A weekly meta-roundup of our favorite (mostly) New York media pundits, what they’re saying, why they’re saying it, and an all-important grade, subjective and arbitrary — just like their columns!
New York Times Carpetbagger and media reporter David Carr weighs in on the redesign of the New York Observer from a broadsheet to tabloid, and at once praises the salmon-hued newspaper’s terrific writing, “cheeky headlines and pointillistic graphics” while longing for the preredesign days of, say, last week, when carrying the paper suggested a person of “sprawling, catholic interests, media gossip chief among them.” GRADE: B+
Brady takes a look an early look at a media power couple, Bill and Carol Campbell Boggs (he an ex-Weekend Today host, she publisher of Hallmark magazine) managing to squeeze in a gratuitous Cipriani plug in the fourth paragraph (“A year and a half ago, she and I lunched at Cipriani on the Grand Central balcony”). Brady then spins the glorious tale of triumph over tragedy, the family’s beating of the odds … This is not a media column. It’s a Boggs press release, and cautionary tale of how not to write a column, media or otherwise. GRADE: D
Here’s a meta media mega-mash. Kurt Andersen, “Imperial City” columnist for New York magazine, is fascinated with online video on newspaper Web sites. In particular, the New York Times and Washington Post. Specifically, WaPo‘s Travis Fox and the Times‘ Carr, whose Carpetbagger persona Andersen likens to a heady mix of Tom Waits and Ryan Seacrest. Nevermind Andersen employed Carr at Inside.com. Carr’s method — “I’ll go around in Times Square and hop around like an idiot and that should be sufficient” — leads Anderson to his “I Hate Coldplay Cuz It Makes For A Better Column” moment: “At their best, the newspapers’ online videos are, minute for minute, superior to TV news.” What about at their worst? GRADE: A-
Resident Oscar spoiler Nikki Finke is hard to read. One minute she’ll be taking down the New York Times for the abrupt shuffling of its Hollywood coverage. The next, she’s … taking down the L.A. Times for its abrupt shuffling of its Hollywood coverage. Recently, she took on the LAT for its own unpublished takedown of a Hollywood mogul. At least she’s always taking down something. To paraphrase Owen Wilson in Wedding Crashers, its great. You’re in there, mixing things up, bobbing and weaving, talking trash. Or was that Kramer in the “Little Jerry” episode? Nevertheless … GRADE: A-