For now. Sort of.
About the migrant “caravan,” the law, the election, and the state of FP and PNW.
Have a watch:
So last week THEY told us that “Q” is a fiction, a crazed conspiracy theory that no one believes. Uh, but everyone still hates even though it’s not real or, at worst, is just some anonymous and untrustworthy Dept. of Energy hack…
“Q” is supposedly a high-ranking official in the Energy Department with a high-level security clearance. “Q,” the theory goes, is working for Trump and against the supposed “deep state.”
It is possible, of course, that opinions might look different outside of Florida. But nevertheless, we suspect that these basic findings would hold. In short, the QAnon movement appears neither well-known nor well-liked by Floridians in either party. Those who support QAnon most strongly are people for whom conspiracies lurk behind every corner.
See, it’s totally not real. Only a lurking nut in Florida would believe it.
THIS, on the other hand – this completely anonymous and utterly unverifiable and as self-congratulatory as it is self-defeating stuff is really really REAL. (Would the NYT every lie??)
So real they need a virtual reality disclaimer and a call for inquiries.
The Times today is taking the rare step of publishing an anonymous Op-Ed essay. We have done so at the request of the author, a senior official in the Trump administration whose identity is known to us and whose job would be jeopardized by its disclosure. We believe publishing this essay anonymously is the only way to deliver an important perspective to our readers. We invite you to submit a question about the essay or our vetting process here.
I almost asked if they were accepting other short works of fiction but I’m not in the habit of commenting on other people’s blogs. Sorry, Slim.
Now, as for real journalism … the One and Only Alex Jones! Live today from Mordor. You simply must watch the videos. On his First Amendment quest, AJ successfully hammered home the importance of free speech, the free press, and the proper redress of grievances. All in hilarious fashion!
Michael Cohen’s plea agreement (which oddly does not mention “Russia” even once):
And, in a somewhat related article, the WSJ editorial staff reminds the “free and independent” media that they might want to actually act free and independent:
“Journalists who don’t like what the president has said about the press might want to start behaving like objective reporters instead of liberal political activists.”
That just might help.
The call went out from the Boston Globe. 350 newspapers and outlets across the fruity plain have answered.
Nearly 350 news organizations are set to publish editorials on Thursday pushing back against Donald Trump’s attacks on the media and defending freedom of the press.
The publications are participating in a push organized by the Boston Globe to run coordinated editorials denouncing what the paper called a “dirty war against the free press”.
As of Wednesday morning, 343 publications had pledged to participate, said Marjorie Pritchard, the Globe’s deputy managing editor overseeing the opinion page.
The Guardian has also joined the effort and has published an editorial alongside outlets around the United States.
I’ve only read part of one (and they all promise to be different). The one I looked at was from the Chicago Tribune – written by a dog…
“I do not usually pay attention to human politics,” Zoe wrote by “dictating” to Huppke. “I prefer more pleasant things like sniffing my friends’ butts or rolling on a dead bird in the backyard or eating things that will make me throw up.”
Zoe adds that Trump is “not being a good boy” by using “dog” to attack political opponents, and that it makes her “want to growl” at him.
“I think you are calling people dogs because you think that makes them less than human,” she writes. “My human says that’s something that ‘fascists’ do. I don’t know what that means, but it makes me think you are not being a good boy.”
The letter asked Trump to stop referring to humans as dogs and to “start realizing that humans and dogs are both great and deserve respect and lots and lots of Milk-Bones.”
And Fido there probably presents the best the mainstream media can offer. “Fascists” sounds like “racists” and “Nazis.” They literally cannot come up with anything new. And can you imagine the fallout if Trump offered Omarosa a Milk-Bone!?
They, all of them, miss the point. I set the record straight in today’s TPC column, which I assume is coming along any hour now… More then. I’ll run that here, then. And I’ll be liking the main post on Facebook (about all I do there). And I’m forwarding my piece to the White House.
On the Facebook front, if you’re still there, you’re there at your own risk. Do you even know what Zuck knows about you? You can find out. And, if you’re with the press, FB has issued you an ultimatum: join or die. I wonder if they’ll at least offer Milk-Bones…
Woof. Woof. Amazon.
Something from the recent news caught my wayward eye.
You’ve no doubt heard about the tragically deranged man in Seattle who managed to steal the Q400 and do loops, with a fighter escort, before ending it all on a remote island.
In one news story I saw something suspicious: “Once the cockpit is entered, no keys are required to start the aircraft. Instead, a series of switches and levers must be pulled in a particular sequence to unlock the controls.”
“Switches and levers” sounds a lot like this from another recently attempted ariel joyride: “An affidavit says Scott told Texarkana police, who responded to reports of a man seen jumping an airport fence, that he didn’t think there was much more to flying than pushing buttons and pulling levers.”
I’m not a licensed pilot but I have taken flight lessons and I have flown small planes before. Believe it or not, this sequence of buttons and levers really is all it takes to fly – a very complicated sequence, one requiring constant attention and application of skill. It’s a level of skill completely beyond most people. The average American can barely drive a car. A plane is outside the question.
