB
    October 17, 2011

    Easterbrook might be something of an idiot (A Moment on the Earth is such a dumb Panglossian pile of tut that touching the cover alone might burn you with the stupid) , but he’s a fully paid up member of the ‘Very Serious People’(TM Paul Krugman). As such, he can write any old rubbish and it will be published without question.

    The beauty of it is that if you complain about his mistakes, it proves he’s being ‘controversial. If you can’t be bothered, because you have a life, then it proves he knows what he’s talking about. Thats the clever bit.

  4. #4 ligne
    October 17, 2011

    if you say stupid things for the sake of controversy in real life, you’re a moron. if you say stupid things for the sake of controversy on the internet, you’re a troll.

    but apparently when you write controversial (and objectively cretinous) things down on the right kind of paper, you can be celebrated as one of the great thinkers of our time! hurrah!

  5. #5 SteveC
    October 17, 2011

    MikeB:
    The beauty of it is that if you complain about his mistakes, it proves he’s being ‘controversial. If you can’t be bothered, because you have a life, then it proves he knows what he’s talking about. Thats the clever bit.

    Hey it works for Andrew Blot…

  6. #6 Hank Roberts
    October 18, 2011

    > Washington Monthly is (IMHO) one of the best US
    > politics blogs – it’s a shame that Easterbrook
    > degrades its quality with his writing gig there
    > (which includes a posting of the piece that
    > Gelman critiqued).

    Agree in all respects.

  7. #7 Lotharsson
    October 24, 2011