BLOGGED OUT: It’s hard to make fun of bloggers when they’re so quick to make fun of themselves. Ana Marie Cox, who edits the political gossip Web site Wonkette, got quite a few laughs by disparaging her chosen profession at a Wednesday morning panel discussion on blogging sponsored by Condé Nast (parent of WWD) and Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications. “Blogging is ridiculously easy to do,” Cox told an audience of media big shots, including Norman Pearlstine, Nora Ephron and Hendrik Hertzberg. “My cat could do it. Most of all human endeavor — call it 99 percent — is crap. That also applies to blogs. Most of them [seem to be] written by cats, or about cats, or about knitting or militias.” Cox also said the stereotype of bloggers spending all day in their pajamas was “mostly true, unfortunately.”
After bloggers themselves, the next most popular target was The New York Times. Insisting that Web users demand a high degree of accuracy from news sites, Weblogs Inc. founder Jason McCabe Calcanis said, “The second you make a mistake, it’s boom, boom, boom, boom, ‘You idiot.’ It’s brutal. The writers at The New York Times wouldn’t be able to handle it.”
Calcanis also derided the paper’s new premium content service, Times Select, suggesting it would only drive more traffic, and advertising, to free opinion sites. “Please put more things behind the firewall,” he urged. “Really, keep doing it.”
Cox agreed. “There’s such a cottage industry of critiquing Times columnists, you don’t actually have to read them anymore. There’s IdisagreewithMaureenDowd.com. That’s a real Web site.”
— Jeff Bercovici
MANY HANDS: Elle Décor’s staff will put out two more issues this year than last, and now they’ve got some extra bodies to help do it. Editor in chief Margaret Russell said she had hired Julie V. Iovine, a senior reporter for The New York Times’ House & Home section, to be features director, and freelancer Vicky Lowry, whose job history includes being fashion features director at Vogue, as senior editor. Russell is also promoting current features director Michael Boodro, another Vogue veteran and former editor in chief of Garden Design, to be executive editor. Of the new appointments, Russell said, “They understand the intersection where fashion and home furnishings meet.”
This story first appeared in the September 29, 2005 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
MOSS HITS THE AIRWAVES: Kate Moss‘ cocaine scandal will soon be writ large on U.K. television screens. A documentary, “Kate Moss: Fashion Victim?” will be screened Monday on the Rupert Murdoch-owned Sky One. A Sky One spokesman said the show will air video footage showing Moss allegedly taking cocaine. It is the same footage the Daily Mirror published two weeks ago when it broke the story. “[The video] will be shown as part of a balanced documentary which will try to examine the issues around the incident,” said the spokesman. He declined to comment on whether Sky One had bought the video from the Daily Mirror, but confirmed the footage and the Mirror’s pictures came from the same undercover source. Meanwhile, Sarah Doukas, Moss’ agent, told The Times of London on Tuesday that Moss was all set to sign a deal with an unnamed “blue chip” perfume company, but declined to provide further details.
— Nina Jones