If I were to choose someone to write my obituary, I would want someone who wrote beautifully and and an unerring sense for getting to the heart of a matter. I would hope that the writer would have a soft spot for me, of course, because with that skill and that quality, a well-written epitaph could be dangerous in that it would reveal, not how I would have liked to be remembered, but what I really was. That danger is realized in the incredibly well-written epitaph Patrick O’Hannigan wrote for the American Spectator about the MSM. (Patrick, by the way, blogs regularly at the enjoyable and enlightening Paragraph Farmer blog.) So well-written, indeed, that the MSM may be lulled into thinking that it’s the subject of a poem, rather than an insult. Here is just one of his comments about a newspaper editorial asking the (to it) rhetorical question about whether the newspaper as we know it will survive (yes, say the dinosaurs):
THE BEST ILLUSTRATION of why journalism is too important to be left to the professionals came from Rem Rieder, a veteran of six newspapers who now runs the American Journalism Review. Rieder was more downbeat than his colleagues. You can practically hear him sobbing into his beer with lines like, “An informed electorate is critical to democracy. And providing that information properly is expensive. It requires a lot of reporting firepower. And large reporting staffs tend to be fielded by newspapers.” Worse, said Rieder, “until that elusive new economic model for the news media emerges, the American people will be the losers.”
Uh, Rem. Are we talking Nighthawks here, or Boulevard of Broken Dreams? Step away from the paintings, dude. If I’m a loser and I read one of your papers, just what is it you’re editing, anyway?
While there’s no denying the usefulness of a big news budget, I’d take Michael Yon and his shoestring reporting from Iraq and Afghanistan over Christiane Amanpour and her politically correct analysis any day. Losers like me trust combat reporting from correspondents who served honorably in Special Forces.
You’ll want to read the rest here. The saddest thing about this obit, of course, is that the MSM doesn’t even realize it’s dead yet — or, at least, mortally ill.
Filed under: Media matters