All the Opinions Fit to Share
Here’s a funny piece on the business future of the New York Times. The writer’s basic point is that the paper has turned into a daily “magazine,” which means that purveys opinions about accepted “facts” rather than the latest events. This is cheaper to produce. Anyway, here’s a sense of what this means:
What represents the future of the Times? That’s easy over the long run; look and see what its online edition is doing now. It is doing what the online advertising stream will support — behold, Times blogger Judith Warner. John Podhoretz calls her America’s “most embarrassing online columnist.” I call her purveyor of inanities we might charitably call mommy-feminism-lite. But, considering the business model, it turns out that reaching deep inside yourself on a weekly basis to access your inner Warner-nature as a source of public authority requires little to no factual effort. Witless? Yes, and stupidity proportional to self-regard. But — well, whatever — because Warner is, in the Times’ new business model, remarkably productive.
What she produces is not factual reporting. It’s not really even magazine opinion (in the good sense of informed opinion). Instead, it’s group, indeed class, solidarity. She cocoons, like a nurse-ant tending to the slumbering larvae in their nest. Meanwhile, the Times’ elite national online audience confirm their prejudices and their biases. The Times is virtually transformed into a string of middle-school mean-girl messages texted nationwide to Warner’s posse. This is a nearly flawless harbinger of what the economics of online advertising means for the long term New York Times.
“…a string of middle-school mean-girl messages texted nationwide to Warner’s posse.” Hilarious! This also means that if you don’t belong to that posse, the opinions are neither interesting nor informative (unless you have some reason to want to know what the posse is up to).
Small wonder Keyser resents that “sign in” page that often shows up to links to the NYT, and refuses to link to it himself.
Au revoir, all the news that used to be fit to print.
[Another piece of unsubstantiated rumor mongering whispered surreptitiously over at Keyser's Lair.]