You Know You Got it When You’re Going Insane

Norm Geras (who just celebrated his 6th blogging anniversary) points us to this hilariously annoying SPIEGEL interview with Wired editor Chris Anderson:

SPIEGEL: Mr. Anderson, let’s talk about the future of journalism.

Anderson: This is going to be a very annoying interview. I don’t use the word journalism.

SPIEGEL: Okay, how about newspapers? They are in deep trouble both in the United States and worldwide.

Anderson: Sorry, I don’t use the word media. I don’t use the word news. I don’t think that those words mean anything anymore. They defined publishing in the 20th century. Today, they are a barrier. They are standing in our way, like a horseless carriage.

SPIEGEL: Which other words would you use?

Anderson: There are no other words. We’re in one of those strange eras where the words of the last century don’t have meaning. What does news mean to you, when the vast majority of news is created by amateurs? Is news coming from a newspaper, or a news group or a friend? I just cannot come up with a definition for those words. Here at Wired, we stopped using them.

Anderson compounds his obnoxiousness, as Norm points out, by going on “to use all of the words ‘media’, ‘news’, ‘newspapers’ and ‘journalists.'”  Naturally.

Slightly apropos of the above, it occurred to me recently that the thesis of Anderson’s new book, Free, was stated more than thirty years ago by Ted Nugent:

Well I don’t know where they come from
But they sure do come
I hope they comin’ for me
And I don’t know how they do it
But they sure do it good
I hope they doin’ it for free

I’m guessing Nugent isn’t getting any royalties, however.

Word cloud via Alfred Hermida

FILED UNDER: Blogosphere, Media, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is a Security Studies professor at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Brent Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. He's a widower and father of two young daughers. He earned his PhD from The University of Alabama. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Does Anderson use the word “douche?”


  2. Steve Verdon says:

    SPIEGEL:Hang on a minute. So-called citizen journalists and bloggers have changed the meaning of “media.” But without the traditional news media they wouldn’t actually have much to do. Most of the amateurs comment on what the quality press report. So did you read a newspaper this morning?

    Anderson: No.

    SPIEGEL: Your local newspaper, the San Francisco Chronicle, is fighting for survival. If it was to disappear tomorrow …

    Anderson: … I wouldn’t notice. I don’t even know what I’d be missing.

    SPIEGEL: So how do you stay informed?

    Anderson: It comes to me in many ways: via Twitter, it shows up in my inbox, it shows up in my RSS base, through conversations. I don’t go out looking for it.

    SPIEGEL: You just don’t care.

    Anderson: No, I do care. You know, I pick my sources, and I trust my sources.

    This is like one of the aspects of a cargo cult, failure to realize the source of his twitters, RSS feeds, and such are the very things he claims don’t exist. Instead he gets his news magically from friends and these technological thingies that get them from the spirits in the ether.


  3. Steve Plunk says:

    Equus africanus asinus.


  4. Drew says:

    Mr Anderson may be suffering from cat scratch fever…..