KausFiles

Don’t Get That Story!

Mickey Kaus Columnist

Eyeless in Tina-land: When you look up the words “missed the story” in your online phrasebook you should be linked immediately to Peter Stevenson’s seemingly clueless print-the-legend Sunday NYT mag profile of Tina Brown. I don’t know what the story behind the current Tina-Newsweek hype is (OK, I’ve got some clues**) I just know this piece doesn’t get it. … Stevenson doesn’t even seem to have tried to get the story, which suggests that the Times magazine’s new editors didn’t really want him to get it, or else ruthlessly excised anything that even raised the obvious questions.  I don’t know why. (Stevenson is a veteran editor and co-writes the “genius” Cranky Kaplan twitter feed.)  But it’s an embarrassment for them and him. …

P.S.: I especially admired the sentence brushing aside the Daily Beast‘s not-good-enough web stats:

While The Beast, as Brown calls it, is a long way from profitability, it’s an impressive achievement whose relatively few visitors (just under four million uniques per month) belie its cultural influence.

Reminds me of the skillful paragraph in Newsweek‘s 1996 cover story hyping Seattle, dealing with the inconvenient fact that the city was not growing:

SOONER OR LATER, IT SEEMS, everyone moves to Seattle, or thinks about it, or at least their kids do. The city is a demographic paradox, a place whose population — 532,900 in 1995 — is essentially stable, yet …

In the end, it almost doesn’t matter if the Hitler diaries are genuine the Beast‘s numbers are good or not …

P.P.S.: Hot or Not? Was the famous 1999 Liberty Island launch party for Tina’s Talk magazine really on a “hot August night”? I was living in Battery Park City at the time and remember it as pretty chilly near the water. If you were there, let me know. I will defer to first responders. …

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** Possibilities: Manic management? Perversely coupled with too-slow (for-a-newsweekly) reactions? Embarrassing first issue featuring BS stories about a BS conference? Favoritism for Tina friends? Fabled editor now too “mature” and cocooned to maintain her fabled connection with what’s-hot-now? Scientifically questionable cover scare stories? Disappointing ad sales? Disappointing circulation numbers? Soaring payrolls? Massive, massive looming financial losses? Potential Diller/Harman/Brown tensions? And what happened with Jon Alter? … Or maybe the truly surprising story is that all these potential stories are nothin’! But you have to confront them. …