"The economists who stay on the air tend to be the ones who are most willing to promote a black/white worldview. That tends to skew the view of the general public, as most economists tend to see everything in shades of grey."
This is pretty much what I was arguing when I referred to the "Richard Dawkins Effect" on the likes of Paul Krugman and others. Nuanced argument isn't entertaining. The one-handed economist rules the roost.
But is that always the case?
It seems to me that what may hold true for talking heads on the radio and Tee Vee doesn't always hold true in the blogosphere. Sure, you can find your fair share of biased blowhards, but it strikes me that many of the most prominent economist bloggers are able to carry out interesting and stimulating discussions on important topics without resorting to brow-beating. The discussion is more "academic" in the positive, constructive sense of the term. What's more, this debate is very accessible to the public.
An interesting sub-question would therefore be: why does this nuanced debate seem to thrive on the internets, but not in the traditional media?
I do think Mike is wrong about the benefits of media exposure, however. For instance, in the United States, if you're a prominent economist-blogger you can apparently be invited to lambaste US Treasury officials in person - which is both fun and intellectually stimulating!