This week’s edition of Newsweek is drawing quite a bit of criticism, mostly because of that error-ridden, comically incorrect cover story by Niall Ferguson. But apparently there are other things in the magazine, stories that aren’t riddled with mistakes and intentional obfuscations.
One such story: An excerpt from D.T. Max’s forthcoming David Foster Wallace biography. That’s a worthwhile story! It’s just a shame it had to run in Newsweek during one of Tina Brown’s more successful “How can we get attention this week, and remember I will accept any and all suggestions, no matter how journalistically flawed?” gambits. (Another example: David Ansen’s story about “The Master.” That is also a story worth reading.)
Max wrote about DFW for the New Yorker following the author’s 2008 suicide. His book, “Every Love Story Is A Ghost Story,” comes out on Aug. 30.
Hey, remember when merger talks between Newsweek and The Daily Beast fell apart? Psyche! That was clearly a tactic meant so media-shy Tina Brown could conduct negotiations in private. They’ve gone and done merged, and you can read Brown’s announcement here if you’d like.
What’s missing from this electronic wonderland? Human contact. Discount the fawning techno-burble about virtual communities. Computers and networks isolate us from one another. A network chat line is a limp substitute for meeting friends over coffee. No interactive multimedia display comes close to the excitement of a live concert. And who’d prefer cybersex to the real thing? While the Internet beckons brightly, seductively flashing an icon of knowledge-as-power, this nonplace lures us to surrender our time on earth.
— Clifford Stoll, writing about the Internet in February 1995. Clearly he was right, and people wised up and shut down their computers, the end.
(Thanks to Matt S. for sending that in!)
Jon Meacham, former editor of Newsweek and Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer, is heading right out of magazines and into the welcome arms of publishing. He’s becoming a something or other at Random House, editing another archaic print product en route to extinction (Kidding! Books are great, people should read more of them). [NYT]
A potential merger between the Daily Beast and Newsweek has been scuttled, according to the WSJ. Apparently they couldn’t get together on how to divvy up editorial control. But regardless, it wouldn’t have made either publication profitable.