Former MSNBC host Dan Abrams, not content with running his shady new conflict-of-interest-laden PR firm for working journalists, now wants to start up his very own "'Drudge meets The Huffington Post' site." Oh good.
The Observer reports that Abrams has been talking to some of the best media writers in NYC about coming over to start his "on-line Web property that will include some level of blogging of and about the media," as he puts it, all lawyerly-like:
But the Observer has learned the list of writers and editors who've spoken to Mr. Abrams includes Gawker's politics editor Alex Pareene, Advertising Age 'Media Guy' columnist Simon Dumenco, former New York Magazine senior editor Jesse Oxfeld, Portfolio's Mixed Media blogger Jeff Bercovici, and The Observer's own John Koblin.
So far none of the conversations have resulted in a hiring.
Ha, well the bright side is that all the good writers are now conflicted out of writing about it, so I can write about it! The description of exactly what Abrams wants here is a bit vague, but evidently he'd like a respectable media blog, run by respectable people, to confer a level of legitimacy upon his PR firm, which is decidedly not legitimate, because it pays active journalists to be consultants for things they might cover, or are already covering, which is the very DEFINITION of a conflict of interest.
Here's Abrams' own defense of his business model, which, we'll just note, assumes that you, the readers, are none too insightful.
But hey, sounds like he's trying to get some good talent ($50-80K salaries!), and assuming that he left them alone, this blog could be good! The downside is that it will be fronting a sellout factory. You can take that for what it's worth. Which, in this job market, is nothing. [NYO]