Skip to comments.Panic on 43rd Street (NYT/Dinosaur Media DeathWatch™)
Posted on 08/14/2006 10:18:06 AM PDT by abb
(Excerpt) Read more at VanityFair.net ...
I just now finished reading the entire article. Astounding. Wolff writes about how The Times' brand may actually be losing value in a "how can that be?" tone. And he takes Pinch to task for wrecking the company. I get the sense Wolff hopes that someone, somewhere will wake up and "fix things."
Vanity fair doesn't allow excerpts or direct links. That's why the original link didn't work.
This is perhaps the most poorly constructed sentence I have ever read. Where did Wolff learn grammar? He gets paid to write. Presumably, someone gets paid to edit him. Unbelievable.
For me, the money quote is:
The right-wing editorialists at The Wall Street Journal, which also printed the story about the banking secrets, ...The WSJ based it's decision to publish that story on the prior decision of the NYT. But Wolff leaves that aside in his effort to portray the WSJ as hypocritical, as, of course, are all conservatives. And, as so many of these articles do, it supposes that "we all KNOW" that Bush is a jerk, that we Red Staters who don't read the times really aren't smart enough to understand and agree with it, and so forth.
(Emphasis added, duh.)
The "sub-text", as always, is that we are bigoted, stupid, knee-jerk, unimaginative, and totally lacking in the finer perceptions of nuance, irony, and that special sophistication which arises from just being better than everyone else and which leads finally to existential ennui and immobile passivity in the face of one's deserved an inevitable destruction.
Why can't these idiots understand that a newspaper which held up on the analysis and tried it's level best to tell the TRUTH would succeed wildly? I guess that's too simple for them. .
Vanity Fair, indeed! Vanitas vanitatum.
Well, I DO read the Times and everything the administration says about them is true and more!!
This is one of the happiest articles about the NY Times I have ever read.
Happy for me that is.
WTF is the Slimes thinking investing in a white elephant office building when it's likely they wont need the space down the road?!
.....one that causes people inside the Times to gulpis that difficult, less-than-humble, not-ready-for-prime-time descendants of 19th-century newspaper owners have been the cause of the decline and fall of a great many newspapers.....
Ouch!! Ithink I see blood on the floor.
You have done a yoeman's job posting the news defining the Death Watch, but this is without doubt the best of all. Vanity fait.....just imagine the pain and suffering anf oughtright embarassment this piece will cause.
It's wprthy of a ping to all the old guys
This old guy still posts keyword additions to CCRM
From CHARLES KAISER: Michael Wolff's latest piece about the New York Times is an excellent example of the sensibility that informs all of his work: contemptuous envy. The article also highlights his nearly-pristine ignorance of the history of the media as well as an unquenchable appetite for non sequiturs.
A few examples: Wolff writes that because of its decision to become a national newspaper, "The New York Times is no longer principally a metropolitan paper...the Daily News and the New York Post, have far more readers in New York City" than the Times does. True enough; but Wolff doesn't mention that the Post and the News have outsold the Times within the city for at least thirty years, and probably quite a bit longer than that.
Wolff says the Times believes "some things should not be revealed because of national-security considerations, except when, in its own wisdom, it decides they should be." He calls this "its essential and contradictory defense." Actually, there is nothing contradictory about this at all. It is, quite simply, the way the Times exercises its news judgement, a concept which is clearly alien to this "critic."
Wolff claims that because Arthur Sulzberger Jr. exercises "editorial power," he has subverted "the traditional autonomy of the Times newsroom." Actually, there is nothing different about the way executive editor Bill Keller reports to Sulzberger from the way Abe Rosenthal and Max Frankel reported to his father. Most of the time, major news decisions are the sole provenance of the executive editor. Occasionally, when issues of extraordinary importance are involved, (the Pentagon Papers, or the Times recent N.S.A. story), the executive editor consults with the publisher. It has been forever thus.
Then there are non sequiturs like this one: "If this were the 50s, I asked, would he want the Times to buy a television network? "You bet I would," said Arthur." What is noteworthy about that? The Times was famously slow to get into television (and unlike the Daily News, never had its own New York City station) and it would surely be a more profitable company today if it had purchased a network in the 1950's. So what is Wolff trying to convey with this anecdote? I have no idea.
