Here Comes the Sun
December 4, 2001 7:46 AM   Subscribe

Here Comes the Sun Beware NY Times. Watch your flanks NY liberal establishment. Lord Conrad Black to back Smarter Times Ira Stoll and co in new conservative daily paper. Will they make it? (PS. Apparently are looking for editorial staff "willing to work long hours in an entrepreneurial, start-up environment") Start spreadin' the news, these little town blues are melting away, it's up to you, New York, New York...
posted by Voyageman (15 comments total)
Great economic environment in which to start a money-bleeding new daily newspaper for a general audience. Business genius. Doesn't say anything about this being a "conservative paper" in the article, by the way - except that the idea's said not to be false.
posted by raysmj at 8:10 AM on December 4, 2001

Or said "to be false." Tried to stop that, but . . .
posted by raysmj at 8:11 AM on December 4, 2001

According to Talking Points, the paper is backed by a paltry $15 million, will be distributed solely in Manhattan and is going to be extremely tiny. I don't think the Times has much to worry about.
posted by rcade at 8:27 AM on December 4, 2001

From the SmarterTimes About page: — "Smarter than the Times, and almost as arrogant, but with only a tiny fraction of the circulation."

You could probably say the same thing about the upcoming Sun, although a printed page grants a little more legitimacy. I always imagined SmarterTimes as some guy in his pajamas reading the NYTimes in the morniing and posting his complaints.
posted by panopticon at 8:34 AM on December 4, 2001

I enjoy smartertimes in email but really don't know if it would fly on it's own. Seems it's doing fine as a critique of the Times but it's few attempts at independent material were unremarkable.
posted by revbrian at 8:52 AM on December 4, 2001

If you can't make it in Toronto, there's always New York to fall back on. Or was it supposed to be the other way around?
posted by syscom at 8:56 AM on December 4, 2001

It's good to see even in this political and economic climate, a person can still try to make their dreams come true. Sounds like David bitching out Goliath. His viewpoint is rather narrow, and the purpose of the periodical has a permanently short-changed audience pool, but much crazier things have become successful. I for one wish him luck.
posted by ZachsMind at 9:14 AM on December 4, 2001

No surprise that the New York Observer broke the story; even though Conrad Black never followed through with his buyout attempt of the Observer, I'd imagine there'd still be some connection. Black is well-known for his conservative bent (as is Arthur Carter, the Observer owner, despite the lefty slant of his editorial staff). Black has been trying to get a piece of the world's biggest media market for years.

Also, it's interesting to see this sentence: "It's a pretty brave man who wants to start a new publication in this economy" which is often what media people say about *every* launch, that or this variation: "Ad dollars are so good that now there are too many publications taking a piece of the pie, making it a bad time to start a new one..." It's always doom-saying with that crowd.

The SmarterTimes is wearying. Let it rest, I say. Nobody but noodges, pedants and dumbfucks give two bent nickels about every little pissy error the Times makes. Most people recognize its biases, filter for them, and balance whatever they perceive as slant with opposing slant from somewhere else. The site's a big fat yawner, and if he thinks he can take an in-print on-the-street intellectually-oriented conservative tact to oppose the populist-blue collar slant of the Post and have any buying public at all, well, he's seriously misjudged the quantity and quality of this town's conservatives. They're few, far and futile.

That said, I'm sending in a resume today. They need dissenters on staff.
posted by Mo Nickels at 11:04 AM on December 4, 2001

Mo! God bless you, my boy!

Nobody but noodges, pedants and dumbfucks give two bent nickels about every little pissy error the Times makes. Most people recognize its biases[...]

May I quote you the next time some MiFi'er dismisses the concept of the 'liberal media'? 'Most people recognize its biases', you say.

Would that it were so.
posted by Slithy_Tove at 11:24 AM on December 4, 2001

It's amazing how people consider the NYT liberal.
posted by mmarcos at 12:11 PM on December 4, 2001

Don't sweat Lord Black of Nonsense. He's amassed his publishing fortune through debt-enabled buyouts of established papers then going through the newsroom and sacking every second body to expand the profit margin. Everything he's tried to start from scratch has failed. This will too.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 12:31 PM on December 4, 2001

May I quote you the next time some MiFi'er dismisses the concept of the 'liberal media'? 'Most people recognize its biases', you say.

Ah, but I didn't say "liberal," did I?
posted by Mo Nickels at 12:54 PM on December 4, 2001

Ah, but I didn't say "liberal," did I?

OK, I'll bite. What biases do you think SmarterTimes is pointing out, if not "liberal" ones?
posted by mw at 1:16 PM on December 4, 2001

mmarcos, what would you call the example at the link, except for liberal media bias? The NYT is using language -- in a news article, not an editorial -- that deprecates defense spending, while remaining silent on domestic spending. That's a liberal political position.

Mo, I agree that the US mass media has a number of biases, beyond being politically liberal. It tends to accept the conventional wisdom as the Word of God, and to cast all new events into the mold of its existing worldview, whether they fit or not; it loves drama and conflict and human emotion, whether or not they are important to a given story, and tries to create conflict and drama even if they don't exist; it's considerably stronger on stories related to the humanities than those related to science (most reporters were not science majors); like all industries, it favors its own interests, has a good opinion of itself and its place in the world, and becomes very defensive when those interests, or that good opinion are threatened.

And there are probably lots more. Which ones were you thinking of?
posted by Slithy_Tove at 7:44 AM on December 5, 2001

Postscript :Watch for the rising New York Sun
posted by Voyageman at 11:16 AM on December 10, 2001

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