Review of “Page One: Inside the New York Times”

“Carr is the sort of boldface character that once thrived in newsrooms, but he’s clearly a rare creature in the new light and spacious Times newsrooms where Page One unfolds; even then, he comes off as a second-tier specimen of the type, recycling his quips and turns of phrase and selling his unearned snobbery to the rubes in Bill Maher’s audience. The Times plays a big part in the story of Carr’s redemption, so it’s no surprise that he’s willing to go to the wall defending it, and the whole teetering edifice of legacy journalism – without its reputation, or the simple context of a newsroom, he’s just another irascible, fading hipster hack who very nearly ploughed his life into the guard rail. He has the romantic cynic’s easy recourse to bitter outrage, and he uses it well to belittle the arguments of people who see the precarious state of his industry. But the numbers keep falling and the economics get more dire and people like Carr and his colleagues – and even some of their critics – still can’t see the difference between a service (reporting news) and a product (printing a newspaper.)

By Rick McGinnis

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