Good News

To counteract the general low level of my blood pressure around here lately, my good friend Mike sends this.

The council has hired a fledgling newspaper called Newark Weekly News to publish “positive news” about the city — and will pay $100,000 over the next year for it.

Newark Weekly News owner Howard Scott said he’s doing nothing more than providing a service, the same way large newspapers are paid to print the legal advertisements that municipalities are required by law to publish.

“Do we have critical reporters on staff? No. Do we have investigative reporters? No,” Scott said. “Our niche is the good stuff. People have come to know it and they love it.”

Jesus TITS. This isn’t about good news or bad news, you fucking tool, you power tool, you tool with a dozen ATTACHMENTS. This about government buying news coverage and you saying it’s all good because your reporters don’t give a shit anyway. Which is a statement some of them should take exception to right the hell now, if they ever want to work anywhere in the business other than at your propaganda machine, because you just made your name a resume toxin and every single person who tries to get out of there after this is going to be tainted by association with you.

“Our niche is the good stuff.” Okay, At least we know where you stand. You stand for feeding people cotton candy. You stand for happiness and puppies and it’s all okay because that’s what people WANT, right? That’s what people want to read, and so you give them happy talk. You give them cotton candy, because broccoli tastes icky, and screw the vitamins, screw the food pyramid, screw the fact that on some level, at some point, you had a compact with your readers to tell them what was going on. Now you’re just going to tell them “positive” things. Positive in whose eyes, precisely? Is it positive for them when the city screws up and they don’t hear about it? Is it positive for everybody if all the “news” does now is make the city council look good?

This is the sort of thing I read and think, “Please, let it be a joke,” but it’s really not that surprising, and that’s what really enrages me. In a time when we have a New York Times reporter and her editor acting like there was no way to control what she was doing, when we have conscience-free hacks like Michelle Malkin being called “professional journalists,” when our federal government secretly buys columnists like Armstrong Williams, maybe we should be grateful that at least with the Newark Weekly News, you know it’s for sale, and you know who bought it and what they paid. Nail your colors to the mast, boys.

But here’s the thing: just because that’s how it works doesn’t mean it doesn’t SUCK.

A.