The casualty of journalism's collapse? New York City as centre of communications gravity.



Here is an interesting piece from Showbiz 411, lamenting the cuts and losses of several glossies. New York magazine, Vanity Fair, People, and the mention of the woes of Vanity Fair’s sister publication Vogue.

That list is interesting. The New York Daily News is bleeding as well, but New York isn’t just any city in the US: it is the publishing mecca, and it set the trend for many things over the decades, and now its power is rapidly eroding.

It is losing its patriarchal grip on communications, meaning everything is up for grabs. New York determined what is considered cool, good writing, witty, engaging, important, chic, sophisticated, and set the narrative on what we think about, who we think about, and what we think about them.

It is no longer the case, and that means consolidating a power base becomes that much harder. There is a whiff of defeatism already, and it can no longer just ride on the coattails of its zip code. It should be no surprise that the new generation there are already waving the flag, demanding pensions at 30 in an indirect way — it is a mere reflection of the aging and faded clout of a once invincible city, and what happens next will be interesting to see…

Vanity Fair babbles incoherently...find something real to write about that requires research.

Vanity Fair has lost its shit. It is spewing about Melania Trump, but has nothing real or coherent to babble about:

Melania Trump’s Spokesperson Writes a CNN Op-Ed to Beat Up on CNN

Uh-huh. And?

CNN beats up on her and her family all the time. What is your point?

At the very least CNN should give Trump a platform for a rebuttal.

Or do you just want to silence people who disagree with whatever a journalist decrees?

And what CNN decreed was very uninformed and devoid of anything of value.

So what is your point, you dumb motherfuckers with the plummeting circulation?

Do you know how to put a coherent thought together anymore?

Do you all realize you are having a collective public mental breakdown?

Look in the mirror before you start making snide remarks about things you no longer have any grasp of handling…

Memo to Vanity Fair: Online garbage like Vice, Vox, and Buzzfeed produced bullshit fairytales for cowards. That's why they are tanking.

Vanity Fair, has some bullshit trying to use a brain cell to figure out why garbage like Vox, Vice, and BuzzFeed aren’t working:


Vice, Vox, and BuzzFeed, among other companies that once heralded the dawn of a new media age, are now grappling with decidedly old-media problems.

Because they produced bullshit fairytales for cowards. They had nothing real to offer. They snarked, and produced garbage that was worse than what traditional bullshitters were puking out.

The motherfuckery seemed hip to shut-in nerds and reality deniers, but they offered no substance.

The played it safe, and the reason garbage like BuzzFeed could get dumbass investors to give them Benjamins during funding rounds.

And investors are timid wankers who look for safe.

They hate calculated risks because that requires brains, heart, balls/ovaries, and then take lunatic gambles instead.

BuzzFeed is fragmented bullshit, while Vice is sexist bullshit.

Vox is pathetic sophistry emo bullshit.

And not a single one of these smug bullshitters reinvented journalism. They didn’t improve it, or produce a single story of any value. They are the trailer park of the profession.

Because that would take guts, and none of these egotists have it.

These are journalism’s feral and neglected progeny, rooting around the profession’s dump and cobbling together whatever garbage they thought they should settle for.

And we wonder why journalism collapsed?

Vanity Fair should get a clue once in a while and stop churning out this kind of clueless garbage; it’s not journalism, either…

When you become what you hate: Has Graydon Carter become a Spy-worthy parody of himself?

Spy magazine was one of the publications I loved with a passion...but always worried about its ways at the same time. It is like a great love that makes you wonder if it is all too good to be true, or is there some sort of hidden flaw that will get exposed and corrupted, ruining everything you cherished.

I loved Spy, but like all great loves, it was met with parental disapproval. My mother could not understand what a nice girl like me saw in such a nasty publication. Not that she didn't think the people who got roasted in it didn't deserve it, but somehow, she thought Spy was just cruel in the wrong ways.

Spy was jealous at its core, she said, but she agreed that when it came to asking the hard questions that exposed those blowhards and grifters it relentlessly picked on, the pickings were slim, as in, it was the only game in town. Spy magazine was like Wonder Woman -- it truly wasn't any of the good, groundbreaking, progressive, and noble stuff it proclaimed to be, but as there wasn't any alternative out there that truly was, you took what you could get, and it got your love and admiration for at least drawing attention to those qualities.

