May 22, 2003

Enjoy the Food Chain While ...

Enjoy the Food Chain While it Lasts, Michael: Michael Kinsley comes to the defense of the New York Times, and sings the praises of media elitism and pecking orders:

It's true that the journalistic food chain runs both ways: Big media like the Times often pick up stories and information from smaller fish, often with insufficient credit or none at all. But it is the imprimatur of the Times or The Post that stamps the story as important, before sending it back down to other papers -- as well as up to the media gods of television.
I've always loved the Times, but that "imprimatur" business is not just infuriating, it becomes less and less true every hour. And the arrogance behind the sentiment has marred every single pathetic public response the paper has offered up these past two weeks.

Posted by at May 22, 2003 10:35 PM
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Isn't Mike Kinsley some sort of mental case who got fired from Slate because he's a crazy dude who always cried and tried to slap people and then cried some more? Shouldn't he be in bed having a nice cup of tea and watching some BBC show about gardening without sun? I read this in People or something, so I can't be sure about the facts. But I'm pretty sure he's completely full of shit.

Posted by: Sam Houston at May 22, 2003 11:39 PM

It is really stunning to me that not one pundit has mentioned the REAL reason the NYT is in this mess -- power struggles. JB got himself deeply nestled under the protective wing of a very powerful editor. At the NYT, that's like being the George Bush Sr's son.

The place is the most politicized work environment in the known universe. Two of the very best reporters I know were run out of the newsroom because they ran afoul of the wrong editor. Even people I know there who are superstars are disgusted with the politics and the cronyism -- to a degree I haven't encountered (even second hand) in any other news organization.

Posted by: Joel at May 23, 2003 07:47 AM

Regardless of the validity of the "imprimatur" business, it seems clear to me that the reason the Times has had to deal with this scandal is its reputation as the Only Paper That Counts. The Post has become the sycophantic voice of the Conservative Establishment in DC, the LA Times is a left-coast paper, the USA Today is fast-food journalism, and every other paper either has less pretensions of a national mandate, or is a journalistic joke (ie. NY Post, Washington Times, LA Daily News). If a similar scandal were to effect the Post or Daily News, no one in the lower 48 would care, because no one takes what they say seriously.

Posted by: Steve Smith at May 23, 2003 06:09 PM

Sounds like Rick Bragg also regards non-Times journalists as quasi-human reference objects. See www.nytimes.com/2003/05/23/pageoneplus/corrections.html

This kind of arrogance has to stop now. This was an interesting bit of outsider correction:

www.camera.org/index.asp?x_context=2&x_outlet=35&x_article=477

Posted by: Gregor at May 24, 2003 12:23 AM

Being called "arrogant" by Michael Kinsley these days is like being called "short" by Danny DeVito. He's been barely readable for years now, and on his worst days sounds like he's simultaneously channeling Maureen Dowd and Eric Alterman--it hasn't been pretty, particularly since once upon a time I enjoyed reading his work.

Posted by: M. Scott Eiland at May 24, 2003 04:58 PM

Michael Kinsley didn't call anyone "arrogant" in the column. What are you talking about?

Posted by: Steve Smith at May 24, 2003 09:28 PM
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e wrong editor. Even people I know there who are superstars are disgusted with the politics and the cronyism -- to a degree I haven't encountered (even second hand) in any other news organization.

Posted by: Joel at May 23, 2003 07:47 AM

Regardless of the validity of the "imprimatur" business, it seems clear to me that the reason the Times has had to deal with this scandal is its reputation as the Only Paper That Counts. The Post has become the sycophantic voice of the Conservative Establishment in DC, the LA Times is a left-coast paper, the USA Today is fast-food journalism, and every other paper either has less pretensions of a national mandate, or is a journalistic joke (ie. NY Post, Washington Times, LA Daily News). If a similar scandal were to effect the Post or Daily News, no one in the lower 48 would care, because no one takes what they say seriously.

Posted by: Steve Smith at May 23, 2003 06:09 PM

Sounds like Rick Bragg also regards non-Times journalists as quasi-human reference objects. See www.nytimes.com/2003/05/23/pageoneplus/corrections.html

This kind of arrogance has to stop now. This was an interesting bit of outsider correction:

www.camera.org/index.asp?x_context=2&x_outlet=35&x_article=477

Posted by: Gregor at May 24, 2003 12:23 AM

Being called "arrogant" by Michael Kinsley these days is like being called "short" by Danny DeVito. He's been barely readable for years now, and on his worst days sounds like he's simultaneously channeling Maureen Dowd and Eric Alterman--it hasn't been pretty, particularly since once upon a time I enjoyed reading his work.

Posted by: M. Scott Eiland at May 24, 2003 04:58 PM

Michael Kinsley didn't call anyone "arrogant" in the column. What are you talking about?

Posted by: Steve Smith at May 24, 2003 09:28 PM
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