Today’s Campaign Update
(Because The Campaign Never Ends)
[Note: Today’s Campaign Update will be on a delayed morning schedule from November 30 through December 4.]
Great, but don’t go making promises you can’t keep. – Political fantasy writer Michael Wolff, the author of the anti-Trump fantasy “Fire and Fury,” promised in a Friday interview with Spectator USA that he plans to say no more about President Donald Trump.
“Every magazine I have ever worked for, and I have worked for them all, is dead or will die shortly,” he explained. “For another thing, Donald Trump is the one consuming subject, sucking all views and opinions into his void, and on this issue I have nothing left to say.”
“Still, even with the collapse of so many journalistic enterprises, many of my former colleagues still go on at great and constant unpaid length on social media or, scrambling for a pay-per-appearance contract, as desperately willing pundits on cable television. Why? People are afraid, it seems, to say nothing,” Wolff proclaimed. “I’m looking forward to trying.”
Ok, so, what this most likely means is the spinner of fables has a new book coming out early next year and has begun his promotional tour early. But really, who gives a damn? He’s a fantasy writer, and not a very good one.
What caught my eye about his comments, though, was this part: “Every magazine I have ever worked for, and I have worked for them all, is dead or will die shortly.” Bingo. And why is that?
Well, we had a wonderful example of why that’s the case just this past weekend, didn’t we? That would be the incident with near-dead Newsweek publishing a false report by Jessica Kwong that the President planned to spend his Thanksgiving Day “tweeting” and “golfing” when in fact he was in the process of making a wearying trip to Afghanistan for a surprise visit with the U.S. troops there.
Kwong was fired as a result, but the name of the specific reporter who filed this specific piece is not even relevant anymore, since her false report was just another in an unending procession of this kind of intentionally false report over the last four years, all designed to damage the President’s reputation. It is seriously as if every newspaper, magazine and TV outlet in America is in a competition to see who among them can abandon all pretense to journalistic ethics the most quickly and abhorrently.
The disgraceful hackery taking place at Newsweek is just a symptom of an industry on its death bed. Newsweek is the magazine version of the New York Times and the newspaper business, or CNN and the TV “news” industry. They are all dying along with the profession of journalism generally
The journalist hacks like to blame the slow-motion death of their industry on the Internet, and the sucking up of all the advertising revenues by Google and Facebook. But that’s a cop-out, an attempt to deflect the blame away from their own failings.
The print industry awoke to the threat posed by the digital space a quarter of a century ago. It is incumbent upon any business that becomes faced with a sudden existential threat to adapt and work harder to improve its product offering and become more competitive.
But by and large, newspapers and magazines reacted not by becoming more competitive and improving their product, but by repeatedly laying people off, cutting their product to shreds and raising prices. With every subsequent cut and price increase, the quality of the product grew worse.
Any sense of journalistic ethics was gradually tossed to the winds along with the jobs of researchers, copy editors and other quality control functions. Thus, we end up with today’s situation at most of these publications with a single person who was poorly-educated in some J-school to do one of these jobs trying to do all of them in a mad rush to get something, anything posted out on the website that might attract some clicks.
And that’s how you end up with a Jessica Kwong – although the name makes no real difference at all because it could have been any one of thousands of people doing the exact same thing every day – becoming the sacrificial lamb at Newsweek for doing nothing more than following that fake publication’s current business model.
The magazine industry is in fact dying a death by slow-motion suicide and Michael Wolff, a guy who made his living by penning highly-sensationalized fantasies in order to maximize clicks, is in fact one of the major culprits. If he can now really make himself “say nothing” on any subject as promised in that interview, he’d be doing his industry – and everyone else – a huge favor.
That is all.
Today’s news moves at a faster pace than ever. Whatfinger.com is my go-to source for keeping up with all the latest events in real time.