Monthly Archives: June 2009

On The End of the Froomkin Era at WaPo

(Apologies to the divine Ms. A for tromping on her turf)

I’m not sure how many times I can say this, but…

Dear Fred Hiatt:You blew it. Again. I had hoped that maybe given the outrage over the announcement that you were dropping Dan Froomkin’s White House Watch blog from the Washington editorial pages, you might change your mind. (I know, I know, fool me once…etc.) But no, Froomkin’s officially gone from the WaPo as of last Friday, and you have managed to retain your title as the dumbest editorial page editor in the history of journalism (narrowly edging out the NY Times–Ross Douthat?Really?–and my local paper, which for years published letters to the editor on a weekly basis from a woman named Lillian whose letters were a series of incoherent riffs on “Get off my lawn!”) Congratulations. You just took one more step towards making what used to be a great newspaper into something I wouldn’t use to line my birdcage (yes, I know, it was the online WaPo. Call it my virtual birdie.)

In reading Athenae’s many righteous rants on journalism in the last several years, there’s one theme that keeps sticking in my mind about journalism, and I do include editorials in that category (and Froomkin especially, since his was a cross between editorial and investigative journalism). In my opinion, good journalism makes the reader–and often the subject–uncomfortable. A good journalist will ask the questions that people aren’t willing to ask for themselves, or might never have the opportunity to ask (I’m looking at you, Dana Millbank, you dick). A good journalist doesn’t just let the politicians spout their talking points or hand out a press release for transcription. A good journalist finds the stuff the politician or the businessman doesn’t want people to know.

Froomkin did all that for the WaPo, particularly with regard to the Bush administration, which I’m sure made many people uncomfortable. But here’s the thing–he was still doing it over the last five months with the Obama administration, too. And that’s the thing that infuriates me most about Hiatt. All the anticipation of blogger fury over this seemed to focus on the idea that we’d be pissed because Froomkin had been so good at exposing the Bush era lunacies. But I’m pissed because I don’t thinkany president deserves a free pass from the press, and Froomkin still seemed to be one of the better voices in the MSM in pointing out where Obama wasn’t all that and a bag of chips.

Fred, honey, lambchop, love crumpet, I don’t care if the Washington Post is right, center, left, up, down, strange or charmed. I want you to do your frakking job. And when it comes to the editorial pages, online or off, that means publishing the people who keep the folks in charge honest by calling them on their bullshit honestly. It does nobody any good at all to have people like Krauthammer and Will saying Obama sucks, because we know that’s like Neil deGrasse Tyson saying space is cool, just as it didn’t really do us that much good to have Huffington or Schultz saying Bush sucked. What does do us good is when people likeKrugman or Waas or Hersh orMarshall and Co. orWheeler or, yes, Froomkin, say Bushor Obama suck. Why? Because they have the goods to back it up.

There’s a certain level of cognitive dissonance in the right. On the one hand, they believe in small government, that government is dangerous and we should always remain vigilant to keep it from sucking out our babies’ brains with a straw. But the right also seems obsessed with shutting down people like Froomkin. If you believe premise A, why wouldn’t you want Froomkin saying, “Hey, that guy’s going to suck out your baby’s braaaaaiiiiinnnnn!!!!”

Seriously, Fred. It doesn’t matter if the emperor is liberal or conservative if he’s naked. And as long as you keep saying the emperor’s a latte-drinking liberal because he’s wearing Armani, I’m going to keep calling you frakking stupid.

Meanwhile, I’m keeping my eye on Dan Froomkin. I’m sure somebody’s going to end up hiring him to keep doing White House Watch. Who wants to take bets on whether it’ll be old media or new media?

Make It Stop

The willful denial of reality burns us, precious:

Expanding copyright law to bar online access to copyrighted materials
without the copyright holder’s consent, or to bar linking to or
paraphrasing copyrighted materials without the copyright holder’s
consent, might be necessary to keep free riding on content financed by
online newspapers from so impairing the incentive to create costly
news-gathering operations that news services like Reuters and the
Associated Press would become the only professional, nongovernmental
sources of news and opinion.

The Romenesko commenters have at him:

And one way to reduce CO2 emissions…
Posted by
Thomas Lilleston
6/29/2009 12:17:14 PM

…is to stop breathing, and that’ll probably work about as well as the No-Link Theory.

