Here's my column from this week's Roll Call newspaper.
My Beautiful and Talented Wife (The BTW) and I are BIG fans of The Tudors, the program that airs on Showtime on Sunday nights. The BTW calls it one of the biggest "corset busters" of all time and ranks each episode on the basis of 1-5 corsets.
Last night's episode was about the continuing fall of Anne Boleyn. She is still the queen, but will likely lose her head in the season finale in two weeks.
For the record, it was 472 years ago today that Anne Boleyn was beheaded.
Andrew...I was there with you all the way until the last sentence. In talking about the media you said "... they have no one to blame but themselves for their declining reputations and increasing irrelevance."
Here's my problem: we (and I'm putting myself in this category) are all assuming that reputations and relevance are what motivates media types. Or we want to think that's what's motivating them. Or should be motivating them.
That might have been the case at one time and for some it may still be. But I'm increasingly coming to the conclusion that monetary compensation is the primary, and perhaps overwhelming motivator. Higher readership, page views, subscriptions, and ratings arew what get you bonuses and raises. That makes it important to attract the largest audience possible and keep them reading/ listening/watching for as long as possible.
Stan picks up on Brad DeLong's posting of Ezra Klein's thoughtful op-ed in the Los Angeles Times to address Brad's oft-asked question, "Why Oh Why Can't We Have a Better Press Corps?" To understand Brad's exasperation, I think we should consider three progressively more challenging meanings of the word "better" in these posts: competent, professional, and inspirational.
In case you're not familiar with it, the title above is the frequently asked question from Brad Delong a highly regarded professor at the University of California, Berkeley (my alma mater) and former Treasury Department deputy assistant secretary.
I first became familiar with Brad when he submitted responses to the questions of the week I used to ask when I was writing a column for the online version of National Journal. I've since taught a class or two for him when I was visiting the Berkeley campus several years ago, his extraordinary blogging was the original inspiration for my starting CG&G, and he has been exremely gracious in linking to several of my columns and many of Andrew's, Pete's, and my CG&G posts.
Brad's latest post finally prompted me to enter the fray about the media.