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I do not feel any pity for Newspapers. They have done it to themselves. Gone are the days of the Muckrakers and the "yellow press". Gone are the journalists. The Jack Andersons of yesteryear were replaced long ago by the Judith Millers. Even Bob Novak sold his soul(what little he had) for access to the White House. Newspapers are irrelevant.
So what if the Chicago Tribune has a decline in sales....what news is garnered from its pages? So what if I can subscribe and get the Sunday Trib and two weekdays for one dollar a week. What is the point? The news is already old by the time it is printed. And so what if the New York Times is having a cash-flow problem, aren't we all? Suck it up, the shills for this Administration should all feel the pain!

It is sad to watch an icon of American Tradition and History dissolve before our eyes. Peter Zenger would lament the loss. He might even protest that newspapers are necessary as the "watch dog" of Democracy and Liberty.

Well, that didn't work too well did it?

Newspapers Tried to reinvent themselves. They tried to be sensational and relevant. They tried the shocking expose on the eight year old heroin addict. Only to have that story condemned as a fake. A concoction of someone who was desperate for a "story", any story. There are no more journalists working on newspapers.

For years, as a teacher of reading, I would cut out articles, cartoons, headlines. I would focus on a word, a phrase, a theme. I wanted my students to be able to read the third to fifth grade reading material found in the paper. It was a treasure of vocabulary. Cartoon were perfect for teaching vocabulary and still are, but I don't notice the SAT words anymore like I used to. No more Calvin and Hobbs. Gone with Walt Kelly and Al Capp. But Peanuts is still there!

(Why did I spend so much time cutting out articles? Well, as a Reading Specialist, we didn't use textbooks....we used what the students would be using in real life. They had failed with the "textbook" and we didn't want to duplicate failed instruction, so we copied newspaper articles.)

But the newspapers, themselves, drove themselves out of business. Their features would be 2 or 3 pages of nothing. Just interview with a few heartbreaking stories and that would be it. Yes, it tugged at you and you felt sorry, but the punchline was usually the headline. Then you had two pages of filler with no resolution. Not even a call for action.

Then, there are the editorials. There is only so much of Bill Kristol, Charles Krauthammer and Jonah Goldberg that one can take. So why bother? And the rebuttal? Very rarely was anything said by these "lions" of the editorial page ever challenged.

If you replied or wrote a comment to one of these "saints" you'd get a reply back that would not so politely tell you to go off and die.I still treasure Wycliff's answer to his column praising Intelligent Design telling me that it was good that I was retired from teaching so I could go off and die. I rejoiced when I heard that he left the Tribune....but I felt sorry that he is now a Professor.

The damage that these newspapers has done is incalculable. They never challenge or refute anything. They never check the facts any more. They have become mouthpieces for the Administration and the Right Wing. The "I am an AMERICAN" jingoism was non-stop without recouse after 9/11 and into the Iraq War....where were the challenges?

The reason I write this today is because yesterday was the anniversary of Pearl Harbor. A preemptive attack to defend a nation. Americans now call it terrorism (a much over-used label). But the fact is, it was a preemptive strike to defend the nation of Japan, as were so many of the strikes in those early days of the War in the Pacific.

December 7 was the reason my father joined and went to war. It was my birthday, his own personal reminder of the time he spent in the service of his country. The War ended, like it should for any nation that engages in a preemptive strike....they lost. So where were the newspaper commentaries? Where was the retrospective? Where was the thank you to all those who became angry and enlisted to defend their country? The paens to the real heroes of the last century?  No, once again, the Newspapers covered for this administration and failed to point out the obvious.

Which is why they have done it to themselves. The phony jingoism protecting a false and phony Administration that has done more than any other to subvert and destroy what this country stands for.

However, it is not like there is nothing to replace newspapers. There is the internet. The citizen journalists who don't miss anything and expose the lies by fact-checking everything.

As old as I now am, I love my internet and cannot do without my Daily Dose of news!

Originally posted to Temmoku on Mon Dec 08, 2008 at 06:45 AM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  you are absolutely right. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ThirstyGator, Temmoku

    42.7% of all statistics are made up on the spot. A Wrightism

    by publicv on Mon Dec 08, 2008 at 06:50:54 AM PST

  •  Clay Pot for tips. (6+ / 0-)

    One of these days I'll use a photo of a pot....