However, the dumbest part of the piece isn’t actually the one about which most people are doing the bitching:

Newspaper ad revenues fell by almost 8 percent in 2007, a surprising
drop in a non-recession year (the current economic downturn began in
the late fall of that year), and by almost 23 percent the following
year, and accelerated this year. In the first quarter of 2009 newspaper
ad revenues fell 30 percent from their level in the first quarter of
2008. This fall in revenue, amplified by drops in print circulation
(about 5 percent last year, and running at 7 percent this year–and
readership is declining in all age groups, not just the young), have
precipitated bankruptcies of major newspaper companies and, more
important, the disappearance of a number of newspapers, including major
ones, such as theRocky Mountain News and theSeattle Post-Intelligencer.
Falling revenues have led to layoffs of some 20,000 employees of the
remaining newspapers. Print journalism has come to be regarded as a
dying profession. Online viewership and revenues have grown but not
nearly enough to offset the decline in ad revenues. Even the most
prestigious newspapers, such as theNew York Times, theWall Street Journal, theWashington Post, andUSA Today, have experienced staggering losses.

You know what someone writing one of these interminableoh God oh God we’re all gonna die pieces has yet to tell me? If “less money than we had before” and “not enough money to live on” are the same damn thing. Every time I ask this question I get people telling me I’m oversimplifying the situation and that’s exactly my point. I am oversimplifying the situation. I’m doing it on purpose. Is there enough money in any given big-city newspaper today to fund the newsgathering operations we are told are so critical to the survival of life as we know it?

My educated guess based on reading I kid you not everything on the planet about this for the past five years ishell yeah, and there’d be plenty left over, too. And if that’s the case, then this is no longer an advertising crisis or a free vs. paid content crisis or ayou kids suck crisis. Then this is a WHERE THE HELL IS ALL THE MONEY crisis, and I think we might need to hold another congressional hearing and instead of letting David Simon bitch about HuffPo, we could subpoena Dennis FitzSimons.

div class=”blockquote” style=”margin-left: 40px;”>News, as well the other information found in newspapers, is
available online for nothing, including at the websites of the
newspapers themselves, who thus are giving away content. The fact that
online viewing is rising as print circulation is falling indicates a
shift of consumers from the paid to the free medium.

Not necessarily. It could also be that through nefarious means, like LINKS, people are finding your content and thus your numbers are increasing.



If you’re an 8 year old cyclist …this would be the coolest thing ever

Unless You Cheat, You’re a Pussy

Seriously, Ross Douthat:

So which is the real America? Is it Tsing Loh’s dystopia, where
everyone “works” grimly on their relationships, and post-feminist
husbands happily cook saffron-infused porcini risotto but rarely
practice seduction on their wives? Or is it tabloid country: The land
of Jon minus Kate, and governors who vanish to “hike the Appalachian
Trail” — not to mention gossip-column fixtures like Britney Spears
(rumored last week to be contemplating her third marriage in six years)
and the mistress-parading Mel Gibson?

First of all, there is no one I want giving me romantic advice LESS than this man. Leave aside that he looks like a young Wilford Brimley, leave aside the creepy idea that either you cheat on your wife or you cook, the dude seems to fundamentally believe we need him to tell us how to be. Which is an epidemic Republican disease, but there you are.

I hate this about writing about relationships, the assumption that you’re categories, roles, that you fit into boxes and once you’re in, you’re in for life. You’re either passionate or “post-feminist,” which seems to be Douthat’s way of saying gay, with the cooking with saffron and all. Is everybody in his world that self-conscious, eager to find a social movement on which to blame their behavior? I honestly do not get this: if you do not want to cook for your wife, don’t do it. If you don’t like saffron, I know of no one, not even the most doctrinaire feminist, who would force you to eat it.

Yes, yes, metaphor, but that’s exactly my point. I don’t think we have to make some kind of choice between cheating and having a series of ugly public divorces and shaving our heads and hitting the paparazzi with baseball bats, or having a sexless marriage that you deride in public as being about “companionship.” As if having a nice friend is the worst thing in the world, as if that’s something about a billion people wouldn’t want. These aren’t the choices: instability + passion or companionship – sex. And perpetuating that idea just gives license to men and women conditioned to think that stalking, controlling and over-dramatizing mean that love is real. SeeTwilight, every romantic comedy ever made, and half the novels on the planet.

I so hate relationship trend stories, across the ideological spectrum. I want everybody to have what they want. Women, men, nobody, everybody, whatever. I want to live in a world where everyone can make the choices that suit them best, and I want to work to make that world a reality.

