As I prepare for today’s show about magazines, I’m aware that magazines are no longer magazines. That is, they are for more fluid, less top-down. A typical magazine might be many things. A monthly print edition. Supplementary online materials including blogs by writers who have followings that ignore most if not all of the rest of the magazine. Videos originating from godknowswhat source. Information is, more than ever, a very complicated mix. Let me walk you through an example from today.
Because one of our guests is the wily and parsimonious Victor S. Navasky, I decided to look at the website of The Nation, to see whether its editor and publisher emeritus would recognize it. I was drawn to something involving Dave Zirin, who’s a great example of a guy you might follow even if The Nation itself were not your cup of tea. Zirin is one of the few unreservedly and radically iconoclastic sportswriters alive. So I clicked on it. It turned out to be not-exactly-Nation content. I didn’t know anything about this Sandusky interview. I wanted to know more. I wound up at the Daily Beast. Is the Daily Beast even a magazine? I guess it is. But that item was a very unsatisfactory snap shot. I did note that it involved somebody named John Ziegler. Could this possibly be the guy implicated in David Foster Wallace’s massively important and wonderful Atlantic story? According to Deadspin — why do I think that Deadspin is not a magazine but Grantland is? — it’s the same guy. (I should add here that the comments on the Deadspin piece, sympathetic to Ziegler, made me want to know a lot more.) Meanwhile, I layered my own perception of this story with what I know about the Today show, having last night read the huge New York magazine piece about its desperate days.
I still don’t think I understand this story. We might tackle it on The Nose Friday. But it’s a nice example of how vital magazines are to grasping something and also how they are no longer enough.
Oh what the hell. While I was trying to get a handle on this story, I even looked at PerezHilton. God help me.