Howard Bragman explains how the “metabolism of the media has gone “crazy.”
Question: How has media changed since you started? Bragman: The first change to understand is the speed. In the old days, if you had a crisis, you had a certain amount of time to respond to this crisis. You’d get a call from a journalist and you’d say, “We’re running this story,” and you talk to your team and you’d have a 24-hour news cycle, if you will, until you had to give a response. Today, I get a call from Harvey Levin at TMZ and says, “I’m running this story in 1 minute. Give me a response.” And so just the speed, the metabolism of the media has gone crazy. The second thing is journalistic standards. In this sad time, as we watched major newspapers go out of business, be for sale, lose their circulation, the one thing that’s really lost is journalistic standards and credibility. And a lot of people out there in this world disseminate in the news, particularly bloggers. Not all of them, some of them are great, don’t have journalistic standards, and they’re more interested in speed than accuracy. And when somebody’s inaccurate and they don’t care, it makes it really hard to overcome that with the truth, whereas if I talk to the New York Times and say, “That’s not true and I can prove it,” I can either get a correction or I can get him to stop running something. It’s not going to stop Perez Hilton. What am I … you know, the legal term is “judgment proof.” A lot of these bloggers living in their parents’ basement with a laptop and their boxer shorts, what am I taking, the laptop or the boxer shorts if I sue these guys.