Ross Douthat, apparently, either wants you to cheat to prove you’re a Real Man with Passion, or shut up and eat your saffron like a good little wuss.


The substantial equivalent


This is Katie. Katie plays football on her school team in Washington. Her mom, Janice Langbehn, is very proud of her, and like every parent, remembers like it was yesterday when this big, tough, independent kid was so new and so tiny:

many of you all know we got the call to
come get katie when she was 26days old and Lisa picked her up from the
seattle office when she was 27 days old. I can still close my eyes and
picture her in the little strawberry onies outfit I had picked out. I
still can smell the baby lotion (at least the amount she didn’t eat)
that made her smell gorgeous. she’s so much bigger today. I received
an email from one of her football coaches and though I didn’t ask if I
could use his words – i’m going to b/c it just shows you the potential
anyone has – if they put their heart in the right place.

From Katie’s Coach – Hey, Katie could not have asked for a better
situation. My son, really enjoyed this season as well. This is his
3rd year playing tackle football. My son would rather be on an 0-7
team and play a lot versus being on a 7-0 team and play a little. My
son came home happy after every game (even when he hurt his shoulder).
He said this was his best year ever and he loved having Katie on his
team. She really held her own and we are so proud of her. The biggest
compliment paid to Katie was in our last game and it came from a
referee. He requested that I tell the “young man” on the right side of
the defensive line he is lining up off side. I immediately corrected
him and informed him of the fact she is a “young lady.” He stated he
was impressed. At this level of football it is more important to play
as many downs as possible. Katie really took advantage of this
situation. Had she been on a winning team with more players, Katie and
my son would have seen less playing time. I bet they would not be as

So there you go our little tiny girl, can hold her own, even missing
her one mom terribly. She’s made huge strides this year in school,
getting work done, paying attention and fostering her friendships. She
is like the rudder of the family – helps us stay the course. Sometimes
– many times it gets rocky or windy or scary – the our 3 amazing souls
that Lisa has left me to raise we find our way. I am beyond blessed to
having them in my life. The only thing that could make it complete
would be to have Lisa here witnessing it too.

Lisa was Katie’s other mom. Lisa died a little over a year ago. It was horribly sudden, a stroke. She was 39 and healthy, no one expected it to happen, especially not on a family vacation. The trip, a family cruise to the Bahamas, one of those “Rosie” cruises for GLBT families, was an anniversary celebration of sorts. Lisa Pond and Janice Langbehn had been together for 17 years. In addition to Katie, they had adopted two other kids, Danielle and David.

On February 18, 2007, they boarded ship in Miami and almost immediately after that, Lisa collapsed. She was taken toJackson Memorial Hospital. Imagine this: your healthy spouse collapsing on a family vacation, across the country from family and friends, your three kids and you watching helplessly as she’s put in an ambulance to go to a hospital you’ve never heard of. As bad as that is, it gets worse. 

At the hospital, Janice wasn’t allowed any information about what was going on with Lisa. She and her children sat in a waiting room with no word for three hours. Finally, someone called the social worker for them.

Dr. Garnet Fredrick, a
social worker, was very blunt in telling me that I was in “an anti-gay
city and state” and that I would need a health care proxy before I was
allowed to see my partner of nearly 18 years or know of her condition.
After getting his fax number I immediately called Kathy Bowen our
closet friend in Olympia who went to our house, found our legal
documents including our Power of Attorney, Living Will and Advance
Directive allowing me to speak for Lisa in the event she couldn’t.
Kathy went to our house within minutes of my frantic call, faxed our
legal documents to the hospital in Miami.

Three more hours with no information, no contact, no access to the trauma ward, then a neurosurgeon appeared and asked Janice for consent to place a pressure monitor on Lisa, and informed her that surgery might be needed. Six hours after arrival, this was the first contact Janice had with anyone on Lisa’s medical team, the first details of what had happened to her. The hospital had received the family legal work, had to ask Janice for consent, but Janice and her kids were still not allowed to see Lisa.

