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The search for Ellen Goodman's "intrepid graduate student"

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By Michelle Malkin  •  August 15, 2007 02:28 PM

Last week, Boston Globe columnist Ellen Goodman trotted out the old “Blogosphere=Boys’ Club” meme. I didn’t bother linking or commenting, because all the whining from feminists about sexist male bloggers is just so old and boring. But there was one paragraph that piqued my interest. Goodman wrote:

I began tracking the maleness of this media last spring while I was a visiting fellow at Harvard’s Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics, and Public Policy. An intrepid graduate student created a spreadsheet of the top 90 political blogs. A full 42 percent were edited and written by men only, while 7 percent were by women only. Another 45 percent were edited or authored by both men and women, though the “coed” mix was overwhelmingly male. And, not surprisingly, most male bloggers linked to male bloggers.

I was curious about the spreadsheet whose results Goodman saw fit to print in her Globe column. I’m not doubting its veracity. I’d just like to know more about which 90 political blogs were chosen by the “intrepid graduate student,” what criteria were used to assess the gender mix of group blogs, and how blogger-to-blogger links were analyzed. Just curious, you know? So, I e-mailed Ms. Goodman and her for the name of the spreadsheet author:

From: Michelle Malkin
Date: Aug 13, 2007 11:07 AM
Subject: Copy of spreadsheet you referred to?
To: ellengoodman@globe.com

Ms. Goodman –

I am a female blogger. I’d like to see the spreadsheet you referred to in
your column about women and the blogosphere…

…Could you please refer me to the author so that I may obtain a copy?

Thank you.

Best,
Michelle Malkin

Here was Ms. Goodman’s reply:

On 8/14/07, goodman@globe.com wrote:

Dear Michelle— I know you’re a female blogger. In fact you were near the
top of our spread sheet and as a conservative and woman you defy those
other realities I was writing about. The curse of MSM writing is that we
do, in fact, have word limits so that and other tidbits end up on the
cutting room floor. Anyway, I’m not comfortable passing along my
researcher’s work. We’re hoping to use it for a conference this [fall]
or at least for background. After that I’ll ask her how she feels about it.
Cheers,
Ellen Goodman,

Eenteresting, no?

My follow-up:

Thanks for your reply, but my question was whether you would refer me to
the author of the study so that I may ask her directly about obtaining a
copy of her work, not whether you would pass on her work to me. Would you
please let me know her name?

And Ms. Goodman’s final response:

I’m on vacation but if you remind me after labor day, I’ll see if she wants
me to pass along her name, etc…cheers

Well. The results of the spreadsheet are good enough to publicize in her column, but we’re not able to look at the data ourselves until Ellen Goodman is good and ready to share what she has seen and cited.

Typical MSM gatekeeper arrogance.

“Intrepid graduate student,” if you are out there, drop me a line. There are no word limits in the blogosphere. I’d be happy to reproduce your entire spreadsheet here so bloggers of both sexes, who appreciate open-source journalism, can take a closer look.