Via Greg Mankiw, I found this piece by Dan Drezner from The Chronicle of Higher Education. In it, Drezner says:
When I was an assistant professor at the University of Chicago, a senior colleague once told me his secret to academic success: One bad article equals five great ones. His point was that the worst thing a scholar can do is to publish too much, as opposed to too little. Any substandard publication creates a black mark that is difficult to erase.
Mankiw describes it as the worst advice he has ever heard
, a claim I am not qualified to evaluate. All I know is that the senior faculty member that said this to Drezner was not certainly not John Mearsheimer
whose willingness to create bad/controversial papers is well documented