The media, at times, feels like the world, or at least feels like it controls how pretty much everyone sees, views, experiences the world. It is, then, understandable, in a way, that many of those who run the media, who own and direct the ever-larger, ever-more ambitious, ever-more capable corporations, feel that they are, unambiguously and unironically, at the centre of how the world works here at the beginning of a new century. The brilliance and panache and inventiveness (and hubris) of these titans is breathtaking from afar, when seen through the lens of news (a lens they usually themselves own, of course). But, up close and personal, by all the gods, has anyone seen their like before? Michael Wolff has spent his adult life as close to the titans as it's possible to get. He even tried to be a mini-titan for a while there. He knows Rupert (Murdoch) and Barry (Diller) and Jean-Marie (Messier) and Steve (Ross) and Ted (Turner). He knows what they want, what fuels their appetites, what they can and can't see when they look in the mirror (or the financial pages). And he tells us all he knows, in this how-the-hell-can-this-world-survive report from the frontlines of an industry that, every month now, has to reinvent itself and rebuild the foundations on which it towers up - lest it all comes crashing down around us.
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Michael Wolff is a US National Magazine Award winner and two-time nominee. He is the author of the US best-seller Burn Rate, amongst other books. Hismedia journalism also appears regularly in the Guardian. He lives in New York City with his wife and three children.From Publishers Weekly:
Michael Wolff. Harper Business, $25 (272p) ISBN 0-06-662113-5When the Internet boom began, Wolff set out to make a fortune and wound up with a bestselling memoir chronicling his failure (Burn Rate). Successfully reinventing himself as an industry pundit, most notably for New York magazine, he's reached the point where, as he boasts here, "[I]f there was a media party, I'd be invited to it." (He can even produce a guest list as proof.) This book centers on one such party: an industry conference where he's enlisted to interview Rupert Murdoch. Onto this foundation he piles digression after digression until he has offered up a catty remark about just about every major player in the media biz. Thus "gray and corpulent" Fox News head Roger Ailes is "one of the great creepy figures of the age," and even Walter Isaacson, acknowledged as the "fantasy life" figure for journalists of the author's generation, is eventually skewered as "the most self-important person in [his] class at Harvard." All this heel-nipping serves as anecdotal support for Wolff's contention that the industry is a chain of con games in which the last domino is about to fall and Wolff is the only one brave enough to say so. Eventually, every topic returns to the subject of the author as industry outsider, with other people existing so that he might have opinions of them. A thin veneer of self-effacement does nothing to blunt the tremendous display of ego slathered over this superficial analysis.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Book Description Flamingo, 2004. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # 7178816