Humans settle, and then try to justify their settling, building things up, and setting a bar both too high and too low at the same time.

But I always wondered if Spy magazine would become what it hated because on some level, it was jealousy and not truth that guided it. Spy folded before that question ever got answered.

But for one of its co-founders E. Graydon Carter, the answer seems to be yes. After he ran away from Spy, he eventually jumped into the arms of Vanity Fair and became its editor.

Vanity Fair was all about applauding limousine liberalism as it paraded starlets who had to endure the Harvey Weinsteins to get there. All the pretty and rich white people in Hollywood had their free advertising in those pages, but there were at least some think pieces from the old liberal white men to make it readable. It was not progressive, but it had a patina of youthful beauty and seasoned old wisdom to seem like it was the package deal.

It was still more readable than most of the other magazine offerings in its day -- if you could stomach the arrogance and obliviousness of it. It had gall and chutzpah, but like the Fox News Channel, it had first-rate production qualities that allowed things to slide because it was so pretty on the outside.

Carter eventually ran away from that rag, too, just in the nick of time when its coolness factor was one step away from being revoked by reality.

And now, according to the Daily Beast, he wants to run back on stage:

Ex-Vanity Fair Editor and Trump Nemesis Graydon Carter Plots Comeback

From the South of France, one of America’s legendary magazine editors thinks about a return to media with the same people who invested in Vice.

Oh, this is rich.

Yes, from the South of France! With the investors who got played and sank money in the sexist propaganda outlet Vice. 

How very wonderful.

Just to get back at Donald Trump? The same target of jealousy Spy went after, what, decades ago?

Some limousine liberal can't let go of a grudge.

Spy failed to destroy Trump.

Vanity Fair became a bygone relic of a world most of the planet would never see, and in #MeToo, discovered that they wouldn't want, either.

Carter became someone who in another time and place, would have been torn to pieces in the pages of Spy: some uppity geezer whining as he is sipping his champagne about some other old geezer who has more money and power than he does, and he decides to furiously plot his inexplicable enemy's downfall from the rich part of a foreign country by courting people with money who either funded trash like Vice -- or sank money in a losing outlet, such as Univision -- the same people who thought acquiring mindless life-sink site The Onion was a good idea.

How the mighty have faded away to become media lounge lizards.

My younger self would have been very disappointed that her worst fears came true, and that her mother's assessment of the whole jealousy thing was probably right...

Vanity Despair: Arriving isn't what it used to be.

Vanity Fair used to be how Elite Liberal Establishment's glamorous faction let the world know that they had arrived.


You arrived, and were even making numerous encores.


Glamor wasn't just a Hollywood, thing, either. It was part and parcel of the American Dream.


It was all very flattering. Political actors got their cover, and everything was stylish. Tina Brown and Graydon Carter got it, even though the former was British, and the latter from Canada.


It wasn't as if there wasn't hard-hitting or interesting articles. There were plenty in its heyday. The narrative was still about arriving and delivering beautifully.


One of the best accounts of the Stephen Glass scandal came from Vanity Fair. You had Dominick Dunne cover crime stories -- and his own soul knew what it truly meant.

Once upon a time, it understand its function very clearly.

And then journalism collapsed.

Ans Vanity Fair is feeling it with more than just the cutbacks, new paywall, and reduced frequency, from 12 issues a year to 10.

Even the new covers look more like dated and unremarkable passport photos than art that tells a story.


And that hints there is no more arriving because no one knows where to go.

There is no vision.

There are no icons. Just random people wandering about here and there.

And that describes what happened to journalism: there is no place they can now go.

No one can arrive because they have nothing to deliver, and with those blinders, their filters impose a silent narrative on those on the cover as well.

And it becomes dreary nihilism filled with parts apathy and despair...

Is Conde Nast still relevant in 2018?

When NAA had their yearly convention in Toronto for the first time, I had two students from the college I was teaching at the time get accepted in their week-long internship program (one student was one I taught personally; the other was not). There were ten students altogether, with eight coming from Ryerson and the University of Toronto.

