CJR picks a winner


The Columbia Journalism Review has named The Nation editor Victor Navasky to revitalize the magazine and restore its old role as the watchdog of the press. Don't tell them, but unwittingly they've just decisively handed over the Watchdog Role of the media to the blogosphere. No competition there! Navasky was quite a choice: In an era where the hot issue is the lack of idea—diversity in the media, and when 90% of media criticism is coming from the right, they go hire a member of the dinosaur—left to make things right!
Navasky's circulation gains at The Nation were largely the result of industry consolidation, as one tripe—left publication after another shut its doors due to the failure of its ideas. No surprise, it happened as Republicans took vast numbers of high offices, leaving remaining leftists with a strong urge to kvetch. Amid this shakeout, pretty much only one publication was left standing, with higher circulation of course, and pleased with its monopoly, so like state socialism! Meanwhile, the real story is that declining circulations based on leftist bias are slamming the mainstream media into oblivion. As the blogosphere rises. 
Even Navasky seems to know his ideas are unsalable. He is furtively quoted in the New York Sun as saying he's just focused on the business side, trying to show that he's not imposing odious leftwing comrade—ideology on the magazine. Same old leftism trying to conceal its collectivist ideas we know so well. There's nothing a leftwinger likes less than being identified as leftwing.
But the real damage is not Navasky but the head—in—the—sand attitude of the Columbia media establishment that brought this guy on to solve their problems.  CJR seems to have decided it can skip the idea—diversity thing, avoiding confrontation with its real problem, since it's found a winner in Navasky. In their minds, they've found someone who can allow them to stay leftwing while increasing their circulation
Only if most of them go belly up.
A.M. Mora y Leon 06 04 05