MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 15, 2014
Award-winning series to be resumed next week: We thought our main post last Friday was one of the worst we’ve ever done.
There was a bit of a reason for that. But in order to tell you what it was, we’d have to post the admittedly funny material we decided to skip!
In our award-winning series, The Houses of Journalist County, we’ve been asking a basic question, a question we’ve been asking since 1999:
Can you run a middle-class democracy with a multimillionaire press corps? In the current lingo, will real journalism ever emerge from The Houses of Journalist County, magnificent as they are?
In 1986, Jacob Weisberg, still just a senior at Yale, issued a prescient warning about the way the nation’s top scribes had begun chasing mammon.
His analysis was extremely sagacious. Eighteen years later, he was writing astonishing posts about Wes Clark’s eyelashes and sweaters.
Weisberg has largely gone to the business side. As far as we know, he's still chairman and editor in chief of The Slate Group.
The Slate Group? It’s “a unit of the Graham Holdings Co. devoted to developing Web-based publications” for no apparent reason.
There’s nothing “wrong” with that! But when you look at that piece from 1986, or even when you look at Slate, we’d call it another loss for a nation which basically has no journalism at all.
Our post last Friday was no darn good. It didn’t advance our argument. Next week, we plan to resume our award-winning series, looking at The Houses of Nantucket, Mass.
We’ve told that story before. We regard it as (almost surely) deeply important, and as extremely funny.
That said, everyone has agreed that the story shouldn’t be discussed. From our perspective, we’re now on our second war in Iraq as a result of that story.
It’s just that it would be bad for business to discuss how we got here! Everybody talks about Murdoch, no one discusses Jack Welch!
Can you run a middle-class democracy with a millionaire press corps? We think the answer is abundantly clear.
Also abundantly clear:
People inside our failing press corps will never discuss their guild’s behavior. How ironic! The greatest code of silence we have is the one our “journalists” run!
Quite possibly coming later this week: The Houses of CNN County!