Saturday, May 07, 2005

The Answer to a Riddle


Jon Friedman: Chronicler of Chroniclers

One question occurs to me whenever I stumble upon an example of media mendacity: Why don't the media watchdogs write about this? Why aren't the media columns all over this like a cheap suit?

I think I've found the answer: They don't know how to find good stories, and if they found one they wouldn't know what to do with it. In other words, what we have at work here is the Stupidity Factor.

I know, that is harsh, but I can prove it.

Marketwatch (formally known as CBS Marketwatch, just sold to Dow Jones) has a full-time media columnist named Jon Friedman. This guy has just begun a series of articles on other media writers. That's right. The best he can do is write about other journalists in the media beat.

This fellow can write about anything and he doesn't have to confine himself to media criticism. He can write about the media industry in general if he wants. But the best he can do is write puff pieces on other journos. The lead of his first story in the series begins: "Vanity Fair media writer Michael Wolff is journalism's version of the Unsinkable Molly Brown. He is (often) bowed, but never quite beaten."

Putting aside the inanity of this metaphor (Molly Brown survived the sinking of the Titanic, which doesn't apply to Wolff in even the tiniest way), you really have to wonder what Friedman and his editors were thinking when they dreamed up this moronic idea.

At a time when the media's credibility is being seriously questioned, here we have Jon Friedman answering the question that is on everybody's lips: Just what is Michael Wolff really like?
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