  •  Well the Courts Have Ruled That Truthful Reportng (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ThirstyGator, mango, pfiore8, luckylizard

    can be successfully sued, which killed investigative reporting long before economics did. And of course as the economy super-sizes its businesses, sponsorship is gaining such power that it'd be crazy to go after any of the biggest businesses even if it weren't vulnerable to lawsuits.

    It's just not feasible to do much investigative reporting of corporations under our system except against Democrats.

    I think the papers did this to "themselves" much the same way the people are to blame for Bush.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Mon Dec 08, 2008 at 07:04:39 AM PST

  •  It's less about the BIG story ... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Arken, Temmoku, luckylizard

    than the little one.  It's not about Jack Anderson, it's about the local city commission reporter.  

    Small local papers and neighborhood papers - with local ownership and local responsiveness - are actually on the upswing.  The ones owned by enormous corporations focused on today's corporate stock price are tanking.

    People will read papers that are about their town, their neighborhood.  Content is king.  If all a paper does is repeat the same thing (12-24 hours later) that has already been reported on TV, on radio (ok not on radio, there aren't many real radio news operations anymore) and on the internet nobody is going to buy that paper.

    I am my brother's keeper, I am my sister's keeper. - President Elect Barack Obama

    by ThirstyGator on Mon Dec 08, 2008 at 07:08:54 AM PST

  •  Are you speaking wistfully of yellow journalism? (0+ / 0-)

    Because that's just weird.

    •  No...because judith Miller WAS yellow (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I'm just saying the news doesn't question anything...they just print it which is why they are failing. Cheerleading for a preemptive strike in Iraq when Iraq had nothing to do with anything and had no WMDs is a direct failure of the News. No fact checking. No verification. No apologies....don't bemoan their "truthiness". We get better information without the newspapers or tv news for that matter.

      •  It's always been like that. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Temmoku, MPociask

        I mean, at least the news isn't STARTING wars anymore. American newspapers directly caused both the Spanish-American War and the Boxer Rebellion... both solely to increase their circulation.

        •  Yes. (0+ / 0-)

          But isn't it interesting that the Anniversary of Pearl harbor is ignored, basically because it reflects on what the chimp-in-chief has done? You get better and more accurate news on the internet. Nothing new here, just that I'm glad newspapers are failing, they failed us big time and deserve to be replaced.

          •  As has been pointed out elsewhere in this diary.. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            you don't get the important local news from the internet. That's what the newspaper is really for.

            •  Except you can get that on the internet too! (0+ / 0-)

              There was a train accident in my town, so I checked the internet and all the facts were there already...before the paper came out...local papers do local news...big newspapers don't even report adequately on national or world news.

              Which is why you shouldn't cry about their demise....they have made themselves irrelevant.

  •  It's the Internet (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    The state of journalism has had little to do with the demise of the large, metro newspaper business. I worked on the business side of the newspaper business in the '70's when it was a great business. The Internet has taken the newpapers' readers, and more importantly, its advertisers. The large, metro newspaper business does not have a viable economic model now and there is probably not one that will work. A few newspapers, like the New York Times, have brands that can probably be leveraged across various media, but most of the other big papers are on a death spiral.

    "let's talk about that"

    by VClib on Mon Dec 08, 2008 at 12:07:01 PM PST

    •  I agree in part...but my frustration with News- (0+ / 0-)

      papers is the main reason why I canceled my subscription. It is easier to hold a paper in your hand and read it at leisure, and the internet is not all that easy even with bookmarks....or should I say computer? The computer is still heavy and cumbersome when compared to a daily paper, But the paper's editorial policy was a deciding factor. I miss a lot of news because I tend to go to foreign news sites first before I hit the local rag.

      •  Editorial content (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        I still have friends in the newspaper business and interestingly when people who cancel give a reason regarding editorial content it is more often that they believe the paper is too liberal. If you think about it, it does make sense. Newspaper readers are, on average, older and more affluent than the average American. Before the internet people under 30 didn't read newspapers, but the higher demographic sectors started reading newspapers at about 30 and continued for another 50 years. Being able to deliver that high demographic audience was an advertising gold mine. The mine is nearly empty.

        "let's talk about that"

        by VClib on Mon Dec 08, 2008 at 07:30:34 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

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