Somebody’s been smoking newsprint

Somebody’s been smoking newsprint
: New York Magazine media kvetch Michael Wolff gives a keynote to a Guardian forum on war coverage (!) and accuses U.S. TV networks of “kissing ass” to get relaxed ownership rules.

Wolff put forward what he described as the “semi-conspiracy theory” that major media companies in the US meekly followed the flag-waving agenda of the Bush administration in order to persuade the federal communications commission to change its regulations.

“Ass kissing has gone on to a profound degree. It’s pervasive throughout all these news organisations. They need the FCC to behave in certain ways. In order to do this we have got to go along to get along,” said Wolff…

I dare him to look the war reporters and show producers in the eye and say that. I dare him to tell them that they’re all just a bunch of frigging liars. I dare him to go to the widows and children of the correspondents who lost their lives covering this war and say that they died in vain; worse, they died a lie.

Yeah, he’s grandstanding. But this kind of grandstanding only reduces his own credibility as he questions the credibility of those he criticizes.

I wonder who else spoke at this forum: Fisk? [via IWantMedia]

  • Joshua Chamberlain

    Wolff is just awful, but the readership of “New York” magazine just doesn’t seem to notice.

  • There was a time, now faded from memory, when I thought Wolff was at the very least interesting,
    In the last year or so it seems that he’s just crawled down into some sort of troglydyte mental state and is determined to stay there.
    Perhaps when he was finally detached from covering the blather and the comings and goings of the NY media slugs and sent off to try his talents on something real like a war he finally just hit his level of incompetence.
    It’s a sad thing to see a wasted mind…or a mind that was wasted… or a waste of a mind…or a mind full of waste…or…forget it.

  • I don’t know Wolff. And it sounds like I don’t want to. And I agree, the reporters on the beat did a hell of a job. Except for one whom was spoon fed bogus stories about WMD. Two guesses, first one doesn’t count

  • alkali

    It wasn’t the job of the field correspondents covering the war as “embeds” and the like to make the reporting balanced; by and large, it was the job of the people with senior editorial control and the Washington correspondents. I don’t think that Wolff is claiming otherwise.
    The fact that Michael Kelly and others died doesn’t exempt the American media from criticism for its coverage.