Can’t Keep this Man Down
After only four months at the Wall Street Journal, Farhad Manjoo has jumped ship to the New York Times. After leaving Slate, where he worked for 5 years, he will take over David Pogue’s former position at the Times. Pogue left the NYT for Yahoo.
For those of us who follow consumer electronics, this is a sad day. While Manjoo is a fine writer, he doubles as a pitchman for some of the of the country’s most despised companies. It was last year that he wrote a long form piece for Fast Company magazine extolling the virtues of Wal-Mart’s move into the digital arena. Wal-Mart, really?, how much did they pay the magazine, and in turn Manjoo to write that dump of an article. After that, I became suspicious of Manjoo, and read his articles with a grain of salt.
Last week, my suspicions were confirmed when Manjoo decided to pitch Comcast’s internet bundles and deride “cord cutting.” First Wal-Mart and now Comcast! Who is this guy, a pitchman for the country’s most repressive companies? Those companies that would eliminate net neutrality and only allow content to the highest bidder.
Additionally, the timing of this article could not be more beneficial for Comcast. This article comes as Comcast is attempting to buy Time Warner cable* and is [rightly] running in anti-trust issues with the feds. It makes sense that Manjoo is such hot commodity, after all, how much does one have to pay to catch a little sympathy from the old gray lady? [Answer: A lot]. If everything he writes can be sold to the highest bidders, than he can essentially mint his own money, or as the NYT sees it, mint money for the paper.
*As a side note, is it not absolutely crazy that Comcast bought TimeWarner for $45B and Facebook bought WhatsApp for $19B. TimeWarner is a fully monetized cable company with a real product and WhatsApp’s essential feature, and appeal to customers, is its complete lack of revenue model. Heck, it doesn’t even collect your data.