That’s why the dope in TX had no chance of getting his aircraft off the ground. And, it makes the guy in Seattle’s performance all the more amazing.
What I’m saying is that this should be a non-issue. But something warns me it’s on someone’s radar. The WSJ warns of “cracks in airport security.” I feel or sense the opportunity of more needless government intrusion. Perhaps this is something for the general aviators among you to keep an eye on. One more chance to stamp out freedom? Or a crazy coincidence?
I think the felons hit the field next week for pre-season protests or something. Yawn!
Word comes that, in Tampa, Bucs fans won’t be lighting up when the players kneel down.
The Tampa Sports Authority announced that it is banning smoking at Raymond James Stadium, starting immediately.
The authority says a smoke-free environment will make the fan experience more enjoyable.
“The need for this healthier environment was evident from fan feedback, national trends, and feedback from our tenants such as the Buccaneers and USF,” said Eric Hart, Tampa Sports Authority CEO.
It is not going over well with everyone.
“I like to smoke cigars,” Harold McCall told FOX 13. “I think [the ban] is terrible.”
There were designated smoking areas which have now been eliminated. Smokers have to finish puffing before going inside. If you leave to smoke, you’re not going to be allowed back in.
This is your Sports Authority. This is your Sports Authority on communism.
One doesn’t have to worry about getting back in if one never enters in the first place.* Davidoff invites fans to watch games in the comfy confines of their shop, located conveniently south of RJS. (From FB):
I invite people to watch the game from our beautiful Davidoff Tampa store which is right around the corner from the stadium. Cigars smokers are welcomed with open arms…nanny state folks stay out!
Patrons (of the store) have weighed in. The most appropriate comment is, “F them!” That’s really the only response. Now, I understand the marketing angle of luring in the fans with the big screens. But, philosophically and not just as a screen hater, why bother having the foolishness anywhere near the happy smokers? Why support the enemy in any way? They ban you. So you ban them.
That’s the sentiment of today’s PNW:
Are they going to ban firing the ship’s cannon? That would make children “safe” from smoke and guns! Davidoff, Tampa, FB.
*PS: The last (and final) time I was at Sanford Stadium, I tried to smoke a cigar OUTSIDE and away from everyone. I was told I could not. I left. And I have no plans of ever returning. F them too.
PPS: Facebook still sucks.
This is terrible news, by any account.
At least five people were killed and several others were “gravely injured” in a shooting Thursday afternoon at the Capital Gazette in Anne Arundel County, authorities said.
A shooter is in custody, police said. Police would not name the suspect or say what type of weapon was used.
Anne Arundel County Police initially confirmed about 3:15 p.m. that they were responding to an “active shooter” at 888 Bestgate Road, where the newspaper’s offices are located. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives also responded to the scene.
The Capital Gazette is owned by The Baltimore Sun.
This story by a Sun reporter (obviously) though run at the Gazette site. Few details at this point. I’ve heard it was a shotgun; nothing about the shooter. These things tend to change. It’s bad enough it happened at all, driven home for me the more as an attack on the media.
None of anti-GC quips today. Just this: Most of you know by now that, sarcasm aside, I never blame these things on violent video games. Yet, there is a tangential relationship in this case, at least as it was first reported to me. I took a snapshot of the Gazette story including the displayed video ad. Take a look:
Demon-eyed freak levels gun at the camera on a story about a real freak leveling a gun at a paper. “Learn more.” More coincidence than bad taste surely. And interesting.
I’m not even sure why I always call them “fish wrappers.” More people probably line bird cages than encase carp with the local paper. Even more likely use ’em to start fires and keep weeds out of the garden. A thousand uses. But the primary purpose continues its long, slow slide.
The Pew Research Center found total US daily newspaper circulation, print and digital combined, was 31 million for weekday and 34 million for Sunday in 2017, down 11 and 10 percent, respectively, from the previous year.
But the researchers excluded digital circulation figures from two major newspapers, The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal, whose subscriber data is not audited.
The New York Times reported a 42 percent gain in digital circulation and The Wall Street Journal a 26 percent rise.
If the independently produced figures were included in both 2016 and 2017, weekday digital circulation would have risen by 10 percent, according to Pew.
But even if it included the digital gains for the two big dailies, overall combined weekday circulation for US newspapers would still be down by four percent in 2017, the report said.
31 or 34 million means that only 10% of the US population gets news from newspapers. This is not especially reassuring news to a guy trying to float a new syndicated column. But it’s not the end of the world. Changes like this have been a constant throughout history.
