Virtually all the predictions about the death of old media have assumed a comfortingly long time frame for the end of print . . . But what if the old media dies much more quickly? What if a hurricane comes along and obliterates the dunes entirely? Specifically, what if The New York Times goes out of business—like, this May? It’s certainly plausible. -- End Times, by Michael Hirschorn, The Atlantic, January/February 2009 [emphasis added]The prospect of the disappearance of the New York Times within a matter of months will bring wildly varying reactions in different quarters. Those gleefully anticipating its demise should know that Hirschorn goes on to conclude that the odds of the paper going away in May are "relatively slim." He anticipates a number of scenarios that would permit the paper to survive, including:
- sale of its share of its $600 million HQ, designed by the prestigious Renzo Piano
- sale of its ownership interest in the Boston Globe and/or other subsidiaries including About.com and the Boston Red Sox.
- sale of the paper outright to potential buyers such as David Geffen, Michael Bloomberg, Carlos Slim or even . . . Rupert Murdoch.
Still, Hirschorn doesn't entirely discount the possibility that the Times could actually go bye-bye. As he observes [emphasis added]:
The New York Times published an article Monday about the anger some Vietnam veterans feel over the vessel they used to serve on, Swift Boat, now being synonymous with "the nastiest of campaign smears."
In dredging up this issue, Times' writer Kate Zernike not only misrepresented many of the facts surrounding the claims made by the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, but also completely ignored the mainstream media's role in turning the name of this patrol craft into a political pejorative.
In fact, something the Times conveniently chose not to share with its readers was how one of its own columnists, Frank Rich, wrote one of the earliest and most prominent pieces recharacterizing this nautical term as a smear tactic in his August 21, 2005, article "The Swift Boating of Cindy Sheehan."
But before we get there, here's what the Times had to say Monday (emphasis added throughout, h/t NBer Bingo):