Yesterday, the business writers of America were in Denver for a mass confessional, apologizing that they let down the world by not warning of the coming financial collapse.
Of course, what they were really doing was pretending that business journalists are important enough to stave off a collapse. By confessing their sins they were actually bragging.
It’s time to come off it.
Continuing the theme, Tina Brown has a long column up on her site The Daily Beast, wailing about the collapse of Portfolio magazine and what it means for the broader picture. Gawker thinks her concern is mainly about herself: “Tina Brown Terrified That Burning Money Now Frowned Upon.” See, if Portfolio wasn’t worth subsidizing, what about The Daily Beast? Maybe that’s part of it.
But there is also this sense held by many that media owners have a responsibility to keep money-losing operations afloat for the public good. That’s why newsroom cuts spark so much anger. It’s the clearest example of putting profit over public good.
Where Tina gets really weird is with her last line:
Domino was a beautiful bauble, but its disappearance was a fairly minor loss to the wider culture. Portfolio had the potential not only to help us understand the complex issues of the volatile economy but help police the business world and keep (or make) it honest. Now we have to trust the Obama administration to be on that particular case.
Really? The only things keeping business in check were Portfolio magazine and the Obama administration? God help us.