December 31, 2003

READER DANIEL MCCARTHY emails:

Two thoughts: One of the great things about blogs is bloggers work through the holidays, as opposed to newspapers and magazines, which recycle the year’s news during the last week of the year to put together the inevitably boring “Year in Review” issue.

Second, a big media observation. Have you ever noticed that no matter how small the scale of the attack in Baghdad,the headline from the big media outlets will read something like “Huge Explosions Rock Baghdad” or “Baghdad Reels From Attacks”? I noticed an absurd example of this on the radio on Christmas Eve. My local ABC-radio affiliate interrupted regular programing to report that “huge explosions” had rocked the area near the Sheraton Hotel in Baghdad.

40 minutes later the end of the hour news update reported that an RPG had been fired at and missed the Sheraton, landing in the backyard. Big difference, huh?

Not to some people.

UPDATE: Virginia Postrel says that the first point is a “crock.” Well, obviously not all Big Media shut down, nor is that what McCarthy says. But we see a lot of lame “best of 2003″ issues and lists, and a lot of “special holiday double issues” that contain a lot of ads and, ahem, “editorial support” for advertisers in a lot of publications. Surely she doesn’t intend to deny that things get rather, um, fluffy during the holidays? I’m sort of surprised at the tone of her response, here.