Media Minutiae: The Onion Foretold It Edition

  • Tomorrow. 3:30 p.m. The St. Regis. Be there. Carl Icahn and Bruce Wasserstein take the wraps off their plan to break Time Warner into a million little pieces. (OK, maybe just three or four.) It’s the most eagerly anticipated press conference since the AOL-Time Warner merger was announced. And we all know where that one led us.
  • And how will Time Inc.’s magazine cover that press conference, anyway? Jon Friedman frets that John Huey and co. can’t cover Icahn objectively. That all depends on how you define “objectively.” If the magazines’ past treatment of AOL, Steve Case, and Bob Pittman is any example, then Icahn’s PR team have their work cut out for them.
  • Slate roots for its home team. Its original home team, that is, the Seattle Seahawks. The lead story the morning after the Super Bowl: the Pittsburgh Stealers stole it. I expect this sort of thing from bloggers, but from Slate?
  • This just in: Lagardere to buy Time Warner Book Group for $537.5 million. Larry Kirshbaum barely had time to clean out his desk before they sold it off. Meanwhile, a few blocks away, Carl Icahn breaks out his red pencil.
  • If only Gillette’s shareholders had listened to The Onion. If you watched the Super Bowl last night, you probably saw the overwrought ads for Gillette’s latest technological wonder, the five-bladed Fusion razor. The ad itself wasn’t very funny, but everyone at the party we attended laughed anyway at this latest development in the shaving arms race. But it seems The Onion predicted this two years ago, and upon reading the ravings of Gillette CEO James Kilts again, it suddenly all made sense: the sale to Proctor & Gamble, the $185 million pay package, all of it. Clearly, this is a man of vision:

    “You’re taking the “safety” part of “safety razor” too literally, grandma. Cut the strings and soar. Let’s hit it. Let’s roll. This is our chance to make razor history. Let’s dream big. All you have to do is say that five blades can happen, and it will happen. If you aren’t on board, then fuck you. And if you’re on the board, then fuck you and your father. Hey, if I’m the only one who’ll take risks, I’m sure as hell happy to hog all the glory when the five-blade razor becomes the shaving tool for the U.S. of “this is how we shave now” A.”