The Washington Post Company has announced its intention to sell Newsweek, the 77-year-old magazine which the Post has owned for 49 years. The magazine’s editor, Jon Meacham, had this to say in an interview with Jon Stewart:
“I do not believe that Newsweek is the only Catcher in the Rye between democracy and ignorance, but I think we’re one of them,” Meacham said. “And I don’t think there are that many on the edge of that cliff.”
Asked by Stewart about today’s free flow of information – including news consumption – Meacham struck a foreboding tone. “We have to decide, ‘are we ready to get what we pay for?’ If you’re not going to pay for news, then you’re going to get a different kind of news,” he said.
Meacham’s “reasoning” is in keeping with the wrong-headedness of Newsweek‘s cheerleading for all things statist. For starters, he poses a false dichotomy of democracy vs. ignorance. Democracy, in fact, thrives on ignorance: the ignorance of the masses that enables demagogues and charlatans to impoverish the masses while claiming to enrich them.
Meacham then resorts to the statist’s all-purpose “we” — arrogating to himself intimate knowledge of what the masses want — when he says “We have to decide, ‘are we ready to get what we pay for?’” The thrust of his statement is that the news provided “free” over the internet is inferior to the opinions masquerading as news in the pages of Newsweek and other print media. This is nonsense, for two reasons. First, news is not provided “free” over the internet; it is supported by advertisers. Second, this “free” news flows, in large part, from media sources like Newsweek; that is to say, it consists of kernels of news smothered in layers of leftist opinion.
Meacham has more to say, but you get the idea: With “great thinkers” of his ilk at the helm, it is no wonder that the likes of Newsweek are doomed. I say “doomed” because the Post is unlikely to find a buyer for Newsweek, which eventuality will allow the Post to fold the magazine. If the post does find a buyer for Newsweek, I would expect it to fold outright or to be merged with the buyer’s other failing properties.
In any event, it will be good riddance (I hope) to bad rubbish.