As I’ve said before, I think the future of print is, largely: 1) the big three (WSJ, NYT, and USAT), and: 2) smaller locals and niche pubs. There’s probably some digital middle ground for those in between – probably with LOTS of ads all over the screen…
Back to the numbers, by pseudo-scientific methods, let’s try to get down to 31 or 34 million, shall we? 325,000,000-ish people: 31 + 34 ÷ 2 x 1,000,000. Thanks to falling IQs and pitiful “schools,” half are functionally illiterate, with no need for printed words of any kind. Down to 162,500,000. Of these, let’s assume that yet half again are even moderately interested in what’s going on around them (the rest being absorbed, fully, into the hedonism and triviality of the day). That’s 81,250,000. Getting there. Of the potentially literate, interested, and aware, half again might be truth-seekers. 40,625,000. Almost on target. 10% of that number may be turned off by bias, poor reporting, disinterest in the locale, price per copy, etc. That leaves 36,562,500. Yeah. Applying the old marketing assumption of 3% – here, in reverse – leaves 35,465,625. Aaaand that’s close enough. You’re welcome.
If I could offer any advice (and I will) for a local or regional publication looking to buck the trend, then:
1) Embrace the digital but keep it a true copy of the printed product and NOT some jumping, shifting, unsearchable pile of bullsh!t punctuated heavily by ads for crap no one wants. This can be done technologically and it can be done within the parameters of “normal” subscription costs.
2) For the printed word – print a real, FULL-SIZED paper! When did the news shrink down to Bazooka wrapper stature? And why?
3) Focus on reporting the local interests and the national/international headlines of note, with proper separation.
4) Restore the Funnies. Give them a daily section, maybe conjoined with the political news.
5) Have a business section worth reading. Remember when the city paper ran the NYSE indexes for the previous day in full? For a digital, this is as easy as an associated link to CBNC or Bloomberg.
6) Carry Perrin’s national affairs column, as currently seen at TPC (new one shortly, I’m told). At full price, of course. Soon I’ll announce whether it’s available from Creators, King, McMeel, or another service.
These suggestions, the last one aside, are not sure-fire by any means.
Others will still get “news” from some source. There’s always: the idiot box, Farcebook approved links, Snap Chirp or whatever the hell it’s called, those ever-so-informative cat videos, and rappers advising on the best auto injury attorneys…
Newspapers are dying. You could probably guess as much just by picking one up. Even the Sunday editions have shrunk to nearly nothing. The ads can be thicker than the news sections.
The US has, as of 2017, 53 metro areas with populations exceeding 1million. 107 exceed 500,000. Yet, the US only has three (3) daily papers with circulations which exceed 1 million. Only 7 exceed 500,000 subscribers (4 are based in NYC).
Even as the cities continue to grow, the papers decline. And odds are your local paper isn’t even locally owned anymore. Hedge funds and other financials are rapidly taking control of print media. It’s not a warm, fuzzy relationship.
“They’re not reinvesting in the business,” Ken Doctor, a longtime newspaper analyst and president of the website Newsonomics, said about Alden Global. “It’s dying and they are going to make every dollar they can on the way down.”
Several hedge funds have become newspaper barons in recent years. Alden Global now owns about 60 daily newspapers through a subsidiary, Digital First Media. New Media Investment Group, which is managed and controlled by private-equity firm Fortress, owns almost 150 newspapers in smaller towns like Columbus, Ohio, and Providence, Rhode Island, through a unit, GateHouse Media. And hedge fund Chatham Asset Management LLC is one of the largest shareholders and bondholders in McClatchy Co., publisher of the Charlotte Observer and Miami Herald.
There are several ways to look at this:
First, you’re reading this on a computer. This site, a highly respected web log, is admittedly an Op-Ed operation. And, it’s small. I have neither the time, money, or interest in running full-time news here. The upside is that no globalist corporation controls anything here. Right now, one such company is trying to slow down my distribution. I’m not sure how the coming harsh EU regulations are going to affect their operations in America but it can’t hurt whatever comes. The other upside is that all the news sites in the world are just a few clicks away.
Second, and this is very cynical, given the literacy trends in the US, the papers may not have enough readers to subscribe to anything. That, I think (hope) will reverse. Tomorrow I start a 2-part series on that subject at TPC. You’ll see a link here.
Lastly, I think two types of print papers will survive, thrive maybe. The first group consists of the big three – WSJ, NYT, and USAToday. Maybe a few more regionals. They already deliver copy while running healthy, national websites too. I look for it to continue. And, for those of you at the base, local level, rejoice. I think a few small, local niche papers might make it, concentrating hard on what the locals expect out of whatever nuanced interest.
Come what may, I’ll be here until such time as the call of the mountains becomes irresistible.
First, limping along with the news at FP:
And, a welcome of sorts to the wonderful readers over at The Piedmont Chronicles:
A few remain hidden but the YT editor tells me that last one is No. 100. Wow…
Tom Selleck is hawking reverse mortgages, equity loans aimed at seniors. He says older Americans are woefully under-saved (they are) and the solution is a loan on the equity! Why not?! These things have been around a while. And all that while I’ve thought the smelled funny.
Without much research, my gut reaction is that this is a terrible idea. It might be helpful to some at times, but it looks like, feels like the end of the debt-ification game. Literally, the banksters grab up the last of the assets, issuing new debt in its place. Cannot be a good idea for the economy as a whole: ownership only by the financial elite only benefits the financial elite. Beware.