Newsweek Blog, Kurtz Tangle Over Column

It appears Newsweek will not leave The Washington Post Company quietly. At least its Tumblr blog won't.

Editors of the online column took Howard Kurtz's Monday piece on Newsweek and its dire future, in his view, and edited with claims of inaccuracies and poor arguments.

The first graphs are below with Tumblr edits in bold:

Howard--saw your latest piece on Newsweek; our edits below. Best, N

While journalists get into the business for various reasons -- vicarious thrills, investigative zeal, outsize ego -- ultimately they're at the mercy of the marketplace.[ED-as opposed to who? Bricklayers? Florists? Bond traders? This lede is a pretty obvious cliché, Howard; pls rework] And that marketplace seems ['Seems' is pretty squishy. Has the marketplace sent a message or not?] to have sent a very discouraging message to Newsweek.

The edited verison ends this way:

With their silence, Post executives are playing by the cloistered rules of investment bank Allen & Co., apparently concerned that premature disclosure might spook some bidders. The result is a conventional wisdom, to use a phrase popularized by Newsweek, that the magazine smells like a loser. [Ah, the classic newsmagazine kicker, in which you sum up your case as if it were fact. Sadly, we don't buy it. This is a straw argument, and a thin one at that. It's true that things don't look good for Newsweek; only a fool would argue that this company's in great shape. But there's a lot of daylight between acknowledging that and claiming, as you do, that “the magazine smells like a loser,” especially if you provide very little evidence to back up your words. Please rework, and get back to us. Cheers, N].

Kurtz responded in an e-mail to me, stating: “It's sad that some folks at Newsweek have gotten so thin-skinned and defensive. I'm the one who broke through the lazy narrative by reporting there were more bidders that haven't been publicly identified. I want Newsweek to survive as much as anyone, but the hard truth is that the outlook is rather bleak, which is why stars like Mike Isikoff are bailing out.”

Not a happy family.