This whole media survival-of-the-fittest thing must be getting to the Times, by the looks of the fight they’ve picked with the young upstart Politico. In a New Republic story released yesterday, Times executive editor Bill Keller dismissed some of Politico’s bigger “scooplets” — breaking, original, but often superficial news items that thrive on attention from Drudge and cable news — during the election season. See, the Times doesn’t do scooplets.
“If you hadn’t reminded me, I couldn’t have told you who broke the seven houses and the six-figure wardrobe budget. … Politico has focused on an inside game. I’m not sure if it translates to an outside game. I’m not sure how they get scale, and, if they don’t, I’m not sure what the business model is.”
Today, Politico’s John Harris responds that he’s not surprised by Keller’s shots, because the two have “placed starkly different bets about the future of the news media and what type of journalistic and business models will prosper in the years ahead.” In other words, your model is wrong, ours is right, and you should be freaking out. Oh, and as for those stupid little scooplets? Harris contends that “the fact that Politico stories have been cited by the Times, in its paper version, on more than 100 occasions suggests we may be doing something right.”