In a long-scheduled interview, NEWSWEEK editor Jon Meacham appeared on The Daily Show last night, just hours after The Washington Post Company announced it was putting the magazine up for sale. Meacham had originally been scheduled to discuss his new PBS show Need to Know, but the conversation instead centered around the plight and future of NEWSWEEK and the magazine business in general. The biggest laugh of the night came after Meacham offered a detailed history of The Economist, when host Jon Stewart said Meacham was "like a personal Wikipedia." "That's going to be good, because I'm looking for work," Meacham quipped.
But he also offered a passionate defense of traditional media outlets and reporting, citing several recent stories in the magazine as evidence. "I do not believe that NEWSWEEK is the only catcher in the rye between democracy and ignorance, but I think we're one of them, and I don't think there are that many on the edge of that cliff," he said. "It's a serious day for everybody, not to be grandiose about it, but everybody who cares about journalism that is enterprise journalism."