"The American press has the blues" laments Russell Baker's latest NYRB Essay. My beef is with the decimation of science editors and the devolution of fact checking as journalism slouches towards Talk Radio, but Baker says his colleagues :
table talk is about journalistic frauds and a Washington press too dim to stay out of a three-card-monte game...Murdoch of course has long spread melancholy in newsrooms around the world, but it was the disclosure in May that the Bancroft family, which controls The Wall Street Journal, might be ready to sell him their paper for five billion dollars that really struck at journalism's soul...no newspaper is so valuable to the republic that it cannot be knocked down at market for a nice price. Murdoch at the Journal is a dark omen for journalists everywhere. When the sign in the shop window says "Everything For Sale," it is often followed by "Going Out Of Business."
How did it come to pass that an "assemblage of self-servers, frauds, political double-dippers, gasbags, mountebanks, spoiled reporters, and unprincipled swine make up that vague organism called "media"?
Once the WSJ goes, Baker expects The New York Times may be
"auctioned off like a side of beef."