 Another hour passed before two more neurosurgeons appeared to talk
with me and Lisa’s parents who were listening in via my cell phone. It
was during this meeting that they initially said that one of Lisa’s
pupils was fixed and not responding but there may be a chance. Seconds
later, the surgeons got a page, stepped out of the family room and then
re-entered to say that both of Lisa’s pupils now were blown and she was
essentially brain dead and they would do the flow study in the morning
to confirm. It was only after this meeting that I learned that our Lisa
was essentially gone, that no surgery could save her brain from the
massive aneurysm. After the doctors left the room, I brought our
children in to tell them that their “other” mom had died and that she
was in Heaven now. I explained that we would keep her on a breathing
machine so that she could donate her organs so that others could live
just as Lisa wanted it.
More than one tragedy occurred that February day in Miami: I lost my
partner, my love, my life, our kids lost their “other” mom and what
makes all these tragedies more horrible is how I was treated by the
Social Worker and receptionist at that hospital in Miami by telling me
I couldn’t see Lisa nor make important decisions about her care. In
those 3 hours, desperate for information about Lisa, I paced and
watched other families being brought back into the trauma center, yet
my family waited, with no word about Lisa’s condition. Our children
Danielle, David, Katie and I all lost the ability to be with Lisa in
her last moments of consciousness, to hold her hand and to say goodbye
and that is something that can never be given back to our family. When
I finally was allowed to see Lisa it was with a Priest to perform her
Last Rites.

Continue reading

Scary Shit


[B]y all reports, President Bush is more convinced than ever of his righteousness.

Friends of his from Texas were shocked recently to find him nearly wild-eyed, thumping himself on the chest three times while he repeated “I am the president!” He also made it clear he was setting Iraq up so his successor could not get out of “our country’s destiny.”

Hat-tip to Sinphonyman.

Today on Tommy T’s Obsession With The Freeperati – Odds and Ends edition

Good morning, everyone!
Every so often I get a bit behind on the FR threads, sometimes skipping over ones I saved previously, for ones more relevant/entertaining/thematic.
This leaves a few behind which deserve your attention, so periodically I’m going to whip them up into a flatulent fondue and serve them up. If the threads appear dated, that’s why.

First up is a rank remnant of theEt Tu threads from last week’s Obsession:
Freepers luvs them some Olive Garden !!‏

Olive Garden pulls Letterman ads

Politico ^

| 06/18/09

Posted onThursday, June 18, 2009 12:23:58 PM byBCrago66
Following a week of back and forth between CBS late night comic
David Letterman and Sarah Palin over a crude joke he told about the
Alaska Republican governor’s daughter, the Olive Garden restaurant says
it is cancelling all of its scheduled ads on Letterman’s “Late Show”
for the rest of the year.

Now previously, Freepers always derided boycotts as ineffective. Not to mention embarrassing to the boycottor because it makes them look desperate, and also makes them look stupid when nothing happens except a collective yawn from the boycotee.

Well, they’ve been pretty much oblivious to their own hypocrisy so far, so why change now?

div class=”EC_b2 blockquote” style=”margin-left: 40px;”> Excellent. To my knowledge, this is the first TV
sponsor to pull its ads from the Letterman show (Embassy Suites pulled
its web ads from, which is much smaller money.) And this is a
big one, too.

posted onThursday, June 18, 2009 12:23:59 PM

To: BCrago66
Keep the heat on.

posted onThursday, June 18, 2009 12:25:42 PM
To: BCrago66
First the Never-Ending Pasta Bowl, now this. I love Olive Garden!

posted onThursday, June 18, 2009 12:27:57 PM

To: BCrago66
Olive Garden’s breadsticks and salad are great. will have to eat there.

posted onThursday, June 18, 2009 12:29:00 PM

To: rwfromkansas
Olive Garden will now experience an uptick of
customers, even in a recession.There’s a lot more of us than there are
of them.

posted onThursday, June 18, 2009 12:31:58 PM

Obviously, BCrago66 has already forgotten the last two elections.

I think theyreally want to believe that rather than being just a fringe subset of the 27% dead-enders, they are the majority in this country.
You see it all the time in the” I don’t trust polls (unless they’re good for the GOP) “ shtick that they endlessly flog.
Oh well – back to the celebration!

