Jack Shafer, newly jobless media critic: ‘I was thinking of becoming an alcoholic.’

Joe Pompeo

"I was thinking of becoming an alcoholic. Because one of the things I've always prided myself in, in these first 59 years of my life, is being a controlled drinker. I think now is the time to throw off the training wheels, and see if maybe in the last decade and a half of my life, I can be an accomplished, functional alcoholic. And that's starting tonight. I'm just drinking some cheap red. Some cheap, Argentinian Malbec. Because it's one thing to be an alcoholic, it's another thing to be a bankrupt alcoholic. So you have to drink the cheap stuff."

--Jack Shafer, seemingly taking being laid off from Slate after 15 years in stride, to Adweek's Dylan Byers.

"There used to be media critics at damn near every big newspaper in America! No mas. Why the decline of this 'proud' field? Well, for one thing, like politics, the media is a topic on which every asshole has an opinion, and those opinions are now more easily distributed than ever. So paying for a full time media critic can seem superfluous. Also—and don't tell this to anyone who works in the media—media criticism is a very niche thing. It does not have a popular audience. It has a niche audience, like every other trade magazine-type beat. The only people who think media news is big news are media people. And they control the media! Which is why media news tends to remain visible despite the public's generally weak interest in it."

--Meanwhile, Gawker's Hamilton Nolan explains the "Twilight of the Media Critics."