I made the mistake of picking up a physical copy of Newsweek magazine and was reminded by the first two article I read why I have largely abandoned Old Media.
The first was the Stephen Levy diatribe about the lack of “diversity” in the blogosphere. Instapundit’s already ripped it as it deserves but what I found most striking is that one of the key complainers (Halley Suitt) disproves the primary thesis of the article by stating that she broke in the top ranks by applying herself to the task1. So, even if one is a woman, one can still break in to the A-list through one’s own efforts? OK, so the problem is …? Of course, Levy does briefly mention the issue of the decentralized nature of the blogosphere, but misses the larger implication of that, which is that dominance is driven by individual choices. An Insta-lanche is nice, but it doesn’t bring in the consistent traffic unless there’s something worth going back to. Even more blinkeredly, Levy says that A-list bloggers should link to more diverse voices. Doesn’t Instapundit (for instance) do that on a regular basis with the Carnival links? A big, typical pile of Old Media cluelessness and insularity.
The other article was about the incredible shrinking dollar. Of course, as David Cohen cogently notes, “time spent thinking about exchange rates is time wasted”. Beyond that, however, hasn’t the conventional wisdom over the last few decades been that when the economy needs some turbo-boosting, a standard strategy is to talk down the exchange rate of one’s currency to boost exports and restrict imports? But now it’s the sign of a broken economy? When did that change — when the economy started to recover with President Bush still in office?
I should note, though, that the one letter to the editor I have ever had published (in The New Republic no less) was one mocking an article there for the previous conventional wisdom. Back then it was how the dollar falling against the yen would destroy Japan Inc. and rebuild the USA economy. I pointed out that, at the time, the yen had already dropped 40% with no noticeable effect, so just far would it have to drop in the future to make a difference? But now that kind of thing presages a economic collapse instead of a recovery.
1 And of course, being an Old Media column, no link was provided to her website! Here was a wonderful opportunity for Levy and Newsweek to promote a “diverse” voice and they couldn’t be bothered to waste the ink. That tells you how deep their committment really is.