To: BCrago66
We may have to make a run to the Olive Garden this weekend.

posted onThursday, June 18, 2009 12:32:53 PM
(Department of Homeland Security, Certified – “Right Wing Extremist”)

To: BCrago66
Cant wait to go to Olive Garden!

posted onThursday, June 18, 2009 12:32:56 PM
byAnn Archy

And then…the exploding cigar:

Olive Garden disputes report that ads were pulled from Letterman

Christian Science Monitor ^

| 06.18.09
| Jimmy Orr

Posted onThursday, June 18, 2009 3:07:52 PM bycurth
A spokesman for the Olive Garden disputed a report from Politicothat
the restaurant chain pulled its advertising from the David Letterman
show due to jokes about Sarah Palin’s daughter.
reported today by Andy Barr of Politico regarding Olive Garden’s
advertising on the Late Show with David Letterman was erroneous. No
authorized spokesperson for the company confirmed the information in
his report,” said Olive Garden spokesman Rich Jeffers in an email to
The Vote.
“The Olive Garden media schedule is planned months in
advance. The schedule for the Late Show with David Letterman was
completed earlier this month. We take all guest concerns seriously.
And, as always, we will factor those concerns in as we plan our
advertising schedule in the future,” he continued.


To: curth
Oh, oh. Cancel the proposed dinner at Olive Garden.

posted onThursday, June 18, 2009 3:10:31 PM
byTax Government

To: curth
Olive Garden sucks anyway…No “Italian” would be caught dead in there! Their food is NASTY..

posted onThursday, June 18, 2009 3:12:48 PM

To: curth
Damn…and I sent them a nice email!

posted onThursday, June 18, 2009 3:13:13 PM
((Still Fed Up to the Teeth with Washington))

To: curth

The food SUCKS at the Olive Garden bigtime. There is simply no reason to go there, commercial or not.

posted onThursday, June 18, 2009 3:23:48 PM

To: Abbeville Conservative; sleepwalker; Roses0508; feedback doctor; LibLieSlayer; …

Dump Olive Garden.

I’m not interested in their chicken game anymore. They can cater to the leftists and pervs.

posted onThursday, June 18, 2009 3:27:34 PM
(Down with the islamic regime! Freedom for Iran!)

To: Czar
I did too…
aw, man!! …BETRAYED!
It’s really good food, but…I can’t deal with that nonsense. (tearfully waves goodbye to cheesecake)
posted onFriday, June 19, 2009 9:32:34 AM
(For the sake of our Republic…RAISE HOLY HELL!)

I eat your cheesecake! I…EAT…IT…UP!!!!!

More brain-dead blatherings from the Freeperati after the jump, so let’s…



I said, JUMP!!!!!

War in Iraq


On Tuesday:

BAGHDAD –Iraqi security forces
bolstered checkpoints and banned motorcycles from the streets of
Baghdad as they prepared Sunday for more violence before this week’s
withdrawal of U.S. combat troops from the capital and other cities and

Despite the increased checks, a roadside bomb targeting a U.S. convoy in easternBaghdad wounded six bystanders. It was unclear if anyone in the convoy was injured, police said.

A car bomb also exploded in the parking lot of a police academy in western Baghdad, killing onepolice officer and wounding six others, police said, speaking on condition of anonymity as they were not authorized to speak to the media.

Iraq’s main Sunni political bloc joinedShiitePrime Minister Nouri al-Maliki in describing the June 30 deadline for the U.S. withdrawal fromurban areas as a turning point for the country.

Al-Maliki’s government has declared Tuesday National Sovereignty Day and decreed a public holiday.


Current Affairs

All Apologies

(I have failed you, the American (and Canadian) readers…)

Good morning and thank you for reading this post,

I am writing to you from the Milwaukee airport as I am on my way to Tampa to a “conference,” which, despite other recent events involving other high-profile individuals, should not be construed to mean I’m meeting with a hooker from Guam. Please stop bothering my wife, daughter, mother, rabbit and trash collector. They will all tell you the same thing, as I have bought them off with the promise of jewelry, a trip to the zoo, my presence at Thanksgiving dinner, an extra wad of hay and a flat-screen TV that will be left on the curb. These promises are in no particular order.

Due to various situations that I am not willing to get into, but rest assured will be leaked by my press aides who are pissed that they are using their well-earned college degrees in philosophy to get my coffee every morning, I have nothing of importance to say today. I would like to say (long pause, look down at notes, pretend to be anguished), I have decided not to comment on the tragic passing ofMichael Jackson, Farrah FawcettorEd McMahon or the tragic staying ofJeff Goldblum. This trying decision was reached after considerable debate among my closest advisers and the voices in my head. Eventually, the voices won, so I will be going for a peanut butter and bologna margarita and a high colonic once this press conference is over.

