Dean Baquet And The Inevitable Decline of The New York Times

May 21, 2014

When I was a reporter at The Toronto Star, a once-great newspaper that employed the likes of Ernest Hemingway and Morley Callaghan, it was a family-controlled institution that was staunchly Canadian in its ideals and deeply committed to promoting social justice and individual and civil liberties. The publisher in my day was an incredibly Machiavellian… Read more

STEPHEN GLASS AND THE MORAL HYPOCRISY OF THE NEW YORK AND CALIFORNIA BAR ASSOCIATIONS

January 29, 2014

In 1998, Stephen Glass was a hotshot, high-profile, twenty-something journalist writing features for The New Republic, Rolling Stone, Harper’s, and other respected publications. He was also, as it turned out, a serial fabricator. Many of the people and events he chronicled were exposed as imaginary, forcing Glass to resign in disgrace. He deservedly became a… Read more

DÉJÀ VU: THE NEW YORK TIMES AND THE DAILY SHOW, THE GRETCHEN MORGENSON EDITION

January 14, 2014

One of my simple pleasures is watching the first 20 minutes or so of “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.” Comedy genius aside, the folks responsible for putting together the opening “news” segment appreciate better than anyone how farcical political discourse via mainstream media has become. The show’s writers regularly serve up heaping portions of… Read more

The Business of Magazines: Vanity Fair and Fortune Reverse Roles

January 7, 2014

Sheryl Sandberg and Marissa Mayer, respectively the COO and CEO of Facebook and Yahoo!, certainly get a lot of media attention. While I admire their professional success, PR savvy, and ability to mesmerize experienced reporters to a near- hypnotic state, their neatly packaged narratives are a tad overly manufactured to me. Articles about Sandberg inevitably… Read more

Can Fortune Magazine Survive Laura Lang?

September 15, 2012

I’ve been bothered by a late July profile that the New York Times published on Laura Lang, who was appointed a year ago to oversee Time Inc.’s collection of magazines. Lang’s background is in digital marketing and advertising, and her interview focused heavily on Time Inc. having an unparalleled ability to deliver customized digital products… Read more

Fortune Magazine: Some Content Worth Paying For

September 14, 2012

Fortune, featured in this post, does a poor job of promoting its enterprise journalism, so allow me to do it for them.   Some standout stories in the past 12 months: “Inside Facebook” by Miguel Helft and Jessi Hempel Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg has been lionized in the mainstream business press as Facebook’s “grownup” and savior; Bloomberg… Read more

Fraternity by Diane Brady: The Book Only One Journalist Could Write

January 10, 2012

Back in 2005, I read a profile in the New York Times about Ted Wells, the high-powered Washington attorney retained by former Dick Cheney aide Scooter Libby to spearhead his defense against charges of obstruction of justice, among others.