September 8, 2009
The Atlantic Has a Good Month
I still have a soft spot for The Atlantic, the magazine that introduced me to, um, thinking. Certainly to the thrill of great journalism. It hasn’t always been as interesting in recent years (James Fallows provides an epic ongoing exception) but wow, this latest issue is really good:
A paean to Al Jazeera, the only cable TV network in the world that actually offers “a visually stunning, deeply reported description of developments in dozens upon dozens of countries simultaneously.”
Love this one: the myths that led media companies astray. Because, “[if] we take Netscape’s public offering in 1995 as the birth of the Internet era, on average over the next 10 years the biggest media conglomerates achieved less than a third of the returns available from the S&P as a whole. But even more telling is that these companies, as a group, had also underperformed the S&P for much of the previous decade, before the Internet upended their industry. Indeed, one aspect of the media business has remained largely unchanged for a generation: the lousy performance of its leading companies.”
And the cover story, a powerful piece by Andrew Sullivan, written as a letter to George W. Bush about torture and “absolute evil”—clear, descriptive, urgent.