24 July 2008

I love Media Drama

In the not too distant past, when people still actually read things printed on paper as their main source of information, newspapers and magazines were fairly impressive institutions. A few gossip doyennes and editors became visible Personalities, but most journalists toiled away as faceless bylines, which somehow helped to fuel the idea that we should put our trust in these people and their work because they must be more objective, more analytical, more intelligent than the rest of us.

But that has all changed, now that anyone with a blog can be both a "journalist" and a microcelebrity. And thanks to the cult of over-sharing that has developed, we all get a peek into the catty high school that is New York Media. And, holy cow, is it a great show. I wish I could say there was some marvelous abstract philosophical reason I enjoy this, but I think it's just my base love of gossip. And thanks to our current internet media culture, it really is as juicy as the worst drama in your high school, only better. After all, you "know" all the players from reading their sites and then you can watch the drama unfold from all points of view.

Take today's post on RadarOnline, announcing that Jezebel's Moe Tkacik had accepted then rescinded her acceptance of a position there. The post, itself is gracious (maybe too gracious to be sincere?) but the sniggering comments are.. well, typical sniggering comments. And, just like high school, where all your past transgressions and embarrassments are part of a communal history, always ready to be pulled back in the light at a moment's notice, it only takes about 5 commenters before someone references the recent rape debacle from Moe's disastrous embarrassment of an appearance on Thinking and Drinking.

Of course, if Emily Gould is any indication, it's as exhausting and emotionally painful for the participants as all that high school drama was back in the day. Which makes me feel a little guilty.. but not enough to stop reading as long as they keep posting.