Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

When Barry Met Tim, and Jon and Rupert

060509atdfoundersNew York’s Internet Week was a relentless, exhausting gauntlet of parties, attended by the same group of Webby hustlers, who gripped, grinned and gulped down drinks and snacks, night after night.

It was great!

And it finished off in style last night with an excellent bash featuring all of the same players, plus their bosses, on a rooftop garden in midtown Manhattan’s Rockefeller Center. The Founders Club, which really isn’t a club at all but a recurring high-end digital media schmooze, hosted the event and made sure it was populated with plenty of bold-faced names.

Among them: News Corp. (NWS) CEO Rupert Murdoch; IAC (IACI) CEO Barry Diller; Tim Armstrong, the former Google (GOOG) exec now running Time Warner’s AOL (TWX); Jon Miller, News Corp.’s newly appointed chief digital officer; NBC Universal CEO Jeff Zucker and several of his employees, including Jimmy Fallon.

More on Jimmy later. But here’s a clip of Diller introducing Armstrong and Miller to the crowd, featuring a brief cameo by Murdoch, who used to be Diller’s boss and is currently Miller’s boss. (And mine, too, since News Corp. owns Dow Jones, which owns this site). Apologies in advance for the Blair Witch camera work and the muted volume, which you’ll need to turn up in order to hear the speakers.

But I do think they’re worth listening to, particularly when Diller describes the old days, when a handful of companies in New York and Los Angeles controlled the media landscape. Now, Diller notes, “anybody who has a keyboard and a send button, can publish to the world, and that is an extraordinary change.” I think he was trying to say that this was a good thing, but to me it sounds a bit like a bittersweet eulogy.


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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik