Tuesday, April 5, 2005


HatTip to alarm:clock. Amusing article by New York Press. Alarm:clock posted about it to discuss blog publishing leaders Jason Calacanis of Weblogs Inc. (ranked #23) and Gawker Media’s Nick Denton (ranked #38) inclusion on the list. Here are samples of Jason Calacanis's and Katie Couric's profiles, who is one spot below his and definitely turns me off with her fake "sweetheart" mask:

24. Katie Couric
Co-host, The Today Show

Couric's cloying little-girl shtick on NBC's Today Show is annoying enough, considering that behind the mask of "America's sweetheart" is a hard-nosed executive drawing one of the biggest paychecks in television. Her reportedly $16 million annual salary isn't what makes Couric loathsome, however. It's her disingenuous toeing of the line between serious journalist and corporate media whore. Couric's stratospheric stock has long ridden on her supposed ability to shift effortlessly between fluff and "real reporting"—meaning she can move from a fawning segment flogging the latest big-budget Hollywood pap to a "serious" news story like the Michael Jackson trial, all without batting a mascara-caked eyelash. The blow-up doll was even rumored to be a candidate for Dan Rather's chair at the CBS Evening News, proving once again that an unctuous ability to operate as a chameleon is a prized asset in the morally bankrupt world of big media.

23. Jason Calacanis
Chairman, Weblogs Inc.

During the dotcom boom, Jason Calacanis was one of those floppy-haired internet hucksters who beat the drum so loudly for tech companies that he became one of the era's major figures. The New Yorker even commissioned a fawning profile when he was editor of the now-defunct Silicon Alley Reporter. Now Calacanis is back and shamelessly beating the drum for (guess what?) blogs. Calacanis is chairman of Weblogs Inc., which now hosts more than 70 blogs about, well, who the fuck knows? His is a blog company that will make money from advertising while allegedly paying his army of typers a pittance in a "partnership" that promises a payday from future earnings. Hmm, where've we heard that before? Calacanis even stared down Nick Denton in an article for Paper Magazine that doubled as a battle cry for mistreated bloggers everywhere: "Bloggers now have three choices: Work for themselves, work for Nick, or partner with me. In another six months they will have five choices and in another year they will have 10." Maybe. But it'll be tough to find talent out there when all of the naive bloggers holding their breath for their big breaks will have long since reconciled themselves to temping.

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