Though by the reputation given me by others, I’m supposed to be disagreeable, twice today, I’ve disappointed big, old media people by not disagreeing enough.

Business Week wanted a debate over the fate of print with me supposed to take the side that print is doomed while Chris Tolles of Topix was supposed to argue that it isn’t. But it turns out that we agreed too much and so they took out my first lines (though I put them back). Chris says that digital will lead the way. I agree:

Whether or not print dies, its business model will. Physical wares—newspapers, books, magazines, discs—will no longer be the primary or most profitable means of delivering and interacting with media: news, fact, entertainment, or education. It’s not that print is bad. It’s that digital is better.

And this morning, I appeared on the CBS Morning Show in a segment with Andi Silverman, author of Mama Knows Breast, about a dustup caused when Facebook took down photos of women breastfeeding. The producers were looking for disagreement, but they knew going in that we wouldn’t be arguing. Andi defended breastfeeding as hardly indecent and I said we have to stop paying attention just to complainers or we’ll end up in a media world in which anything that could offend will be banned – and most everything can offend someone.

Watch CBS Videos Online

You’d think these would be happy endings to discussions: agreement found, consensus gained. But that doesn’t fit the format. I like this as a new form of contrariness: not being contrary and agreeing – nodding as the new act of subversion.

: LATER: Chris Tolles, too, added back in notes of agreement to his side of the debate. Group hug.

  • More signs of the aridity of thought among traditional journalists. Just wrap it up — left/right, Point/Counterpoint — and never mind the stuff that doesn’t fit inside the little boxes.

    Happy New Year to all!

  • Joe O

    Don’t get it. I’m looking at a “Report this photo” link on every FB pic page. It’s been used on my stuff in the past and it’s ok. No huffing and hawing.

    I have used it on others’ photos and told them.
    “Dude, fun party, too much on the pic. Save it for yourself.”
    “Yeah, man, I can see that.”

    Works great. Trust the crowd, right?

    Ummmmm, you teach at NYU as well? Busy man. Happy New Year!

  • If only you’d agree to be more disagreeable, everyone would be happy!

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  • Finding common ground *is* subversive :)