Ghost Sites of the Web

Web 1.0 history, forgotten web celebrities, old web sites, commentary, and news by Steve Baldwin. Published erratically since 1996.

June 12, 2007

Tina Brown, it's Time To Shut Up

It must be terrible to be a former media queen, so terrible that it makes you say terrible things, like "everybody's famous today but nobody's interesting," and think terrible thoughts, like "people in 2007 are still interested in what happened to Princess Diana in 1997." So you write your terrible book, and your terrifying team of agents, publishing flacks, ass-kissers and sycophantic radio hosts treats you as if you were still on top, running The New Yorker into the ground, then frittering in cyberspace, where you launched, a laughably specious dotcom and dead-tree magazine property funded by Miramax and Hearst that was just a glossy reflective mirror for your super media elite friends, including Hillary Clinton.

The whole point of Talk Magazine was clear: it was set up so that you could own the rights to articles that were green-lightable for Hollywood, skimming big profits when they were made into movies. You never took the Web, or the web site seriously, and surviving screenshots prove that was nothing more than a flattering mirror for you and your powerful pals: (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) (8) (9) (10) (11) (12) (13)

When you were done with, you bounced gracefully from a CNBC cable show that nobody watched to a vacuous column at the Washington Post that nobody read.

Tina Brown, you're done and can go home now. America's love for royalty has run out. We're locked in a brutal, endless war, up to our ears in debt, drugged up, burned out, preparing for the next Internet bubble to burst, and Diana isn't even a mote on our collective bloodshot eye anymore. Life isn't a party, nobody outside the media elite gives a damn about you or Diana, but that won't stop you. The usual book industry-style payola will surely keep your latest tome on the top of the bestseller charts.

You had a good run, Tina Brown. But we're not buying the fish you're selling today. I know you hate the Web and the whole idea of free conent. But if you really want to tell us, not sell us something, get over to YouTube and share your thoughts about Diana with us for free. Some of us with a great deal of time on our hands might even watch you and think that trashing a long-dead princess is a worthy project. Just don't ask us for $27.95 to bankroll it.

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Anti-Gilliard Blogger Impales Herself on Her Own Posts

No, Steve Gilliard didn't reach out from beyond the grave to "take out" a Blogger who posted racist remarks about Steve while cashing an ABC paycheck for WKRN, a radio station in Nashville, Tennessee. This person, whose name is Brittney Gilbert, reposted vicious remarks about Steve that I will not repeat here. While she did not write these words, she posted them without distancing herself from them, and in her farewell message, she side-stepped her own responsibility by blaming the Blogosphere and calling it "a mean place."

Let me tell you something, Brittney Gilbert. The Blogosphere isn't "a mean place;" it's just transparent. If you make an outrageous, indefensible statement, or repost same without putting it into the proper context, it will come back to haunt you. John Lennon called this "instant Karma" but I'm almost positive you've never heard of him. You can play the victim game all you want but unless you accept some personal responsibility here, you will continue to misunderstand this game and will likely repeat your mistake again and again.

This isn't a left vs. right wing thing, Ms. Gilbert. It's about the limits of acceptable discourse in a civil society. Believe it or not, there are actually ways you can express disagreement with a point without resorting to name-calling or epithets. Please try to find them, and remember: the Web isn't a consequence-free video game, regardless of which corporate logo you wear on your sweater.

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