Wednesday, May 20, 2009
analysis of the New Newsweek's
daring market strategy
seems near-definitive, but guilty of second-degree reification
[P]artisanship is the hallmark of the opinion journal–not necessarily of the variety that would lead to support for one political voting faction over another, but in the sense that serious journals of opinion stake claim to a side of the ideological divide and then defend its base and attack outward at the other camp. This is what gives them their fire, their vim, their vigor, their reason for being.
Why couldn't you have an opinion journal in which the various sides vimmily and vigorously attacked each other? Come to think of it, The New Republic in its Kinsley/Hertzberg glory days was famously schizo, no? ... But I agree that in today's market such an opinion magazine may be even less likely than a partisan magazine ( Rushweek ) to sell a million copies. ... 1:18 P.M.
" ... will study anything to get me out of this f---ing profession for a year." Am I crazy or are the Nieman study subjects even more BS-y than usual? ... 1:05 P.M.
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
This is no time to start relying on the LAT : The Times' Tom Hamburger writes a virtual post-mortem on card check (" 'We were outspent, outhustled and outorganized,' said one chagrined union advisor ..."). The only problem is that card check isn't dead. In fact, you could argue that the LAT is all too characteristically out of synch here--printing this 'how business did it' piece just when an almost-as-bad-as-the-original compromise is being floated . ....
P.S.: One part of the currently-floating "compromise" would apparently allow workers to unionize if 50% of them mailed in ballots, as opposed to letting union organizers turn in signed cards. This is supposedly "takes away the harassment issue,"according to Sen. Harkin . But if union organizers can distribute the ballots, watch the ballots being signed and collect the ballots for mailing, I don't see where the potential for harrassment has been much reduced. [ Why isn't this harrassment potential present in any mail-in balloting procedure, even in presidential elections?--ed Who said it isn't? Despite warnings . ... But people are much better able to resist pressure a) when it's a big, community-wide election that everyone knows is going on, with a tradition of respecting voter independence; and b) when, if they piss off some thuggish organizers (or businesses), it's not going to affect them where they earn their money . I'd be a whole lot more worried about annoying the Teamsters union if it tried to organize my workplace than about annoying ACORN if it tried to collect mail-in ballots on my block.] ...
P.P.S.: Note that Hamburger scrupulously observes the artificial MSM convention that venerates judgments about process in order to banish judgments about substance. The one thing the LAT will never write (if the time comes) is that "card check" failed because it sucks. It's an antidemocratic idea and unions were arrogant in their desperation to push it. In the LAT , if it fails, it will be because the "business groups" out-organized labor groups. ... 11:22 P.M.
If we're entering an era of politicized media, where you can't count on the NYT to sabotage Obama any more than you can count on the Manchester Union Leader to trash Ronald Reagan, how is the public going to learn the truth (aside from reading more than one paper)? One way is by encouraging news organizations to require reporters to write regular columns like this , where they detail the controversies in which they think their side has its facts wrong. ... If Kos can do it , anyone can. ... [ This is constructive and solution-oriented. You OK?-ed I need a think-tank job.] 11:20 P.M.
One Way Streets Save Energy! Obama has "a healthy disdain for the overrated virtue of political loyalty," writes Jacob Weisberg. Well, I'm convinced he has a healthy disdain for the idea that he should be loyal to subordinates who are no longer "useful," as Weisberg's examples demonstrate. Where's the example of Obama's healthy disdain for the idea that subordinates should be loyal to him ? .... 11:13 P.M.