Bloggers Sink Their Teeth Into David Brooks In an Attempt to Rob Him of Indie Cred: a Vampire Weekend Indeed.

27 May

Originally posted at Iqra’i.

I’m late to the party on this one, so I’ll just add a few thoughts.

1. Yglesias takes all the fun out of pop sociology:

I wish¬†(these columns)¬†came with footnotes or something so we could learn whether or not there’s actual sociology to back up the stuff Brooks is saying.

I won’t pretend to read sociology journals, but my hunch is that there isn’t a whole lot of research one way or the other on the phenomena Brooks covers. They’re pretty hard to legitimate quantitatively, for one. More importantly, it seems to me that the people most interested in this sort of thing are people like David Brooks who become pundits rather than sociologists. (The name recognition is certainly better, for one.)

2. Let’s face it, if you were an old-media columnist in a new-media world, wouldn’t you be super-careful about choosing your bands to give you some sort of street cred (or at least attention)? This is especially true for Brooks given that he actually does get decent reviews from Yglesias and other hip young bloggers who would be expected to disdain him. More generally, though, it shouldn’t surprise anyone that media outlets put a lot of effort into appearing just the slightest bit hipper than they (or their readers) actually are, so that reading them can be both a comfortable experience and an aspirational one.

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