A Day in the Blogging Life of Brad DeLong

by Pejman Yousefzadeh on January 8, 2011

Consider the following posts put up by Brad DeLong yesterday, January 7, 2011. Remember as you read the following that DeLong considers himself a sufficiently mighty and creative intellect to be qualified to publicly and capriciously declare that various people are the Stupidest Man Alive. It is therefore worth examining the writing style of a blogger with a brainpan so allegedly masterful.

First Post: This one, in which we are introduced to Eleanor Roosevelt live-blogging World War II. DeLong’s sole intellectual contribution to this post is to type out the title “Eleanor Roosevelt Liveblogs World War II: January 7, 1941,” and then to type “Eleanor Roosevelt,” before linking to the post in question, and reproducing it in full. Total number of words from the post reproduced by DeLong: 553.

Second Post: This one, in which DeLong uses his gray matter, and his training as an economist to type out 26 words (including the title) on the jobs report. On the upside, all of the words are DeLong’s own. On the downside, DeLong really doesn’t tell any of us anything that we wouldn’t have already picked up from online articles, television, radio, or other bloggers–many of whom have at one point or another been declared the Stupidest Man Alive by Brad DeLong. Even if they are women.

Third Post: This one, which features 15 words of introduction from DeLong on the subject of Gene Sperling being named as head of the President’s National Economic Council, and then the reproduction of a 329 word e-mail from Matt Miller, who wrote a profile of Sperling many moons ago that was rejected in The New Republic because it was supposedly too complimentary to Sperling. Not content with the full reproduction of the e-mail, DeLong also gives us the complete reproduction of the 5,290 word profile on Sperling. That’s right. 5,290 words of Miller’s article are completely reproduced on DeLong’s website, because . . . well . . . apparently, because DeLong doesn’t trust that his readers have the skill to simply click on the link to Miller’s article, and read the whole thing for themselves. I wouldn’t call Brad DeLong’s Internet audience the Stupidest Readers Alive. But DeLong might.

Fourth Post: This one, which is all DeLong, and which is made up entirely of a 17 word blog title (featuring, at the time of this writing, an uncapitalized, one-letter word indicating the first person singular; why, oh why, oh why, oh why, why, oh why, oh why, oh why, why, oh why, oh why, oh why, why, oh why, oh why, oh why, why, oh why, oh why, oh why, why, oh why, oh why, oh why, why, oh why, oh why, oh why, why, oh why, oh why, oh why, why, oh why, oh why, oh why, why, oh why, oh why, oh why, why, oh why, oh why, oh why, why, oh why, oh why, oh why, why, oh why, oh why, oh why, why, oh why, oh why, oh why, why, oh why, oh why, oh why, why, oh why, oh why, oh why, why, oh why, oh why, oh why, why, oh why, oh why, oh why, why, oh why, oh why, oh why, why, oh why, oh why, oh why, why, oh why, oh why, oh why can’t Brad DeLong proofread?) in which DeLong professes surprise that every time he goes to Denver, he finds little snow. I guess that somehow, this qualifies as a profound and breathtaking observation, one that is doubtless the product of years of sitting at the knee of the Majestic Paul Krugman, and taking instruction from him.

Fifth Post: This one. Four words total contributed by DeLong; a 3 word blog title, and the writing of the word “Wikipedia.” The rest of the post features 66 words from Wikipedia defining the word “cornucopia.”

Obviously, there is much more to a good blog post than the amount of original verbiage found within it. But surely, the degree of original content contributed by a blogger for a website that doesn’t claim to serve primarily as an aggregation machine à la the Drudge Report, counts from something in determining whether that blogger is truly the legendary original thinker that he/she claims he/she is. To be fair to DeLong, he does have a number of really long posts on his site that are entirely–or at least, almost entirely–made up of his own words. But while all of us have been known to quote and excerpt–myself included–no major blogger takes entire blog posts and articles, and reproduces them entirely on his/her website with anything approaching the frequency displayed on Brad DeLong’s website.

It’s a silly blogging style, when you think about it. But then, so much having to do with Brad DeLong is silly, and I am sure that he is called out on his silliness many a time in his own comments section. I guess that’s why he is so determined to delete critical comments of any kind moderate comments as he does.

  • Pingback: Tweets that mention A Day in the Blogging Life of Brad DeLong | A Chequer-Board of Nights and Days -- Topsy.com

  • Cannoneo

    This is a strangely petty attack on one blogger’s style, a substitute, perhaps, for taking on the same blogger’s substance. Many bloggers post a lot of links that effectively say “check this out.” DeLong’s blog persona is that of a facts-oriented economist who doesn’t have time or interest in crafting essays. And he’s hardly light on original content. I mean, he posts his conference papers for God’s sake.

    • Pejman Yousefzadeh

      This is a strangely petty attack on one blogger’s style, a substitute, perhaps, for taking on the same blogger’s substance.

      You mean, sort of like calling various people “Stupidest Man Alive”? And perhaps you missed it when I wrote in the penultimate paragraph the following: “To be fair to DeLong, he does have a number of really long posts on his site that are entirely–or at least, almost entirely–made up of his own words.”

  • Hub

    Brad Delong–one thing’s for sure: strange dude.
    http://cafehayek.com/2011/01/brad-delong-is-not-a-nice-man.html

Previous post:

Next post: