Saturday, December 4, 2010

Leaks of the Times

Now that the webtubes are leaking, I’ve been wondering how The New York Times will react when its internal deliberations are leaked, not to mention its confidential communications with governments, corporations, NGOs and, above all, with the Secret Council of Rulers, Oligarchs, Hegemons, Fat Cats and Big Cheeses. No, I don’t actually know that WikiLeaks is about to blow a gasket on the Grey Lady. I’ve got no confidential information, nor even intimations of such.

I’m just thinking.

We know that much of the leak-worthy information they’ve got is from the info-sumps of private corporations. We’ve been promised a major bank early next year – rumor suggests the Bank of America. Do they have info-bilge on a major media organization? The Walt Disney Company is the largest, with News Corporation, Time Warner, and Viacom behind it (see the Wikipedia article on media ownership). Considered as a money machine, the New York Times Company isn’t in that league, But its flagship property, The New York Times, prides itself on being ‘the paper of record.’

Well, who chooses the record? Who's spinning the platter?

It’s not you and me, that’s for sure.

If WikiLeaks, or a clone, were to release Times-Confidential into the web, would the Grey Lady cover it? She’d have to, no? Would she cover it straight? Could she afford not to? Who’d she being playing to? The hands that crank the platter, or those who listen to the music? What happens if people stop listening? Then the crank won’t turn news into profits, will it?


  1. The way Al-Jazeera dealt with the latest round of leaks might be instructive; they downplayed the stuff that made Arab leaders look like corrupt stooges, but couldn't ignore it because other media networks were covering it.

  2. Thanks for the heads up.

    Yes, it's THAT kind of problem. Very tricky, doing all this in public.