Tina Brown Slams Journalism, Says It's Having a ‘Very, Very Pathetic Moment’

Tina Brown Slams Journalism, Says It's Having a 'Very, Very Pathetic Moment'

“The digital explosion has been so explosive,” says the former Daily Beast editor

Tina Brown, outgoing editor of the Daily Beast and former editor of the New Yorker, Vanity Fair and Newsweek, doesn't even read magazines anymore — nor does she think too highly of journalism at all.

Brown told the audience of a THiNK conference in Goa, India on Friday that she is basically done with journalism, which she said is currently having a “very, very pathetic moment” and has turned into advertising in order to try to make a profit.

“Editorial outfits are now advertising agencies,” she scoffed, according to the Hindustan Times.

Also read: Daily Beast Will Continue Post-Tina Brown, Embrace Digital (Exclusive)

“The digital explosion has been so explosive,” she added. “There isn't a single place where the digital thing is a profit thing. The disruption hasn't brought a business model.”

Television isn't doing much for Brown, either. “TV is dead and now they are chasing a demographic they are never going to find,” she said, adding the televisions have become “an ugly piece of furniture.”

One business model she does think has potential is those live conferences, or “theatrical journalism” as she once put it, which she is leaving the Daily Beast to focus on exclusively with her new company, “Tina Brown Live Media.”

Also read: Tina Brown to Write Memoir Called ‘Media Beast’

We are “going back to oral culture where the written word will be less relevant,” she said. “I think you can have more satisfaction from live conversations.”

That's certainly the case for Brown: after her talk, she admitted that “the habit is gone” when it came to reading magazines.

A representative for Brown did not immediately respond to messages left by TheWrap.

  • jameswatt

    She easily could be talking about The Wrap and Deadline. So pathetic.

  • Trumbull Desi

    Pathetic, thy name is Tina Brown. I have one word for you … Newsweek.

    • kindness

      Tina does not have any mirrors in her home.

  • Stormtrooper

    Journalism is PATHETIC because no-one does any actual Journalism………they just repeat talking points for the liberal machine. If anyone or any publication actually practiced Journalism their ratings and readership would explode!

    • judi

      LIBERAL machine???? What universe do YOU live in????

      • Stormtrooper

        Well, what would you call it? Propaganda, branding, promoting, rooting for THE cause? Perfect example: Obama lies for over five years about Obamacare…….where was the media? It was in the bill, many GOP Senators and Congressmen sounded the alarm, the Tea Party was born…….and all the media could do was swoon and drool over their guy. Racists they said, cookoos they said, nut-job teabaggers they said……..well who's the fool now? Yes I say liberal machine……Joseph Goebbels would be proud.

        • lkt

          Just a clarification to your silly diatribe, the teabaggers were hatched in February 2009, a mere month into the President's first term….and well before the healthcare law was even developed. Now, carry on.

    • G Howell

      I'd say it's pathetic because it just repeats talking points for the CONSERVATIVE machine!! Where's the outrage and media reports that we have 40 more Republicans in the House than Democrats even though the Democrats won the popular vote? I'd like to see media reports questioning if we really live in a democracy any more! Where are the reports about the massive shift of money into the hands of the extremely wealthy in this country over the past thirty years? Where are the media reports and outrage about hard working down and out people who don't have enough money for health care? (I'm a physician and I'll tell you there are lots of people who are like this in addition to all the BS “takers” that we also see in emergency departments.) How on earth does Fox “News” even exist with all of it's biased reports? (Talk about repeating talking points!! That's all those guys do for anyone who is a registered Republican!) There is no station that always reports Democratic talking points as God's own truth like Fox does for the Republicans! All the other outlets give a “balanced” report with the center being quite far to the right.

