Tuesday, June 15, 2004

Media vs. Message
News that Wall Street Journal writers were conducting a byline strike this week reminded me of a similar stunt pulled by Washington Post staffers a while back. At that time the New Yorker ran an exceptionally lively and well crafted Talk of the Town item which cast doubt on the significance of bylines in the first place, and lampooned the self-importance of what I can't help but think of as a hunger strike for the attention starved.

What cracked me up at the time, and still does, is that I came across the piece as I was flipping through that issue in reverse--it wasn't the topic, but rather the byline of the great Louis Menand, that led me to read it. Had I come across the item in a more traditional fashion, I honestly doubt I'd have gone to the trouble.

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