As I think I’ve written before, one of the ironies of the Obama White House’s attacks on Fox is that they’re coming at the end of a decade which has seen a tectonic shift in journalism: “objective” journalism is at the tail-end of its 80-year old lifespan. Which makes perfect sense; it was a logical model to follow in the days of mass media, when there were three television networks, a handful of wire services, and by the end of the 1970s, one or two big newspapers per large city, and many cities with just one newspaper.
But since the Internet allows for unlimited content, the majority of American people want content that fits their worldview — or at least delivered by people whose worldviews they’re comfortable with. Rupert Murdoch was the first to surmise this with Fox News in 1996; it took almost a decade of experimentation before MSNBC became their low-rated counterpart on the far left, and CNN has been determined to join them, ever since Jonathan Klien took over for the disgraced Eason Jordan.
In the print world, where weekly magazines deliver news at a Pangea-like pace, Newsweek and Time have similarly shifted to becoming liberal opinion magazines in hopes of maintaining relevancy.
And Newsweek seems determined to be the MSNBC to Time (which is in a conglomeration with CNN after all). As Jonah Goldberg writes in the corner, “Newsweek: Newsier Than Fox!”
Last week I guffawed at Jacob Weisberg’s expense when he took to the pages of Newsweek to attack Fox News for failing to be an objective news organization. I wrote:
What I think is hilarious is that Weisberg wrote this for Newsweek, which has relaunched itself, in the words of Andrew Ferguson, as a “liberal opinion magazine written by liberals who don’t want to admit they’re liberals.” The new Newsweek is everything Weisberg accuses Fox of being, just far more smug and dishonest about it (the old Newsweek was no great shakes, either). But I don’t think there’s any need to call for a boycott of it; consumers are doing exactly that already.
Well, here’s the cover story of Newsweek this week:
My first thought was, “Gee, can’t wait for the ‘Conservative’s Survival Guide’ issue!” Put perhaps this is it –if Newsweek actually took it’s “We’re All Socialists Now” cover story from February seriously, perhaps they’re attempting to triangulate — between center-left and really far left. (Which makes sense — who else is reading Newsweek these days?)
Hopefully someone at CNN will ask Valerie Jarett for her take on this cover as well.