      All that said, what I'd like to really see is some good reporting about how human beings and Americans are very similar. Who wants more taxes? No one. Who wants hard working people to be living below the poverty level without access to health care? No one. Who wants bums and druggies to get free handouts from the government? No one. Who wants the government to have control over our personal lives and decisions? No one. (When I say no one, I mean almost no one: politicians certainly seem to take stances on these issues one way or the other.) Who wants see our middle class disappear and the extremely wealthy to get wealthier? Hopefully, no one. Instead, our media continues to help divide this country into two camps (insisting that we all, in the great melting pot of the USA, are so different)

      and there's massive fighting and no compromise in our government and nothing is getting done. (Personally, I'm pretty pissed that the one thing that apparently did get done–health care “reform”–was done so pathetically.)

      If I could talk to Tina Brown, I'd tell her the LAST thing we need is more talk. I don't want to hear peoples’ opinions!! I want to hear the news done by Walter Cronkite in the sixties without influence from money or politicians.

    • TalkingMoose

      The real trouble with journalism: look in the mirror. You see reporting with which you don't agree: CONSPIRACY! It's the OTHER SIDE! Partisans wouldn't know the center if there were a big X painted there. They'd say it was a LIBERAL/CONSERVATIVE conspiracy who moved the X.

      And so, media outlets (specifically their advertisers) play on the partisan conflict to drum up ratings. One outlet blames the other and attracts supporters who want to believe what they're saying. The other counters the first and attracts supporters from the other side. Mind you, no actual information is being transmitted because each side is only saying whatever their supporters already believe, but the fight is great for ratings and the advertisers love it.

      You want real journalism again? Both sides need to open their eyes and pull their heads out of the not-so-sunny place behind them. News isn't partisan. News makes each side look bad sometimes, and good at other times. News INFORMS.

      E.g., Obamacare is the law of the land and it's going into effect. What better serves the public: a lot of partisan wrangling about how bad it is or how it's getting fixed, or reports that tell people how then can enroll and what kinds of options are available to them?

      The former does noting of benefit to the consumer, but is great for ratings. The latter helps people, but isn't controversial so isn't a ratings juggernaut. But who should the news serve: the people or the advertisers?

      • Stormtrooper

        Had there been real journalism in the first place, we wouldn't have Obamacare to begin with. You obviously slanted the left so any argument I make about real journalism is going to be skewed in your opinion. It's a blatantly obvious fact that the mainstream media in this country favors the left favors the Democrats etc. with maybe one exception FOXNews and even that's questionable. I don't want partisan anything, I want the truth, that's simple, but that story we,il never get it not from the media

  • annalee123

    These so called journalist work for corporate bosses who do not give a crap about journalism.
    These greedy, rich old white men have only money and power in their reality.
    Journalist like chuck todd etc. disgrace the Fourth Estate.
    Evil anti-Government terrorist like the tparty maintain relevance only due to the msm and lazy, ignorant journalist who are infected by the Peter Principle.
    These so called journalist only existing because the public allows it.

  • SteveSmith

    She could be talking about her own career.

  • TDOhio

    This is rich. Tina almost brought the New Yorker down. Failing that she went to Newsweek and was successful in destroying that magazine, and is now leaving the Daily Beast. Ironically, she is right journalism today is pathetic — problem is she contributed, big time to the mess she now is complaining about. And with the Integrity of a Dick Cheney —- she will now go into advertising to make a buck! Priceless.

    • http://www.jackejett.com/ Jack E. Jett

      Wait till you see how low she has brought The Daily Beast down.
      It has become extremist from AIPAC LOBBY and Drudge and the insane ghost of Andy Brietbart. Tina has made it clear she HATES America and is all about the ALL MIGHT ISRAEL.
      My hope is that she will return to Israel and start up another POS there. They deserve her. We don't. We just trained her and she just spit back at us.

      • TinaBrownNoser

        Nice people saying nice things.

  • Mouche

    Considering that she is one of the people responsible for the demise, I'd say she has a lot of nerve.

