We saw what was happening for years, for decades, but we ignored it or shrugged it off, preferring to imagine that we weren’t really headed over the falls. The U.S. auto industry has been in deep trouble for more than a quarter-century. The median household income has been steadily declining this century … but, but, but our houses and our 401(k)s were ballooning in value, right? Even smart, proudly rational people engaged in magical thinking, acting as if the new power of the Internet and its New Economy would miraculously make everything copacetic again. We all clapped our hands and believed in fairies.
But the creators of Inside.com, an entertainment and media Web site that debuts in the next week, are hardly penniless geeks. The founders—former Spy and New York magazine editor Kurt Andersen, ex- Spin editor Michael Hirschorn and former Brill’s Content publisher Deanna Brown—have met this morning with their Wall Street investors, who are bankrolling the fledgling operation to the tune of $28 million. Raising the money in this e-biz age, says Andersen, is as easy “as getting laid in 1969.”