Dustbury quotes some dude named Alex Pareene who rips Tina Brown for destroying Newsweek, which may well be true as far as it goes, but ignores the fact that Newsweek and most other news magazines were already headed for oblivion anyway.
Listen, I’d happily blame Tina Brown for anything at all, from the death of Newsweek to premature tire wear to that time in 1992 when I ordered my burger medium-rare and it came out medium instead. But the truth, the larger picture here, is that every print-oriented news outlet is already a dead man walking. She may have just accelerated it, a little bit, for this one newsweekly.
Here’s what I don’t get about the media world. Somebody please explain it to me. While the entire news industry – supposedly non-ideological and driven purely by profit motive, not partisan politics – struggles with declining ad revenue and readership, and has basically no readers under the age of 30, and panders to a center-left audience, not one of the geniuses who could stop the bleeding stops to think “hey, call me crazy, but what if we changed editorial direction, and moved more to the center ideologically, and stopped competing with every other news magazine for the same shrinking audience?” Yeah, imagine that. That would be . . . something. Which is better than an obvious and predictable death, no?
The media world has been run by the same monolithic, cookie-cutter minds for decades. Watergate and Vietnam were defining moments for nearly everybody in today’s publishing world. They hated LBJ for lying to them (not to America) about Vietnam, and they hated Nixon for lying to them (not to America) about Watergate, so today while they see their world crashing around them, they help Obama lie to America and the world about, well, nearly everything and nearly all the time.
All these smart men and women, sitting in corner offices, and not one of them arrives at the one idea that would shake up the entire media world and might actually deliver a big audience – explicitly courting a center-right audience by hiring a sensible conservative/libertarian publisher and editor. If what you’re doing now ain’t working, then if nothing else, such a move would stave off the debt collectors for a few months or even years while the PR blitz and curiosity factor kicked in. And who knows, it might even increase advertising revenue, and since the news business depends completely on advertising revenue, and since those who run those news businesses on behalf of shareholders have a legal duty to protect the business, and since changing editorial views may well be the last remaining idea that nobody has tried yet … it’s really not that crazy an idea. But . . . nothing.
What a bunch of sniveling cowards. Rush Limbaugh created a multi-billion dollar broadcasting empire by taking conservative and center-right politics mainstream. Rupert Murdoch created a multi-billion dollar cable news giant with Fox News by taking conservative and center-right (and in many ways, populist) politics mainstream. You don’t think there is some of that action waiting for somebody in the print news business? Some of us would like to read a general interest newspaper or magazine – whether online or in print, I do not care – that offers pop culture filtered through a world view that also respects religion and the Founding Fathers, and is not beholden to political correctness or diversity as defining mantras.
So, IF it is really all about earnings and profits, this would seem to be the way to go today, because the market is underserved (yes, there are blogs and other internet outlets, but we’re talking actual magazines with established street cred). If it doesn’t work, hey, you tried, right? But . . . nothing. Which tells us pretty much what we need to know: the media chose and deserve their fate, and the faster the better, and no matter how bad Tina Freaking Brown may or may not be, she has literally nothing to do with that.