After all the hoo-ha about Wired’s interviews with Jason Calacanis and Dave Winer about Michael Arington, neither ends up quoted. Can’t help but wonder whether they’re trying to send a message: i.e., we’re in charge here.
Well, it sends another message as well: traditional journalism isn’t dead yet. Vogelstein had to conduct the interviews and research for this story out in the open. Everybody’s known what he was working on for over two months. But it’s still a pretty good read.
He obviously conducted a number of interviews for the story, and spent a fair bit of time talking to Arrington. And if you ask me, focusing on folks like the guys at Fleck make Vogelstein’s point more clear — Arrington and TechCrunch have become powerful, if temperamental kingmakers in Silicon Valley. I’m not sure that Winer or Calacanis would have added as much to the story.
Vogelstein’s interview with Calacanis was a good listen (Jason Calacanis made it available as a podcat), but I found the bits about the current state of journalism much more interesting than the information about Michael Arrington. Calacanis asked if the whole kerfuffle over email interviews, and the fact that every blog in the world knew what Vogelstein was working on and could therefore scoop him, meant that traditional news reporting was dead. Vogelstein replied that he hoped he was skilled enough as a journalist to offer readers something with depth, perspective, and analysis that would be worth reading a few months down the road.
I think he proved his point with this article.
I have to agree with your speculation. I don’t think it is a WIRED message, but clearly the author wasn’t gonna give us ink after we “attacked” him. I mean, it’s not possible that Calacanis and Winer would NOT be quotable… is it!?!??!!?! :-)
Freddy V worked over two months on this article yet he failed to dive into the vortex of insider information, is it an illusion or a crime unfolding before our eyes?
Media has always been about power. Traditional media historically was concentrated in the hands of the few (this included both the more overtly empowered publishers as well as journalists, who wielded their influence in different ways), and as time marches on we all are witnessing this dynamic crumble. The omission of any quotes certainly smacks of passive-aggressiveness, which is so 1988. Maybe they’re wearing leg warmers and doing mounds of coke over there at Wired just to complete the scene.
Tom Chiarella did a nice job of standing the interview on its head in a recent Esquire bit with Halle Berry, where she ends up interviewing him.
It’s possible that Fred didn’t quote Jason Calacanis because Calacanis didn’t say anything quotable about Mike Arrington, the subject of his article
In a typical magazine article you don’t have room to quote everyone you interview anyway, and that’s doubly true if you’re someone like Fred who interviews dozens of sources for every article he writes. No need to invoke a conspiracy theory in this case.
Disclosure: I work for Wired, but I didn’t have anything to do with editing Fred’s story.
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