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Thursday, September 23, 2004

No one comes out clean in the spin cycle

New York socialite (and occasionally, money-losing magazine editor) Tina Brown weighed in on the CBS/blogosphere issue yesterday, saying "Are the media having a nervous breakdown?... The New York Times betrayed the passive-aggressive guilt complex that lingers after the Jayson Blair fabrications by playing the CBS story above the fold on Tuesday's front page and the beheading of an American hostage in Baghdad below the fold, at the bottom. A Manhattan news factory screwed up big time -- and it wasn't us! Will Dan lose his job? That's the big news. An American hostage losing his life -- that's the small news."

Brown adds, "Journalists the length and breadth of the land publicly beat up on Dan, but privately -- even in the capital of schadenfreude -- they were not as gleeful as you might expect. Every editor, producer and reporter knows that the warp speed of the news cycle means we are all only one step ahead of some career-ending debacle. But still the panic to beat the competition trumps every other concern. Reports this month that Fox News had surpassed the other networks' ratings with its GOP convention coverage only inflamed the terror of mounting obsolescence."


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