Full disclosure: I am a friend of Arthur Sulzberger Jr. I am aware that he has a few weaknesses as well as many strengths. But articles like Wolff's are both so vicious and so unfocussed that they aren't truly informative at all. They merely offer the author an opportunity to vent his limitless venom.
..... I am a friend of Arthur Sulzberger Jr. .....
Ho ho..... what a great chain of events.
It is going to be very bitter.
And you got to know that if the New York Times is the New Testament to these type people, Vanity Fair would be The Gospel According to St. John...
Typical left...the world is soo wrong...they know just how to change it and fix it...if only we would pay attention!!!Sheesh!!! Basically substance abuse "thinking".....
The Internet has been coming on for ten years now, but these dinosaurs have ignored its democratic power and now they can't react.
Here's the money quote for me:
The Times, in newsprint form, with its daily 1.1 million circulation, and Sunday 1.7 million, makes between $1.5 and $1.7 billion a year (the company does not break out the exact figure). Times.com, with its 40 million unique online users a month, likely makes less than $200 million a year. Cruelly, an online user is worth much lessbecause his or her value can be so easily measuredthan a traditional reader.
Translation: we've overcharged our print advertisers for years because we had the only available ad vehicle, and were at our mercy; now, they know what ads work and who clicks on them, so they refuse to pay more. We've throttled the goose that laid the golden egg.
The Times does have an excellent website, however. I don't know why they can't go completely digital. New Yorkers got laptops and cellphones now to get stock quotes and the news.
That's a well-written article by Michael Wolf.
My main problem with the article is that Wolf, with no real evidence, paints a clever Bush conspiracy - - orchestrated of course by the ultimate bad guy, the man behind the curtain, Karl Rove - - to stealthily kick the Times while it's down.
Additionally, Wolf never points out that the accelerating leftward drift of the Times has led the paper to come off as downright indignant - - in-your-face indignant - - in its editorial positions. The angry, barely-controlled sputtering seen all too often these days on the editorial pages has impacted the quality of the writing. It's as if the paper has decided to dig in its heels and engage in a peeing contest with the conservative-dominated "new media" (talk radio, the internet, Fox News Channel). This childish attitude problem has very likely chased away a lot of readers, IMO.
The New York Times has become an embarrassment. I agree with Wolf that the Times' problems start at the top, with Pinch, and the paper's decline into irrelevancy and oblivion will only be hastened by his meddling.
Heh; old guys eh? At the risk of commenting without having read the VF article(which I intend to do), could it safely be said this Wolff character is troubled by the wheels falling off the Times' wagon but by way of suggestion, he would like to see more grease added to the remaining hub??? IOW, another clueless "progressive"?
CATFIGHT, ROUND TWO!!
View Forum Post
Topic: Letters Sent to Romenesko
Date/Time: 8/14/2006 9:09:19 PM
Title: Wolff: I'm as meek as a mouse next to Kaiser
Posted By: Jim Romenesko
From MICHAEL WOLFF: Re Charles Kaiser. I am, as it happens, sort of a friend of Charlie Kaiser's (we were at the Times together many years ago; my in-laws know his parents, etc). Everybody who is, or has been, his friend, knows that friendship with Charlie can be dangerous--you don't want to be on the receiving end of an email from Charlie, less a public email. (Somebody should really take away his account.) While I may be sometimes guilty of overstating my case, compared to Charlie I'm meek as a mouse. Among his extreme passions--both for and against--is the New York Times. He, as much as anybody, exemplifies that terrible Times syndrome that nothing exists, or will ever exist, so large in his professional life as the Times and the days he spent there (often unhappily, as I recall). Nobody can talk about the Times without him feeling he should be in on the conversation. If I'd praised the Times, Charlie would be vilifying it (and vilifying me for praising it). Anyway, the points I made were largely business points, which Charlie would not have much interest in: a) The Times' national strategy is at the expense of its core audience; b) Given the mass market economics of the Internet, the Times, if it is to succeed as an online proposition, cannot stay the Times; c) Charlie Kaiser's friend, Arthur Sulzberger, is a problematic corporate leader who has dramatically changed the nature of his family's stewardship. I look forward to seeing Charlie in the flesh--away from his email--where he is always mild, humorous, and temperate. [Permalink]
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