Laid to rumor
Lay's death sends Wikipedia reeling
NEW YORK (Reuters) -- The death of former Enron Corp. chief Kenneth Lay on Wednesday underscored the challenges facing online encyclopedia Wikipedia, which as the news was breaking offered a variety of causes for his death. CNN
Here I thought the hooha was going to be that Ken Lay was the Angel, the secret partner, responsible for funding Wikipedia. Or, that the demise of Mr. Lay was a heartfelt blow to his secret lovers, all 13,000 of them, at the online encyclopedia.
But no, it's merely another instance of Print rushing to judge Online Media, without having the faintest clue of what is pertinent. Print thinks that because it is encased in matter and consigned to the morgue, that other media must be as well. Eternal standards we bear.
Print is experiencing Anxiety of Advertising. (CNN, for all its "multimedia" apparatus, is Print.)
In fact, the speedy turnaround of information spurting onto Wikipedia moments after word of Kenny Boy's death is exactly the sort of elated combination of wild guesswork and nasty gossip that occurs in every newsroom, every day, behind every story.
Someday Print, when it is no more, will comprehend that what is necessary to, what is wanted by, the sliver of public that still pays any attention to it at all, is that spirit of adventure, of uncertainty, of humor and wide-open calculi of possibilities that could only be captured if Print took off its leaden cloak and opened its editorial priestliness to the zingers its own people love and suppress every day, every way, for every Lay.