This one would be uproariously funny if he weren’t so serious. But Los Angeles-based journalist T.J. Sullivan mobilized the Journosphere into invasion-force strength this week by suggesting that newspapers should shut down their Web sites for a day — he suggests July 4 — to show those Internet freeloaders that what they consume comes with a cost:
“People can do without news on the Web for a week. They won’t like it. They’ll complain about it. But, that’s exactly what has to happen before they can be expected to care.
“Pulling the plug gets their attention.”
Well, Sullivan’s jeremiad got the attention of the new media set with a vengeance. Generally the response has been: Go ahead, see if we care. Be careful what you wish for, etc.
This blog has previously expressed its general distaste with snark — merely for the sake of snark. So please understand why I believe that is not the case for what follows as the new Kvetch of the Week, Ken Layne of Wonkette, demolishes Sullivan’s heartfelt plea, and his ilk, in rare High Kvetch form:
“But it’s not just the printing press you people are whining about. Most of you coddled cubicle hacks have never even seen the pressroom. What you’re so pathetically grieving is your fading culture, a masturbatory profession of over-educated overpaid typists who had a stranglehold on American journalism for 30 years or so — the Golden Era of the fat monopoly newspaper with its total control of local opinion, the real estate and jobs markets, which politicians were on the way up or down, who had an Important Wedding, what ladies were the stars of Society and the Debutante Balls. You people were the dam that held back all the world’s information: stock prices, distant wars, consumer trends, comic strips, Fall Recipes, and those precious reprints of George Will columns. And you trickled out a little bit each day, the volume depending on the number of ad pages. It’s a good thing nothing important ever happened on Mondays, right?”