Stephen Dubner is very upset with the feature article by Andrew Gelman and myself about the Freakonomics franchise in American Scientist. (The original article is here, and I blogged about it here.) He wrote a long, angry response at the Freakonomics blog (link), in which he said
"their comprehension of democratic society is perhaps even worse than their comprehension of what we have written"; and
"this portion of the essay is so error-ridden and deprived of logic that it's hard to decipher"; and
"with rhetoric as contorted and sketchy as that, a reader has every right to distrust whatever logic you're about to unload".
Andrew and I have been branded enemies of Freakonomics even though we have both praised the franchise often. If Dubner were present at some of the talks I gave in the past year, he would have heard first-hand how I consider their work (together with Malcolm Gladwell's) to have fundamentally changed the landscape of pop-science publishing.
Andrew's measured response to Dubner's blog post is here. I highly encourage you to read it as it captures many of my thoughts as well.
I'd just add that we focused on the reading experience. Because the Freakonomics materials are regarded as "easy reading", the typical reader trusts the authors' take on various topics without examining endnotes or following up on research papers. If she is reading a popularization of science, she shouldn't need to.
Of course, one's reading experience is subjective, like many of the social-science questions addressed in Freakonomics. We voiced our opinions. We are aware that it's the voice of a silent segment of readers. I reported how I interacted with these materials as a practitioner of statistics; I don't expect everyone to agree but I don't see how that experience can be falsified.
As Andrew said, "We said our piece, Dubner's had his reply, and the reader can work it out from there."