OLD Media Moves

When business journalists feud

November 15, 2006

Dealbreaker, a tabloid about Wall Street that is quickly growing on me, has a funny piece Wednesday about feuds between business journalists and uses the spat between Malcolm Gladwell and Steve Sailer as Exhibit A.

Malcolm GladwellJohn Carney wrote, “Business journalism feuds are so much fun because there is so little at stake. There’s even less at stake in most business journalism than, say, foodie writing. While a restaurant review might effect where you take a date or a client to dinner, when was the last time someone traded based on, say, what Gretchen Morgenson writes about executive pay (does she write about anything else?), much less what Larry Ribstein writes about what Morgenson wrote.

“One of our favorite feuds is between Malcolm Gladwell and Steve Sailer. At first glance it looks rather one-sided—Steve Sailer penning these devastating critiques of Gladwell’s books and articles in the New Yorker and Malcolm Gladwell getting rich off of writing books and articles in the New Yorker. You could be excused for suspecting that Gladwell has no idea who this Steve guy is. But you’d be wrong.

“Not too long ago we ran into Gladwell in a lower east side dive bar called Lolita. He was having a drink with a nice young woman, and we were having quite a few drinks with some journalist types even more dissolute than we are. In the course of our conversation, we asked Malcolm what he thinks of Sailer, half expecting him to say ‘Steve who?’ But Malcolm knew exactly who Sailer was, and proceeded to describe him as ‘a nut’ who was obsessed with him. So, you know, the battle has indeed been joined.”

Read more here.

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