Red Queen's Race, Daily Show Edition

If you enjoyed my Red Queen’s Race video last week, Jon Stewart (found via Jeff Jarvis and Glenn Reynolds) has a fun clip summing up the newspapers’ endgame in about two minutes:


[Video since expired — Ed]

Meanwhile, Investor’s Business Daily notes that “Some journalists out there seem to be actually rooting for a new economic depression–the very thing that will hurt them more than it will hurt many others”:

The blogosphere has a name for this syndrome: “depression lust.” Virginia Postrel, an Atlantic Monthly columnist who invented the phrase, contributed to a Boston Globe story published in November that collected ideas from various people to (allegedly) give readers some insight into what a 2009 depression would look like.

The conditions “sounded pretty damned good to some people,” Postrel writes on her Dynamist blog, “a sure sign of an affluent society, or at least affluent commentators,” who, we should add, appear to be operating under the illusion that things would still be rosy for them in a depression because they always have been.

Journalists “seem positively giddy with anticipation at the prospect of a return to ’30s-style hardship — without, of course, the real hardship of the 1930s,” Postrel blogs.

Jim Miller, who writes a political blog, has made a similar observation. “I can’t count the number of times I read hopeful pieces in the New York Times saying that a recession might be coming soon, so now that one is actually here those people have to be pleased.”

Did any of those New York Times stories come from David Carr, whose “Stoking Fear Everywhere You Look” appeared Monday?

“Every modern recession includes a media seance about how horrible things are and how much worse they will be,” noted Carr, who did a bit of his own communicating with the dead spirits of the Great Depression.

As Postrel notes, journalists, whose industry is teetering and “who are already the equivalent of 1980s steelworkers,” should be among the most fearful of a depression.

But they can’t help themselves. Their contempt for the capitalism and free markets that have made so many of them comfortable is strong enough to make them wish for economic conditions not in their best interests — and it comes through loud and clear almost every time they report.


And of course, with the economy slowing, the AP feverishly wishes that Obama will bring it to a stop with tons of business-choking global warming regulations.


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