The Playgoer: About that Nick Lemann piece...

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Tuesday, August 15, 2006

About that Nick Lemann piece...

I thought it was plain asinine, myself. But Terry Teachout has the goods on him, so over to About Last Night:

[A.J. Liebling] certainly wouldn’t have made the mistake of publishing anything as embarrassingly supererogatory as “Amateur Hour,” the recent New Yorker essay about Web-based journalism in which poor Nicholas Lemann spent a couple of thousand words belaboring the obvious, mere days before he applied an axe to the budget for CJR Daily, the Columbia Journalism Review’s online edition, simultaneously (1) demonstrating that he’s determined to miss the new-media boat and (2) causing the two top editors of CJR Daily to quit in protest. One of Lemann’s
ex-employees, Steve Lovelady, laid it on the line in an interview with the New York Times: “Nick has decided to spend the money on a direct-mail campaign for the magazine, in hopes of saving subscription revenue. To me, that sounds like something out of the 19th century. He’s taking the one fresh, smart thing he has and gutting it.”
Remember, that's the same Columbia Journalism School that scaled down its arts journalism fellowships.

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