Of all the journalists in this city who cover media, David Carr, who writes for the business section of the Times, could be the best. His research is solid, he’s a brilliant writer, and he’s a master at taking brand new information and distilling it to its essence. (Example: His April 13, 2007 column about Don Imus.)
Michael Wolff, who writes a media column for Vanity Fair, could be my least favorite. He takes facts that are common knowledge and spins them into tedious stories that reach b.s. conclusions. (Example: His May 2008 effort to explain the finances of The New York Times Company.) He also runs a news aggregation site called Newser.
Being familiar with these two journalists’ work, it was fun to see them face off tonight at a debate at New York University. A friend offered me a last-minute invitation to the event, which was part of a series called Intelligence Squared. (If you’re into this kind of thing, a recording of the event will eventually be online, and it will be broadcast by NPR and Bloomberg TV.)
The motion proposed at the debate was “Good Riddance to the Mainstream Media.”