Never let a good crisis go to waste: Mark Steyn scans the red ink at the Gray Lady and sees within the hemorrhaging the opportunity to revitalize the moribund legacy media:
It occurs to me that the best chance of saving the US newspaper industry would be if The New York Times collapsed. America’s stultifying monodailies are far more homogeneous than almost any other English-speaking media culture. A big part of this is the Times, and the horrible conformity it begets. The Times is the template for the entire industry: Its ethos dominates the journalism schools; it’s the model for a zillion other mini-me wannabe-Timeses across the continent, even though smug East Coast upper-middle-class metropolitan condescension would hardly seem an obvious winner for second-tier cities and rural districts. Its columns and features are reprinted coast to coast. Its priorities determine the agenda of the three nightly network newscasts, also (not coincidentally) flailing badly. The net result of the industry’s craven abasement before the Times is that American newspapering is dead as dead can be – and certainly far deader than its cousins in Britain, Australia, India, or even Canada.
If the Times closed, what would the mainstream media left behind do? Why, they would have to think for themselves. And some of them would still die. But some of them might get …lively, and iconoclastic, and one day even …readable. Not all of them: There would still be plenty of near parodic thumbsucking pomposity for those whose bag that is. But there would be other kinds of papers, too. As the J-school bores say (but rarely do), celebrate diversity!
And if that doesn’t work, their final resting place has already been built.