It was an interesting convention with the late Peter Jennings and then Vice President Dick Cheney as keynote speakers, and there was a soiree hosted by Parade magazine. I remember it will as I came in a newsprint Moschino t-shirt and a pair of black slacks, while the other female quests were in outrageously expensive gowns. The shirt caught the attention of one of the Newhouses, who shouted, "Moschino!" startling me. I had no idea who she was at the time until I looked at the name tag and then got a cordial nod from SI Newhouse at the same time, as if it were a divine wink to confirm the woman's identity to me. She was complaining that her newsprint Christian Dior scarf wasn't as defined as my Moschino top.

I had a fondness for Conde Nast publications. Not all of them, but I read Wired and Vanity Fair voraciously at the time, and the exchange was a memorable one. 

Once upon a time, it was the publisher that defined what was sophisticated. It decreed which celebrities finally arrived. It decided what was fashionable, and Vogue was a fashion bible, and I grew up reading it cover to cover as well as Architectural Digest which had been one of my mother's favourite magazines, and I also devoured those as a kid as well as GQ, which was the counterbalance to Vogue.

Conde Nast was the guide to the middle class what they should aspire to if they wanted to live the good life. The company spent lavishly, and it vetted popular culture and acceptable thought through the pages of the New Yorker.

In a way, it had the same role as Dr. Watson did in Sherlock Holmes stories: it was the eyes and ears of what mysterious properties were beautiful, as it made sense of the baffling white noise of pop culture, trends, and fashion. 

But as Dr. Watson had a gift to describe things a reader couldn't see, so did Conde Nast.

However, just as movies turned Dr. Watson's role into a redundant one, he was turned into a bumbling sidekick, Conde Nast's purpose has diminished with the Internet: publicity was a reward for those who fit the vision of modern chic, but now when anyone can get publicity, the publication has floundered and lost their power.

Vanity Fair is letting go much of its staff, most likely to replace them with fewer employees who are cheaper. There is talk that Apple will acquire it, though there isn't a need for it: people work Instagram to achieve what a Conde Nast approval once did.

The power has been diluted to more people, of course, and the impact is not as powerful, but it is, more diverse and equitable. It is a tradeoff, and one that is more in tune with modern times.

Conde Nast was like an Aaron Spelling drama: focussing on the "beautiful people" who "fit" a certain patriarchal narrative. People who were left out finally got their revenge with social media, and the ways and vision of the once powerful publisher is no longer in tune with the world -- even if they now try to clumsily emulate them...

Facebook is watching you, but so are those Loyalty programs. But there is no scandal with those...

The pummelling of Facebook continues with the latest being the "Memo"; this time Vanity Fair. BBC also takes them apart here. The Atlantic seems obsessed with the shallow PR-angle with its usual sophistry it is usually churns. Contrast them to the Financial Times musing that wonders how well Big Data is when ads never seem to quite align with what you actually want or need.

But there is an aspect of modern life that has that kind of Big Data -- loyalty card programs that keep a perfect track of how much you spend, where you spend, what you buy -- and then sends offers all based on your shopping profile.

And yet these loyalty programs somehow are excused from the Big Data Scare.

But then again, Loyalty Programs are not in direct competition with traditional media.

There are no shortage of places that keep track of you -- from the banks that know where you spend your money and where to government agencies who make you fill out forms with information that they already have on file. 

But none of them are competition to the industry. If the Facebook drubbing was sincere, we'd be looking at the big picture. 

But it's not looking for noble motives -- and that insincerity is newsworthy and worth examining...

The most unintentionally funniest article Vanity Fair ever spewed: If you think Twitter was wrong in doing all of the things that destroyed your profession, then what does that make you?

Vanity Fair lectures Twitter with this silly article:


It is a knee-slapper and a howler for one big reason: they are taking Twitter to task for behaving like journalists.

What felled journalism is what is felling social media, and if you have been reading my web site for any stretch of time, you know I have been pointing all of this out for quite some time.

Journalism, citizen journalism, social media -- they are all doing the same things -- the same things that destroyed journalism.

It would be nice for traditional press to take their own lecturing as they look themselves in the mirror -- because they lost the Internet war first with their own obtuse ways.