  • http://www.jackejett.com/ Jack E. Jett

    Just to be very clear as a long time fan of Tina Brown and someone who started reading The Daily Beast from day one. I understood it was going to be an actual fair and balanced blog that would not cater to one particular party.
    And it was for about 10 minutes. Then it became clear by the Right Wing Hasbeen writers and even some even more moronic Hasbeen hasbeen's. that this was going to be a blog for ISRAEL FIRSTER'S with as much bigotry towards Islam and the Muslim world as possible. Some of the vile hate speech would even be hard to find on Brietbart or Drugde.
    Now, with war mongers like Eli Lake and David Frum and Stewie “sour grapes” Stevens from Mittens, they have been on the NON stop Obama bashing that is repetitive without an ounce of the upside of the ACT part of the Affordable Care act and NOt just the website.
    That said, Tina Browns has had every ounce of cool and compassion sucked right out of her. Now she can be thought of a little Sarah Palin & Ann Coulter.
    It is not the place to go to if you are not gung ho on supporting a war with IRAN, SYRIA, RUSSIA, and whoever Bibi is pissed off at the moment.
    Save you time. Tina's in the Toilet.

  • newsy1

    I agree that journalism is pathetic but as others have said here she was a big contributor to the downfall of what used to be prestigious news magazines. Where does she get off acting like she was some innocent bystander? Oh right, she did stand by doing nothing to elevate the profession of journalism. Part of the problem not the solution.

    • D Rant

      With or without her, they're all having a downfall.

  • David Segal

    Journalism has not existed in the true sense of the word for decades and the exceptions are few and far between.

  • http://www.jackejett.com/ Jack E. Jett

    This hag/broad is so hypocritically blind she fails to see SHE is the worst part of the scumification of journalism.
    She has singlehandedly LIED by creating a blog that she called open and bipartisan YET QUICKLY turned it into a propaganda outlet for ISRAELI FIRSTERS.
    It take one looks to see she is attempting the fill the (unnecessary) gap left by Breitbart.
    It is the only site on the Internet where you can be openly called an anti-Semite for complaining about a production of Fiddler on the Roof.
    And what sort of person concerned about journalism hires David Frum or the sourest sour grapes writer Stu Stevens, the ultimate looser from Mittens Romney.
    it is a great place for gentiles who enjoy emotional S&M to hang out.

  • tim hogan

    When media outlets give credibility to some insane and
    absurd person or source by repeating what they say ad nauseam, I call the
    creation of credibility where there is none an instance of “press
    pornography” or “press porn.” Press porn is where continual
    voice is given to those which manufacture false controversies or make
    statements so far beyond the pale that merely repeating them is a mortal sin
    against the First Amendment.

    Current recipients of press porn coverage include (but, are
    not limited to) Holocaust deniers, science deniers, climate change deniers, Ted
    Cruz, Dick Cheney, Sarah Palin, Glenn Beck, Allan West, and anything from

    The only reason to continually publish such obscenity is to
    appeal to the prurient interests of sick editors who haven’t a clue what real
    news is. If we give a smidgen of the benefit of the doubt to the editorial purveyors of press porn, perhaps they are suffering under the delusion that giving voice to the conflict pornographic views of some is required under an idiot idea of “fairness.”

    Forget “fairness,” it has no application to allowing regular coverage to hatred, bigotry, racism, sexism, ageism, xenophobia or homophobia as though these viewpoints have legitimacy in our national lexicon. Maybe put the press porn in a separate pay-for-viewing section of the content or under a separate login so we all don’t have to be exposed to such obscenity.

  • feet_ontheground

    Quite true. It used to be that I could avoid most ridiculous news by avoiding tabloid magazines and the national enquirer. Now most news has become more like the national enquirer… soap opera sensationalism, entertainment, and very little substance.

  • Toxic-Avenger

    “Journalism is printing what someone else does not want printed: everything else is public relations.”

    - George Orwell

  • D Rant

    She's right. TV and journalism are worthless, and the television is really an ugly piece of furniture. Only stupid people and old people still watch television, and most main stream media are finally recognizing they're irrelevant.