The eternal verities of press criticism

My thanks to my Atlantic-blog colleague Matthew Yglesias (plus others) for referring back to my 1996 cover story in the Atlantic, Why Americans Hate the Media. Three pentimenti:

* The related American Prospect piece that M. Yglesias also mentions, which is oddly listed on the Prospect site as having come out in 2002, was in fact published in March, 1999 -- while Bill Clinton's enemies were still smiting him about (his idiocy involving) Monica Lewinsky. I remember so clearly because I wrote it during "personal time" while working on the Word product-design team at Microsoft in the first half of 1999.

* On evergreenness in general: several times I have considered revisiting the whole what's-wrong-with-the-press question and have instead plugged on with other topics -- Iraq policy, China -- for reasons that boil down to: what's the point? The problems with the media are the same as I tried to describe 11 years ago -- just worse, and with new technology. But there's always tomorrow...

* That Atlantic cover story was in fact an excerpt from my book Breaking the News. And anyone who would like to read the pitch in its full glory need only click here.