Monday, January 12, 2009

All The News That's Fit To Go Away

In December we wrote about a prediction that the NYTimes would go under in 2009 and the pieces would be swept up into a tidy pile by Rupert's News Corp. After their treachery this past weekend it can't happen fast enough to suit me.

Meanwhile the WSJ is reporting this morning that the Seattle Post-Intelligencer is going under. The P-I is owned by Hearst and they're trying to sell it by the end of this quarter but, really, how many idiots are out there that would buy a failing newsprint operator in a 2-paper town? It's toast. I'd give 'em more money for the sign on the building than the whole freaking libtrash newspaper.

The more interesting part of the story to me is that Hearst's San Francisco Chronicle is losing $1 Million per week! Hey, I'm sure they're making it up in volume, volume, volume. I lived for quite a while in the SF Bay Area and tried to never give a dime to The Chron. Editorially it's to the left of Pravda.

In Detroit the daily papers are stopping daily home delivery of their low-yield rags. In St. Louis it's believed that there will be no local paper by the end of 2009. The NYTimes, despite failing and having their bonds priced as "junk", apparently believes that the way to go is to undermine the security of the US and her allies. And things are possibly worse on the West Coast with the Chron and P-I. Sound like a flawed business model to you?

This weekend I was in a situation where I had to sit in a waiting room with nothing to do but read the local paper where I'm visiting, The Toledo Blade. The Blade actually had an editorial stating that the only book President Bush is known to have read is "My Pet Goat." Now, if someone wants to write an op-ed that channels the idiocy of Mikey Moore, that's fine. He's about as relevant as The Fonz when you think about it, so rave on in the darkness. But this is the editorial voice of the only "major" paper in Northwest Ohio and it reads like it was written by a simpleton with pudding between his ears and an axe in his hands whilst banging on his manual typewriter.

You don't have to be a big George W. Bush fan to know that he's extremely well-read. America's greatest living novelist, Tom Wolfe, has spoken at some length about the reading habits of the current president. The man is an avid reader and, I would surmise, has read far more non-fiction in the past 10 years than the clown who typed the editorial for, as their front page proclaims, "One of America's Great Newspapers."
I suppose The Toledo Blade might very well be what their banner proclaims. Years ago it might have seemed like a brash and bold statement. Now it's like arguing that you really are one of the tallest munchkins marching on the yellow brick road. The Blade is the usual hodgepodge of dreary local interest prose tied to the same left-leaning national news services every other unreadable paper uses. The sports pages have no unique voice, the editorials are uniformly hard-left/ pro-labor and are written in the no-nothing style of the "My Pet Goat" howler. The obits are about the only reason I can see to plunk down a couple of coins and they don't write those-- they come fully-formed from the funeral home-- including the picture.

So that's the state of American journalism today. Will we miss them when they're all gone?
I suspect that soon the editorial writer at The Toledo Blade will have plenty of time to work his way through the lengthy list of books read by President Bush since taking office eight years ago.