With the New York Times once again in the front and center of a national conversation about the responsibility the press has to protect secrets, we thought this would be a perfect time to devote a podcast to the (arguably) country's most influential media outlet. Our guest this week is author William McGowan. His new book Gray Lady Down: What The Decline and Fall of The New York Times Means For America takes a critical look at the paper and what its decline means for the future of journalism.
Nothing secret about these bullets, feel free to leak them everywhere:
- Maybe it's just us, but The Mattress Giant mascot seems to be a bizarre choice for a company interested in promoting restful sleep.
- Nero Wolfe is a fictional detective, created in 1934 by the American mystery writer Rex Stout. Wolfe's confidential assistant Archie Goodwin narrates the cases of the detective genius. Stout wrote 33 novels and 39 short stories from 1934 to 1974, with most of them set in New York City.
- It's really simple: If you live in the Twin Cities and you're already sick of winter, you should move.
- Slate's Jack Shafer wrote an interesting piece that predicts what life without newspapers might be like based on what happened during the newspaper strikes of the 60's.
- Wikipedia has a very good overview of Tom Wolfe's amazing career.
- There are hundreds of newspapers for sale on Ebay printed in the days following JFK's assassination.
- Is James reading a biography of the Peter Smirnoff who first mass produced vodka? We'll ask him.
- The New York Times utterly predictable stance on "don't ask, don't tell" may be viewed here.
- According Editor and Publisher, newspaper circulation fell by 5% in the first six months of 2010 -- except for the Wall Street Journal which rose by 1.82%. The New York Times is 3rd on the list.
- Peter Robinson wrote a post wondering why the New York Times still matters that garnered dozens of comments. The comment Peter refers to by Ricochet member Aaron Miller is here.
- Up until the late 70's, newspaper ink was petroleum based, which gave it a distinctive odor. The industry switched to soy based inks as a defense against rising oil prices.
- Apologies for the occasional Skype noises on this podcast. An update to the software we use to record the podcast changed some settings without asking. Very rude.
Music from this week's episode:
The Ricochet Podcast is sponsored by Encounter Books. Our featured title this week is Gray Lady Down: What The Decline and Fall of The New York Times Means For America by William McGowan. Available at EncounterBooks.com and for Kindle at Amazon.com.