Has Brad DeLong Admitted to Being Unfair and Imbalanced?

Second Update (July 12) - Brad DeLong would like me to post his response to this. Sorry, Brad, you have your own blog for hurling insults. If the name-calling is important to you, I suggest firing away on delong.typepad.com.

As far as your question about whether I know that you change your tagline often, yes I do know that. And if you’re saying that my earlier posts had nothing to do with your changes to the “fair, balanced and reality-based” part of the tagline (this part had been constant by my sampling of the WayBack Machine), then that’s fine. I’m glad I asked and happy to report your answer.

Now that I know you’ve had at least one look at CYNICONOMICS, it’d be great to see a response to my critiques of the DeLong-Summers model and your “Whale” article. Preferably with some substance this time, though.

Update (July 2)As of today, DeLong’s blog carries a new tagline that includes the claim: “Fair, Balanced and Reality-Based 99.4% of the Time.”  I’ll call that a partial admission.  Maybe in the future, we’ll even see “reality-based” adjustments to the DeLong-Summers model that I critiqued here.

In May, I learned about this thing called the Wayback Machine from the Reinhart-Rogoff-Krugman tiff. (I know, I can be pretty clueless about Internet stuff.)

Basically, Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff used it to show that Paul Krugman was being Paul Krugman – making claims that don’t stand up to the facts.  I wrote about it at the time, in “It’s Time to Change Focus from Reinhart-Rogoff Witch Hunts to Krugman’s Contradictions.”

Also in May, I wrote about economist Brad DeLong’s contradictions.

He had written a piece of pure fantasy that he called “Bernanke the Washington Super-Whale, Hedge Fundies and the Widowmaker.” In response, I posted “Fed Policy Risks, Hedge Funds and Brad DeLong’s Whale of a Tale.” Here are the last few paragraphs:

Now sure, I can understand why he wrote it the way that he did. Is there a better way to fire up your acolytes than by wrapping a clever little rant around a popular villain? According to DeLong’s crowd, hedge funds are about as villainous as they come. And this crowd was beside itself with glee as they spread the word about the whale of a tale. Check out the tweets noted above and you’ll see that the comments following them were full of giddy, backslapping fun and many happy contributions from DeLong himself.

But to me, the shoddy quality of DeLong’s work buries his wit. It’s nice to have camaraderie, but we all know that people are capable of some pretty ugly camaraderie.

In my opinion, DeLong and his joyful followers are once again behaving like a pack of fools. And he once again made a mockery of the header for his website. Beneath the simple title, “Brad DeLong,” his tagline reads “Grasping Reality with Both Invisible Hands: Fair, Balanced, and Reality-based.”

As I said, DeLong may have been grasping for some Twitter love with his whale of a tale, but he certainly wasn’t delivering reality, fairness or balance.

Getting back to the Wayback Machine, I fired it up this morning just to make sure I hadn’t lost my mind. You see, I could no longer find the tagline I referenced in the excerpt above.

I was relieved to find that I didn’t imagine it.

Here’s the Wayback snapshot of DeLong’s blog on May 12, coincidently with the article that I critiqued as the first post (he used a different title on his blog than on the Seeking Alpha post that I worked off):

delong tagline 1


And here’s the new DeLong blog:

delong tagline 2


Is there any chance the tagline was changed in response to my critique? Does Brad DeLong read CYNICONOMICS? Reading between the taglines (sorry, couldn’t pass that up), is there a subtle message in the decision to drop the old branding?


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One Response to Has Brad DeLong Admitted to Being Unfair and Imbalanced?

  1. mofo. says:

    Im always a bit suspicious of those who tout such qualities as lack of bias or adherence to facts or being reality based or whatever. Generally, those who speak the truth or are ‘reality based’ dont need to say that they are being truthful, its obvious from their work. The people who need to trumpet their truthfulness or fairness or whatever are those who arent really truthful or fair. Its a bit like volunteering that you had nothing to do with that girl’s murder, the immediate question is ‘why would i think that you did?’ Same with Brad DeLong here, ‘fair, balanced and reality based’? why would i think you werent? Why declare that unsolicited?

    Or, it could be that he got sued by fox news.

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