Media Miscellany: 05.17.2005

The art of procrastination: This week, the New Yorker’s Ben McGrath goes underground with would-be novelists in Queens, who are holing up in specially-designed “habitats” meant to encourage their individual creative process for an art installation called “novel.” The plan is for each of them to finish their books by June 4th, focused and undistracted in the creative space of their dreams. Alas, even in custom-made spaces, the last thing anyone wants to do is finish their novel. Now we can all feel better as we reach for the remote. [New Yorker]

Bob Woodward agrees with us: In today’s WSJ online (and available, yippee no fee!) Bob Woodward, WaPo assistant managing editor and anonymous-source-use pioneer tells Joe Hagan (newly of the Journal) that he’s on side with anonymous sources a la our mini-rant yesterday, saying that “it’s a subject of immense importance to our business” and actually thinks we should have even more unnamed sources. He also says he fears a “secret government,” which probably doesn’t count as “watching what he says and what he does” a la Donald Rumsfeld. [WSJ Online]

MoDo and Co., going cheap! The question is, where? The NYT has announced the September 2005 launch of “TimeSelect,” a paid on-line subscription service for Times archives…and Op-Ed pages. The news will still be free but the opinions that “drive you into a rage that you can barely articulate” (per Farhad Manjoo in Salon) will cost you. But will it also cost the Times, in relevance, buzz and blogginess? Sulzberger and Rich say no, Steve Outing from the Poynter Institute says yes. I say MoDo better throw in a lot of musical theater references for that kind of dough. [Salon]