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Readers To Start Occasionally Thinking For Themselves
Jack Shafer Signs Off On This Daring New Proposition

Although we can???t seem to shake the nasty habit of writing in the royal we, occasionally one of our editors decides to shake off the cloak of anonymity to write a short, pithy statement long, rambling diatribe about a topic of their choice. Today, Debbie Newman is that editor.

Earlier, we told you how Jack Shafer ranted and raved about Fark founder Drew Curtis’ new book (”It’s Not News, It’s Fark”) praising Curtis for raising critical awareness while carefully making sure to use the word “Fark” as often as humanly possible. And while the sometimes-verbose Slate editor had a fair amount to say, we believe the following excerpt accurately sums up Shafer’s opinion of the book’s most provocative contribution.

Instead of urging journalists to raise their standards—the typical tack taken by the press-guardian-industrial complex—Curtis puts the onus on readers, insisting that they become better news consumers.

‘Interesting!’ we thought. ‘Now, suddenly, it’s the readers‘ responsibility to separate fact from fiction and make sense of their agenda-fueled morning newspapers, all without spilling piping hot coffee all over themselves* on their morning subway commute!’

But how exactly will this affect the various media outlets and news providers? To find out, we rounded up the reactions from some of the field’s most high-powered journos. Their completely candid (and not at all presupposed) responses, are as follows.

Rupert Murdoch: Ha, this guy’s saying it’s up to the readers to be discerning! So we have nothing to worry about, then?

Col Allan: I’ll drink to that.

Cindy Adams: I don’t want it to be up to THEM. Those people can barely even speak English, let alone read.

Mort Zuckerman: Tomorrow’s headline: “Do Jews Still Have ‘Nose’ For News?”

Ben Widdicombe: Why are there so many Aussies on this list?

Janice Min: Does this theory apply to the purveyors of unsubstantiated gossip?

Bonnie Fuller: Oh, shut up, Janice. I, like, invented you.

Frank Bruni: Interesting hypothesis, Shafer. Say, anyone else hear the eek! eek! eek! of a truck backing up outside?

Seth Lapsky: I already told you, my name is “Seth Lipsky.” I’m the editor in chief of the New York Sun. Anyone?

Maureen Dowd: Am I going to die alone?

The media has spoken.

*Or standing too close to the creepy homeless guy

Oct 5, 2007 · Link · Repond

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