Inside media — too inside
: The usually savvy Michael Wolff, media columnist for New York Magazine, keeps his 45 seconds of fame in Doha alive in his latest column.
Wolff, you’ll recall — or he’ll help you recall — was the guy who stood up and asked the general why they, the media, were there.
The problem with Wolff’s question is that it was not savvy; it was naive, more naive than the audience, I’ll guarantee you. We all know that briefings are the official word; they’re not documentaries, not journalism, not truth sessions; they’re spin. Most of the audience is plenty smart enough to know that; they don’t need any columnist to tell them that. So he shouldn’t have been surprised that what they got in Doha was the official word, the Pentagon spin. But he wasn’t just surprised; he was offended; he felt used by the Pentagon, which wanted an audience for its spin shows (as if that audience, the media, didn’t stampede each other to get there and then to get to the front row).
Wolff usually gets media — brilliantly. But for some reason, he doesn’t get this.
Further, I’ve always known as a reporter that the dullest, worst, most shruggable, most worthless story you can possibly write is a story about the media and their trevails. Nobody could possibly give a damn, nor should they. A real reporter should never file that story but should instead go out and get a real story. But that’s what Wolff had to cover as the media columnist embedded in the media camp in Doha. So that’s what he filed and keeps filing.
He’s keeping it going with this week’s column.
But even among the overexposed, I was