Jon Friedman, the superlative media columnist for MarketWatch, wants to say just one word to you. Just one word. Are you listening? Web. There's a great future in the web. Just think about it. Friedman himself has embraced this "web," it seems, and now he has a little YouTube thing where he will explain the future of the media to you in one minute or less, every week. If you have never heard or seen Friedman, it is an enlightening experience! For example, now we understand why he doesn't "get" Anderson Cooper. But Friedman's is a reassuring message—that there is room for all of us on this "web," regardless of age, appearance, or ability to craft and present a compelling opinion. (Video after the jump!)
MarketWatch media guru Jon Friedman just doesn't get the deal with that Anderson Cooper fellow. You know the one, right? Infinite blue eyes, enveloping gaze, powerful (but gentle) arms, distinguished and shimmering silver hair? Works on CNN? Well Friedman thinks he's the bunk! People just like Anderson 'cause he's adorable, and warm, and kind, and earnest! Not for any good reasons! Or, as Friedman puts it: "Yes, CNN's Anderson Cooper has heart. He oozes empathy. He's clearly a good-hearted fellow and, by all accounts, as likeable as all get-out." YES, YES, BUT WHY IS HE SO POPULAR? And, more importantly, why don't people feel the same way about Jon Friedman?? (Click thru to see the t-shirt we just bought for Jon, btw.)
Superstar MarketWatch media columnist Jon Friedman remembered recently that there was this young fellow who worked for the Times once who got in trouble for making things up and lying. It was a bit of a scandal! It happened five years ago this... season, so Friedman asks a couple folk what they think of the current state of media ethics. Salon's Joan Walsh says the Jayson Blair (for that was the fabricator's name) scandal forced writers and editors to remind themselves not to lie, or to maybe fact-check once in a while. Editor & Publisher's Greg Mitchell says the scandal encouraged more papers to issue corrections more often and not plagiarize so much. But a couple critics note that Jayson Blair is really the least of the newsmedia's woes in 2008.
MarketWatch media guru Jon Friedman wants to know why you kids aren't reading three of his favorite magazines anymore: U.S. News & World Report, The Sporting News, and Fast Company. We want to know whatever happened to Collier's Weekly! And where's our new issue of The American Mercury? [MarketWatch]
Marketwatch media person (and frequent target of Gawker ridicule) Jon Friedman actually wrote a thought that is sorta original and correct and interesting! According to him, MSNBC's ratings may suck, but they "stand out in one underappreciated category: embarrassing, mealy-mouthed apologies." He refers to David Shuster's suspension for his remarks about Chelsea Clinton (ably dissected down to the very last gruesome detail by Rachel Sklar here), which, along with Chris Matthews' half-hearted and partially reversed apology for being insane about Hillary, has MSNBC holding the early lead in the "apologizing to the Clintons" race. Of course, in the overall apology race, Fox did force anchor John Gibson to apologize for laughing it up at the death of Heath Ledger. But he didn't really mean it so that doesn't count. [Marketwatch]
Marketwatch media critic Jon Friedman's MEDIA WEB QUESTION OF THE DAY: "Who is your favorite writer on the Internet?" Ours is MarketWatch media critic Jon Friedman! Today he wants to introduce you to 61-year-old Ron Rosenbaum, who, writing at Washington Post-owned internet magazine of conventional wisdom plus occasional contrarianism Slate, "represent[s] a turning point in the evolution of online journalism." Finally, these new-fangled internet websites are hiring ultra-established, book-writin' old white dudes.
Vivian Schiller General Manager, NYTimes.com: I just want to say one word to you—just one word.
Jon Friedman, Tool Reporter: Yes ma'am.
Vivian Schiller: Are you listening?
Jon Friedman: Yes I am.
Vivian Schiller: 'Slideshows.'
Jon Friedman: Exactly how do you mean?
Vivian Schiller: There's a great future in slideshows. Think about it. Will you think about it?
Jon Friedman: Yes I will.
Vivian Schiller: Shh! Enough said. That's a deal.
Today endlessly irksome media columnist Jon Friedman writes: "It's still hard to believe that a monthly, which has published a total of two issues, can seem so important. Yet Portfolio has taken on the aura of a big-budget Hollywood production, where pandemonium appears to be everywhere. Unfortunately, the magazine raises comparisons with "Heaven's Gate" and "Gigli." ("Do you even remember the latter's plot line?" Friedman asks. Sadly, some people do.) Friedman trots out Portfolio's publisher David Carey and Conde publicist Perri Dorset to dismiss the hubbub and claim that everyone's just talking about their stories. And, for real? It's "hard to believe" that this magazine—for which Conde Nast crowed about spending $100 million and poached nearly every business journalist with a pulse and maybe one standout clip—"can seem so important"?
Much like the many men who want to do Julia Allison but don't want to be known as having done the charming Star Editor-at-Large, plenty of reporters want to write a story about Julia Allison, but don't want to be known for having penned a profile of the bubbly media figure. Marketwatch's Jon Friedman finds the perfect solution to the dilemma: Pretend it's a happy piece about a stupid weblog, and then, with that window-dressing in place, Allison it up! It's a charming, self-inoculating strategy, and who are we to begrudge the guy? Julia Allison, like it or not, is traffic! Think about that when you write your angry comments about why we're giving her so much coverage, okay?
- In an interview with the Guardian, Conrad Black calls his fraud trial "bullshit" and announces that he's at war with the U.S. government. The paper also has an excerpt from Black's forthcoming biography of Richard Nixon, which praises the former president's "surpassing dignity." Read into that what you will. [Guardian]
Count Marketwatch media critic blatherer Jon Friedman as unhappy with the newest member of "The Today Show" team. Jonny thinks that Tiki Barber was a little too petulant during the press conference announcing his hire. On the other hand (and with Friedman, there's always another hand), it might not make a difference. Barber has something: a certain je ne sais quoi, an element of... well, we're not sure. Jon?