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Monday, February 03, 2014

Media-Whore D'oeuvres






"The great foment in the news business involves journalists leaving established news organizations to strike out on their own into new digital enterprises — and other journalists writing about their spunky gumption and enviable prospects. It is, in other words, a very closed loop, putting journalists and journalism, in the view of other journalists, at the center of the world. Among the new initiatives is 29-year-old Ezra Klein's departure from The Washington Post to launch a new digital news site with Internet company Vox Media; Nate Silver leaving The New York Times to start a digital project with ESPN and ABC; and Glenn Greenwald from The Guardian launching a start-up with eBay founder Pierre Omidyar, along with what The Wall Street Journal recently characterized as a 'flood' of new entrants into the news market. Even together, these new efforts and personalities represent smidgen-size audiences that would, from a business perspective, hardly be worth commenting on, except for the fact that the people doing the commenting — other journalists — believe that perhaps, in a declining profession, this could be a new life. It's journalism-centricity to a particular myopic degree.
And it is an extreme example of cart before horse, hope before reality. News, save for its most exclusive and specialized form, has always been an advertising-led business. That is, before there were news outlets, there were advertisers looking for venues to publicize their commercial messages. Newspapers were made for advertising more than for news; radio was an advertising medium before there was news on the hour; television was a Niagara of jingles before it had to make some public service accommodation to news; CNN's satellite model was an advertising idea before it was a journalism concept. The advertising existed first." (Michael Wolff)







"I ask you, is $100 a good price for a lap dance? You see, I was minding my own business near the foot of Duval Street when I noticed a person hanging from a doorway, a man with dark hair and dressed all in black hung slack in the doorway, from his fingertips lodged in the jam, like he was a figurehead on the prow of a ship. 'Hey you!' he called. He was olive skinned and youthful and whippet slim.  'Come here!' one hand curled toward me. 'Come over here!' Any other time, any other place I would have cast my eyes at the paved ground and marched forth. Instead I slowed before him and did not resist when he took my hand and steered me indoors. The instant we entered the small all white space the man pushed me, his palm on my chest, down into a white leather armchair. The room looked like a hair salon, except besides stacked boxes, it was empty. 'I am Alessandro,' he announced, and he straddled me. 'You have lovely skin, but really you should take better care of yourself.' He had his legs astride mine and he forced my legs shut. 'Look up!' he commanded, and he began applying something sticky under my eyes and amiably he chattered on about his Sicilian parents. 'They were very generous,' he said, inexplicably, with his small hard rump hovering above my knees, not quite touching, but I could feel the heat of him." (Christina Oxenberg)








"Which, speaking of. There’s been very little 'gossip' around. People always ask me: “what’s the gossip?” I’m not a gossip columnist despite what some people might think, although I do love a good story that might be called gossip but could end up being The Human Comedy, Richard III, Dracula, etc. But I like hearing it as much as the next one. Especially something dramatic. There haven’t been many or even any of those around lately. The other night at dinner, my hostess told me about a woman I know who recently left her husband after forty years. I don’t mention her name only because she’s not a celebrity. When I was told, I naturally asked, did her husband have another woman? No. Did she have another man? No, except she is seeing someone now (since). This was after forty years. That, I thought, was interesting. But what is interesting is not the gossip – that’s on the spritz – but the story behind it. We’re only human, so there’s drama. Which, speaking of, you may have noticed that I don’t discuss politics on the Diary. Although there are those who are confident they can label me politically (I wouldn’t be so sure – about a lot of us). I avoid the discussion because whatever my opinion is versus someone else’s opinion, it is irrelevant to your reading pleasure (and mine too). However, one of the interesting things going on in the town at the moment is about the new Mayor, Mr. De Blasio. I should preface this by saying I live on the Upper East Side, what used to be called the Silk Stocking District and which could still be called the World Financial District’s Private Dwellings and Schools. And I report on the lives of many of these people (and my other people too, don’t forget). This demographic I’m referring to is traditionally Republican and so-called Conservative. There are, of course, many exceptions to the label (which is all it is, in my opinion -- and not necessarily reliable). That said: we have this new Mayor, Mr. De Blasio, and when his name comes up, there is most often an expression of dislike. I use that word diplomatically because the 'opinions' about him that follow seem to be based on a natural state of dislike. To put it mildly." (NYSD)

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