Barry Ritholtz’s book: Where are the bloggers?

May 19, 2009

Barry Ritholtz’s book just landed on my desk, and I’m looking forward to reading it, since I think that bloggers in general, and Barry in particular, have been very much ahead of the curve in terms of identifying and comprehending the contours of this crisis.

As befits a book from such an assiduous source-citer as Ritholtz, Bailout Nation comes with 17 pages of endnotes, most of them with URLs. But here’s the funny thing: the number of blogs cited is tiny. Paging through the notes, I see Barry citing himself a couple of times, there’s one reference to TPM Muckraker, and that’s about it. A blog entry by John Carney does make it into the book, but is cited at its Yahoo Finance address, complete with annoyingly auto-playing video. Occasionally bloggers appear — me, Arianna Huffington, Paul Krugman — but never for our blog entries, only for more formal things we’ve written (in my case, my NYT op-ed). And we’re all more or less part of the mainstream media anyway. “Pure” bloggers are I think entirely absent from the book. Meanwhile, columnists in more mainstream outlets get cited quite frequently.

I suspect that what’s going on here is akin to the “cultural cringe” that was first diagnosed in Australia in the 1950s: an internalized inferiority complex whereby bloggers tend to consider blogs to be lesser than newspaper and magazine articles and columns. And if A-list econobloggers like Barry think that way, just imagine what the rest of the financial world thinks.

Update: Barry responds.


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