'How Rolling Stone Won the News Cycle and Lost The Story'

Talking Points Memo (I know, I know, but keep reading anyhow) notes, “If print publications are going to keep committing suicide, they really ought to stop blaming the web.” TPM proffers readers “a handy guide
to how to have the biggest news story and still lead to the death of investigative print journalism:”


1. Pay an investigative journalist with experience in the region to shadow the general in charge of executing our war in Afghanistan and get a piece that highlights the insular and insult-laden way he and his team deal with those atop the chain of command and consolidate the power of the military. Bonus points for details about how he spent his 33rd wedding anniversary partying with his staff in an Irish bar in Paris while his staff acted like jerks.

2. Publish the story and shop it to every media outlet under the sun because you realize that it’s actual news, unlike Lady Gaga’s machine gun jumblies.

3. Fail to publish even excerpts of the story on your own website, figuring that your promotion of the story will cause people to go out and buy the magazine.

4. Go to bed and sleep like a baby after the story hits.

5. Wake up to find out that Politico has published a reprint of the story you gave them, since you weren’t smart enough to put the story on your own site and despite the intellectual property violation.

6. Book CNN and MSNBC.

7. Have lawyers call Politico when they get into the office to demand that their violation of your intellectual property cease.

8. Appear on CNN and MSNBC.

9. Wait.

10. Publish story on your website, and link on Twitter. Don’t bother to include it on your front page.

11. Profit.


Hey, get real. Since when did those crazy hippies at Rolling Stone ever care about profits?

Oh yeah

Related: “You think the new issue of Rolling Stone is tough on General McChrystal, but how do you think Lady Gaga feels?”

Update: In the comments, John writes:

“You know, if a week from now we see Obama has appointed General Gaga to lead U.S. operations in Afghanistan, it wouldn’t be that big of a surprise…”

Actually, I’m pretty sure Obama’s saving her to command the first manned mission to Mars:


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