Adapting To A Market Change Is Not The Same As Killing People

from the equivalencies dept

What is it with people trying to equate changing markets to terrorism these days? First we had Andrew Keen trying to equate file sharing to the September 11th hijackers, and now Adam Thierer points us to Harold Meyerson of the Washington Post comparing Tribune Co. owner Sam Zell to a domestic terrorist from 1910 who set a bomb at the LA Times building, killing 21 employees. On what basis does Meyerson make this comparison? Because Zell recognizes that the traditional way the newspaper business worked isn't cutting it any more, and he's out to make changes. Some of those changes do involve cuts -- but if that's what it takes to survive (and thrive), then that's hardly the same as killing people. If Zell simply stays the course, and pretends that the old newspaper business model isn't going away, then he runs a much bigger risk: having the entire Tribune Co. fail. I would think that having him make some cuts here and there to adjust would be better than shutting down the whole damn thing -- and both of those scenarios are light-years better/different than killing people.

Filed Under: business models, equivalence, sam zell, terrorism
Companies: tribune company


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  • identicon
    Anonymous Poster, 12 Jun 2008 @ 8:57pm

    What's the best way to make someone look evil? Compare them to a killer, no matter how tenuous the connection truly is.

    Honestly, I'm surprised he didn't invoke Godwin's law and compare him to Hitler. After all, that's the sort of thing that would have been perfect -- I mean, Hitler was all about radical change (granted, he wanted to change the world through racial genocide, but still), and he took measures some people would look at as extreme in an attempt to enact said change.

    ...can I be a writer for the Washington Post now? I'm practically doing their job for them now.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 12 Jun 2008 @ 9:13pm

    "Because Zell recognizes that the traditional way the newspaper business worked isn't cutting it any more, and he's out to make changes."

    Zell is right on. Less news and more ads means more money. Now that is a business plan reflective of changing times.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    C Sense, 13 Jun 2008 @ 5:46am

    Confused...

    "Godwin's Law only applies to online forums."

    I beg to differ. Thats where it started, but the idea is that silly, bias induced arguments will regress to Hitler/Nazis. Although that is quickly being replaced by terrorists.

    Also, based on the article Mike linked to, I really don't see this as a positive adjustment; I think the author of the article was mostly spot on. Naturally the comparison to killing people is silly on many levels, but the measurement of a reporter turning into how much they write is not good for the news business at all, paper based or otherwise. This is similiar to how Ford used to measure its performance by how little it stopped the assembly line, which gave the motivation to let faults through and a worker to not stop the line at any cost. Toyota redefined that by measurement of how well the product was made with a smaller regard to quantity compared to quality.

    I think Zell is acting like-minded to Ford.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    John (profile), 13 Jun 2008 @ 2:33pm

    "What is it with people trying to equate changing markets to terrorism these days?"

    Isn't the answer obvious: it's to scare people and make an emotional impact.

    Like the above poster said, the reason file-sharing isn't compared to Hitler is because we have a more modern terror: September 11th. So, to make something (or anything) seem really evil, it has to be compared to 9/11.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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