Newspaper columnists just don't have as much influence as they used to

What is likely to amaze younger theatergoers — living, as many do, in a world of bloggers and anonymous critics and a fractured, often ideologically driven journalism — is that journalists ever had that kind of authority. But the great columnists of the postwar generation did. Their columns were part of the weaponry of policymaking, and they themselves were powerbrokers…

But Auburn, who is a voracious reader of blogs, also said that one of the things he really likes about the blogosphere is “the incredible diversity of opinion. Many of the people I read are not journalists,” he said. “But they sometimes have amazing knowledge and depth.”

I have to agree. It would be heady, certainly, if I could call the president and insist that he try my ideas. And I imagine that my life would be quite pleasant if I could write from the mountaintop the way Joe Alsop did. Instead, I’m just one voice among many. We’re all better off for that being the case.

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