Conrad Black Is My Hero

Jul 26, 10 | 6:27 AM   byMichael Wolff

Conrad Black is out of jail. He’s back in Palm Beach, out on bail—paid for by his friend and fellow conservative Roger Hertog—because the Supreme Court has ruled that he, along with other various abominated businessmen (including former Enron CEO Jeffrey Skilling), was convicted under a way-too-vague law. Black, who ran one of the world’s largest and most influential newspaper empires (the Telegraph in London, the Jerusalem Post, the Chicago Sun-Times), has no assets and faces many civil suits; even the Palm Beach house, which he once owned,...
Keep Reading >>

Facebook: Do We Like What We See in the Mirror?

Jul 23, 10 | 7:58 AM   byMichael Wolff

Who isn’t on Facebook? The 500 million-worldwide-users milestone, reached the other day , means you are a much more curious and notable person for not using the service. Seventy percent of Facebook’s users, according to the company, are outside the US, so that’s 150 million here, almost exactly half the country. With people over 65 making up 12% of the nation and people under the age of 13 almost as many, and if you subtract people without computers or high-speed internet access, people with IQs under 90, and those in prison, there are probably 15 million to 30 million...
Keep Reading >>

Who Knows More: Steve Jobs or Woody Allen?

Jul 22, 10 | 7:55 AM   byMichael Wolff

Woody Allen doesn’t use a computer. This doesn’t seem credible. But in a brief interview in yesterday's New York Times, Woody points this out and then says, bolstering his I-know-nothing-about-any-of-this-including-the-most-basic-terminology bona fides, that he doesn’t use a word processor either, as though people still do. For many years, Woody has had a correspondence—a you-write-me-letters-and-a-few-weeks-later-I-write-you-back correspondence—with a friend of mine and, on occasion, I’ve been able to examine the paper and his typewriter’s...
Keep Reading >>

It’s Not Just the Girl With the Dragon Tattoo

Jul 21, 10 | 7:59 AM   byMichael Wolff

Among the things that the wretched hot weather means in my neighborhood in New York—the East Village—is more tattoos. If it’s been clear for some time that tattoos are a commonplace fashion, only in this heatwave have I become aware that actually everybody in a seemingly wide demographic has a tattoo, and many have quilts of them. What’s it mean, this body wallpaper? Seriously. Do these people have jobs? Do they have children? Can they have children? Is there a different mortality rate among people with lots and lots of tattoos? Do you become a vessel for all that ink...
Keep Reading >>

The Senate? Newsweek? Can’t Liberals Do Anything Right?

Jul 20, 10 | 8:04 AM   byMichael Wolff

Jonathan Alter, dying Newsweek’s Obama chronicler, vociferously protested my you-don’t-need-a-weatherman conclusion last week about it looking as though the Democrats could lose the Senate. “No, it’s not,” said Alter, who finds my sometimes impressionistic methods of characterizing the news to be outré and not of his class, in a harrumphing tweet. “GOPs don’t even think so. Try reporting, Michael. It helps.” With hardly time to take a breath, the Wall Street Journal rushed in yesterday to make the case and codify the...
Keep Reading >>

Is There Anything That Can Trip Up Steve Jobs (Except the Grim Reaper)?

Jul 19, 10 | 7:59 AM   byMichael Wolff

Apple got caught. It’s hard to be more caught. Consumer Reports conclusions —so awfully judicious, thorough, and boring—tend to be inescapable. Little doubt then: There’s a design flaw in the damn iPhone which drops even more calls. (I say more because irrespective of this design flaw, the iPhone loses calls at a fantastic and infuriating rate . This seems due to the ineptness of AT&T—although if you call AT&T they will invariably blame it on the instrument and suggest you call Apple.) But in a bravura demonstration of stonewalling, righteousness,...
Keep Reading >>

Are These the Last Days of Barack Obama?

Jul 16, 10 | 7:57 AM   byMichael Wolff

Eighteen months in, the Obama presidency is in as dreadful shape as one can imagine. He’ll almost certainly lose the House in the fall elections; and now it’s looking like he could lose the theoretically impregnable Democratic majority in the Senate. What’s more, he has, to an astonishing degree, been unable to communicate even the remotest sense of who he is to the nation: a middle-of-the-roader, by any estimation, and yet a majority of the country thinks he’s a “socialist.” In the summer before his election, Obama had a secret meeting with that dark master...
Keep Reading >>

Buying Your Way Into Politics: Is it Worth It?

Jul 15, 10 | 7:58 AM   byMichael Wolff

Why are so many rich people running for office? They can afford to—and the more money they can pay per vote means the better chance they’ll have of getting elected. And the courts are siding with the richies, making it ever easier for them to spend what they want, and ever more difficult for the unrich to catch up. A federal court just ruled against Connecticut’s campaign finance law, which gave extra public funds to candidates running against opponents who opted out of the campaign finance system and its limits. So why not? The rich are buying what they want. But why would...
Keep Reading >>

What’s Really Going on Behind Murdoch’s Paywall?

Jul 14, 10 | 5:14 AM   byMichael Wolff

Rupert Murdoch is trying to make news at the Times and Sunday Times in London—but he’s not reporting on it. Will his paywall work is the biggest story in the media business, and it would be quite a journalistic coup to document the progress, or lack thereof, that’s being made in trying to convince a skeptical world to shell out 2£ ($3) a week for what’s heretofore been free. He is not reporting on himself because even less than most news outlets, Murdoch outlets have no objective sense when it comes to their own interests (or the boss’s...
Keep Reading >>

Sports Illustrated Makes It Into the Future—Sort Of

Jul 13, 10 | 7:42 AM   byMichael Wolff

So Time Warner decides, at long last, that its magazine company, and, specifically, its magazine, Sports Illustrated, can’t run a website, and so turns it over to some cable television sports marketers in its Turner Broadcast division to see if they can do it. This is actually quite big news. First of all, it’s a major political and territorial loss for the magazine group, as well as a nasty brand bitch-slap. But it’s also a potentially transformative development in which it is formally recognized that doing what you do in one medium does not particularly qualify...
Keep Reading >>
More: << Prev  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 ... 47  Next >>
Oct 20, 10 | 1:52 PM

I Have an Afghanistan Solution

Oct 19, 10 | 9:28 AM

The War in Afghanistan Is Over

Oct 14, 10 | 10:22 AM

How to Tax the Rich

Oct 6, 10 | 8:54 AM

Founding Fathers Version 2.0

Sep 30, 10 | 11:40 AM

Here's Why Google Needs To Buy Twitter Immediately


OFF THE GRID is about why the news is the news. Here are the real motivations of both media and newsmakers. Here's the backstory. This is a look at the inner workings of desperate media, the inner life of the publicity crazed, and the true meaning of the news of the day.