Have you seen Mediaite's "Power Grid," that ridiculous thing ranking people in media, and maybe silently wondered, "What sort of blighted souls give a damn about any of this?" Well, one magazine is distributing PR statements touting their editor's ranking!
So what magazine would be so desperate for any sort of good news that they'd blitz out a press statement bragging about their lead editor being ranked at the top of his class by a two day old website? Newsweek!
Yesterday we received an email from one of Newsweek's flacks with a subject line that read, "Newsweek's Meacham, most powerful Magazine Editor." Copied into the body of the email was the post by Mediaite's Colby Hall announcing Meacham as the most powerful magazine editor.
After receiving this yesterday afternoon I walked around scratching my head a bit, alternately saddened and angered by the email, but mostly angered. I was angered that a magazine I've enjoyed for a number of years had stooped to such a ridiculous level to try and bring attention to itself. I was angered over the fact that there are people out there who actually give a damn about their ranking on some retarded "Power Grid." So I walked around a bit and thought all of this over and decided that I was going to post something about it on Gawker tonight, only to come home and discover that New York's Will Leitch had beaten me to the punch and written something on the subject at Deadspin that pretty much perfectly captured exactly what I was thinking. Calling Mediaite a "handy reminder of just why everyone hates the media," Leitch wrote:
From my experience, 27 percent of the people who work in media (and I'm using the Mediaite definition of media, which is pretty much "anyone who gets paid for typing, talking or figuring out how to fire people who type or talk") are journalists in the truest sense, out to enlighten the public for common good, altruistic believers in the fourth estate and its power to invoke change. The other 73 percent are pretending to be that 27 percent and really just trying to promote their own personal brand. In the past, this has always been an inside joke, something for media folk to snicker about in private. Mediaite breaks with the pretense and just states what everyone already knew: This is really what it's all about. It's not about informing the public. It's not about being good at your job. It's about being known, and being recognized. Mediaite doesn't damn this, not at all, not nearly as much as they should: They just point it out ... and then they prove it. They're excellent at that.
By far, the most entertaining and popular section of Mediaite is their Power Grid, which ranks reporters, columnists, editors, anchors, executives and talk show hosts by their "buzz" ranking, or some such meaningless word tossed out in a dead conference room somewhere.
But wait, you ask: Isn't the media dying? Yes! It totally is! This is the last gasp. It would make more sense to have a Plumberite, or a Morticianite, or a Forecloserite, you know, professions that are actually growing and have a concrete future. (They make more money than most media people too, and are generally more attractive.) But plumbers and morticians aren't self-indulgent assholes! They don't assume that just because they care about what they're doing, everyone else does. They'd never start a site like that. That's our job.
Yes. Absolutely perfect. The only thing I'd add to this is that the obsession of some over Mediaite's "Power Grid" pretty much confirms something I've long suspected—That of all the narcissism-laden social circles existing in New York City, and I've dipped my toe in most of them, there is none more densely populated with self-important a-holes than the New York media circle. Period. It's actually not even a close race, as the New York media social circle far outdistances all others in terms of pure, unadulterated love of self.
Finally, I feel compelled to add, lest someone accuse me of feeling bitter over my Mediaite ranking or something, that I have no idea if I appear anywhere on any Mediaite "Power Grid" list, though I'm sure someone would have pointed it out to me by now if I did. With that said, is it possible for me to just opt out of any future rankings? I know and like some of the people working at Mediaite, but I don't want any part of this. The whole thing just gives me indigestion when I think about it.