Dorks, Vice, and the Comeback of Real Reporting

Why the future of journalism is the NY Times & Washington Post (and definitely not Vice)

Thoughts from comedian/author Matt Ruby. Want more? Sign up here to get my newsletter.

Remember when everyone was saying Vice is the future of news? Please. The NY Times and the Washington Post are bringing this administration down one story at a time because they’re real journalists doing real reporting.

Y’know, the kind of reporting that is the opposite of cool. It’s drudgery and years of building contacts and working a beat until you know it inside out. It’s David Fahrenthold spending nine months ferreting through Trump news clippings, public statements, and tax filings and then calling 325 charities until he finds the dirt on that 325th call.

Meanwhile, Vice gives us a 22yo wannabe DJ with weird facial hair dropping in with a camera crew to some exotic locale for a weekend in order to tell us in a sotto voce slacker voice how sweatshops/slavery/pollution is bad. No duh. (That Dronez ep of Documentary Now and the David Carr visits Vice scene in the NY Times doc both nail this beautifully.)

David Carr: “Just because you put on a safari helmet and looked at some poop…”

Real news isn’t hip. It’s painfully dorky. So thanks to the real reporter dorks who are saving us right now.

And anti-thanks to Vice for 1) using the mask of hipsterdom to enrich Rupert Murdoch, 2) monetizing Brooklyn cool while evicting rock clubs and art spaces, and 3) helping transform north Williamsburg into the Meatpacking District of Brooklyn.

Photo illustration of David Fahrenthold by Bill O’Leary/The Washington Post.

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