Mark Steyn’s criticizm of newspapers rings true. I’ll admit that one of my bugaboos are individuals who believe their profession gives them a coat of virtue…or at least claim it.
Here (in full) is what Steyn said here about the recent closing of a newspaper.
The parent company of the Eagle Times (of New Hampshire), the Message (of Vermont), and the Connecticut Valley Spectator (of both) has gone out of business, taking all three titles with it. No big deal. Happening all over the country.
This is from the Rutland Herald‘s editorial on the closures:
“The closing of a newspaper means a little piece of democracy has died.” That was the comment of Edgar May, former state senator and a community leader in Springfield. May knows what he is talking about. He earned a Pulitzer Prize in the early 1960s for articles about poverty in America…
To say that a piece of democracy has died is to suggest the process involving each citizen has undergone a withering. It may seem self-serving for the writer of a newspaper editorial to say so, but the exchange of ideas and information that occurs on the pages of the newspaper is the stuff of democracy. If you are reading these words, then you are part of that exchange.
This kind of indestructible, fatuous narcissism is a big part of what’s wrong. What other industry conflates itself with the very legitimacy of the state? If you’re insisting on your indispensability even as millions dispense with you, you’re the one with the problem.
By the way, look at that sentence:
To say that a piece of democracy has died is to suggest the process involving each citizen has undergone a withering.
To be both pompous and inarticulate is a fitting tribute to American newspapering in its death throes.
Not much more I can add.
Tonight’s cocktail party will feature the Bee’s Knees Cocktail. It’s fairly easy to make but offers a flavor you won’t get from most cocktails. That’s because the sweetening agent isn’t fruit or triple sec, but honey.
2 oz gin
1 oz honey syrup
1/2 oz lemon juice
We’ve been using Tanqueray, but tried a new (and much cheaper) gin called New Amsterdam that’s not so junipery. I think it works a bit better in this cocktail, but maybe not. I’m still tasting.
Alicia – not a gin drinker – has really taken to this. Like the gin-based Pimm’s Cup, it’s great during the summer. We like that it uses honey syrup (1 part honey stirred into 1 part near boiling water) which we have sometimes infused with lavender from our herb garden. It’s heaven on a summer night on your patio.
The Hill is reporting that some in the Obama administration may need the benefit of the The Derek Zoolander Center For Kids Who Can’t Read Good and Wanna Learn to do Other Stuff Good Too.
I know spelling right is one way to look smart but it never really carried any water with me. I always thought good spellers were the accountants of the writing profession – only slightly less lame that people who know (and think everyone should know) how to diagram sentences.
There’s no need for me to leave Bellevue this weekend, but good reason for you to come down. Give me a call, I’d love to meet up with you.
Alicia and my daughter Dagny will be helping the Bellevue Band of Gold (the high school band) with a fund raising car wash at the Bellevue Vets on Fairfield Avenue (right as you enter Bellevue just off the Big Mac Bridge) from 10-2. Pray for no rain.
From 11 – 4 Bellevue Renaissance will host the Clay Alliance – finest potters in the region selling functional and decorative pottery from the 200 – 700 block of Fairfield Ave.
Finally at 7:00, there’s a concert (I think it’s a cover band) at the Bellevue Beach Park overlooking the mighty Ohio River and onto Mt. Adams and Downtown Cincinnati. At 10:00 the pull up a barge and have a great fireworks display. Bring a blanket and a chair.
This is Americana!
The Washington Posts’ ombudsman has a nice piece on the importance of copy editors here. From the piece:
Little mistakes take a huge toll on credibility. A groundbreaking newspaper industry study on credibility a decade ago warned that “each misspelled word, bad apostrophe, garbled grammatical construction, weird cutline and mislabeled map erodes public confidence in a newspaper’s ability to get anything right.”
Lileks has a few words today for those here.
However, I’m full of smug self-satisfaction because he agrees with me that the root problem is:
What kills newspapers – and this isn’t anything brilliant or insightful, it’s just obvious – is dull content and bubble-think. The first is self-explanatory; the second can be summed up in desire to find a “green” angle on everything from State Fair food to Christmas paper wrapping. There’s a market for that – there’s a market for everything – but it’s just not a large one. If you assume that everyone but just everyone is going green, you’re thinking inside the bubble.
I always try to be positive because when you look at the sweep of human history – it’s the only realistic view. That’s why I didn’t mind this assignment from the Dayton B2B Magazine. My editor asked me Is there a silver lining to this recession? Is there a buyer’s market for small business. The answer is yes – for those who have cash. Link to article is here.
While walking around last weekend for the Newport Garden Walk, Alicia, Harper, and I came across a former church converted into a condo for sale. It was a beautiful home – for two.
The story I wrote on it is here. The Enquirer didn’t run the pics that I submitted on-line however, he’s the homeowner’s picasa site.
This is about as exciting as it gets: here’s the piece.
I was a nervous kid by temperament. And way too serious for my own good.
Compound that with the fact that I was a kid of the 1970s – a dismal times – I should be a paranoid. Nixon’s resignation, gas lines, the Fall Saigon, malaise were all were real and depressing….and ignored by me.
I was too young. My reality was media.
Paul Erhlich’s book The Population Bomb was soaked up by the media with shades of The Late Great Planet Earth. To me, the Parallax View was reality and 70s Charlton Heston movies – Planet of the Apes, The Omega Man, Soylent Green – were my future.
That was if I survived! I most likely wouldn’t outrun Killer Bees or the Son of Sam or the Coming Ice Age. I defintely wouldn’t outlive The Day After.
The most real “scare” was that we were running out of energy NOW!! I’ve lived 20 years past the time the wells would run dry and now experts and the media are trying to scare my kids.
At some point I realized it was all a joke and decided to be happy. People love scaring people and they’ll continue to do so. Someone is always out there yelling “Repent For The End is Near” whether it’s a AM radio preacher, a guy with a rainbow wig, or a former vice president.
Anyway, I’m taken back to those days when I read reports like this (we have more natural gas now than ever before) and thankfully the internet let’s us read common sense like this (the sky isn’t falling).
Go be happy.