Tatiana Talks

Open Letter to Ben Affleck

Dear Ben,

I saw you on the Today Show this morning, and while I will say you looked great and the new film looks interesting, I have no idea why you had to blame me for the downfall of newspapers and good journalism.

You know I went to journalism school, right? Bloggers and the Internet aren’t destroying the newspaper and it just really hurt to hear you accuse me (us) like that.

It reminded me of the time recently when Gigi and I were out. After bumping around the Gay-borhood, Gigi and I decided we wanted to call it a night after one last stop at Parc. I know, it is a bit out of the way, but Gigi hadn’t been yet.

I was immediately suspect of the crowd. A lot of people overdressed as if they had just come from a wedding across the park. Still, we ordered some special drink that I can’t remember but I do remember thinking it would make a better brunch cocktail than a nightcap.

Anyway, we were taking in the ambiance when some 610er started complaining about all the “yuppies” in the bar and the cost of his beer because he was in Center City. Umm, excuse me DB, but your beer isn’t expensive because you are in Center City, it is expensive because you are in a Stephen Starr bar. Walk a block and I assure you you will be able to find your Miller Lite reasonably priced. Or better yet, get into your car, jump back on the blue route and drink in your own neighborhood.

Sensing my growing frustration at said 610er, Gigi suggested we move. Unfortunately neither of realized we were jumping from the frying pan and into the fire. We weren’t even settled into our new location when four guys on my right and an old man on my left all tried talking to us at once.

The old man was impeccably dressed in a very expensive-looking suit and camel coat. But this wasn’t why we choose to talk to him. The four guys on my right were wasted and kept repeating their introductions. So, we learned from Pop-Pop that he was three-times divorced, never getting married again and in Internet advertising. Gigi told him she worked for a magazine and he told her (are you ready for this Ben?) that it’s a shame, since the Internet is replacing magazines and soon she won’t have a job.

Whaaat? Pop-Pop, I am not sure what it was like back in your day, but in 2009 it is never a good idea to insult the profession of the girl you are trying to pick-up. Just sayin’.

Anyway, back to my point, Ben, I know you know where Gigi works, and we both know her magazine isn't going anywhere. Most magazines aren’t. It is still a cheap thrill to buy a magazine and page through it while sitting in a park or on the beach or next to a pool or hell, even on your couch. And right now, everyone is looking for a cheap thrill.

I think people feel the same way about the newspaper. Maybe not the daily, but certainly the Sunday paper. I know I look forward to my morning tea and tearing apart the Sunday Inquirer. No, not online, but the physical paper.

So maybe newspapers need to figure out a way to parlay that behavior into subscription dollars. Maybe they should stop offering their online content for free and instead offer Sunday subscriptions along with online access during the week? New media has always been a struggle for old media, but old media adapts and changes and goes on. I mean when TV came along everyone said radio was doomed. But it wasn’t, it just changed.

But what do I know. I am just a silly blogger that is ruining journalism.

Oh, and before you go dismissing this as just unresolved anger because you didn’t ask me to be Seraphina’s godmother, I assure that is not what this is.

Give my love to Jennifer and the girls.