It was also with deep regret that I decided against spending more time ripping the crap out of Jessica McBride. Apparently, her tersely worded statement asking the media to leave her alone worked, as we haven’t seen much on her tryst since Dan Bice first broke it last week around this time. Either that, or it washer editor’s 3,500-word defense of her 5,000-word article that was meant to scare off people or to keep his ass off the fire pit. Learning from his self-serving and shameless attack on an actual piece of journalism, I’ve decided to humbly beg for forgiveness for the absence of a real post this week. However, I will say in his defense that it’s difficult to understand real journalism when you haven’t seen any of it roll through your magazine in years.

I would also like to take this chance to dispel some persistent rumors, which by acknowledging, I will be giving those of you who pretend to have a shred of journalistic integrity the chance to talk about now. I am not taking this trip as part of a tax dodge or a plastic surgery initiative. As you will surely point out repeatedly, or wait for Jon Stewart to do so and then quote him, I am still as broke and ugly as ever.

During this difficult time, I would like to thank God (pause, sigh, hem, haw, wonder why God decided to screw me) for giving me the strength to face this issue head on, but apparently not the foresight to avoid screwing up in the first place. I believe that He has as purpose for me, but apparently filing an insightful and valuable post is not part of it. I beg for the forgiveness of those closest to me, including whoever decides who gets to headline the 2012 ticket, as my screw up can’t possibly be as bad as those committed by other people recently. At least mine doesn’t have Paul Schaffer playing “Don’t Cry for Me, Argentina” at every break in Letterman’s monologue.

Finally, I would like to thank my family for their support in my decision not to post. And by family, I’m including the six people who decided to make “Why are you picking on Doc? WHYYYYYYY????” YouTube videos. As I attempt to dodge time in blogger jail, your support is crucial to me. After I don’t beat the rap, your support on blogger jail conjugal visit days will be even more crucial.

With that, I conclude this press conference, pledging to do better. Of course, we all know how that’s going to go… So I bid you farewell. Please don’t follow me and if you hear me talking on my cell phone to someone named “Cinnamon,” feel free to ask for your just due. Perhaps the rabbit will share its wad of hay.

Good night and may God bless you or at least keep you from having to apologize for whatever you have or have not done recently.


War in Iraq

They’re Finally Throwing Flowers and Candy

AP Photo.

It won’t be over, not for a very long time:

So far, more than 200,000 veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan have been
treated at VA medical facilities — three times what the VA projected,
according to a Government Accountability Office analysis. More than
one-third of them have been diagnosed with mental health conditions,
including post-traumatic stress disorder, acute depression and
substance abuse. Thousands more have crippling disabilities such as
brain or spinal injuries. In each of the last two years, the VA has
underestimated the number of veterans who would seek help and the cost
of treating them — forcing it to go cap in hand to Congress for
billions of dollars in emergency funding.

Heckuva job, Bushie.


Political Crack

Political Apology Bingo

You know what was missing from Sanford’s apology yesterday? “I apologize to all the loving same-sex couples out there — couples that I helped to demonize as a member of the party of bigotry and ‘defending marriage’ — for being a ginormous hypocritical asshole.”

Via ONTD_Political.


Of Interest

Saturday Blogwhoring Thread


Nevertheless, post away!


So Called Liberal Media

Today in ‘What Total Assholes Who Should Be in Chains Are Up To’

We have the man who gutted and skullfucked the Tribune Company, not missing a meal:

They always land on their feet, don’t they?

Dennis FitzSimons, the former CEO of theTribune Company who walked out the door with $41 million after engineering the disastrous sale of the company toSam Zell, has just joined the board of directors ofMedia General.

The board seat was created just for him.

FitzSimons is a proven and innovative business leader who led a premier
media company through times of outstanding growth and tough
challenges,’ said Marshall N. Morton, Media General’s president and
chief executive officer, in a filing with the Securites and Exchange
Commission,” according to theTampa Bay Business Journal.
“‘His industry knowledge and experience with the changing media
landscape and the synergies of print, broadcast and online platforms
will bring a valuable perspective to the Media General board’s

So in case that $41 million wasn’t gonna last him:

“Outside directors to the Media General board receive an annual
retainer of $116,000 for all scheduled meetings as well as an
additional $1,750 for each unscheduled board meeting and each committee
meeting attended beyond the two included in the retainer, according to
SEC filings,”TBBJ reports.

The Internet just keeps sucking money away from newspapers. Why, I don’t know how print could ever possibly pay for itself. We should just give up and put everything on iPhones. Print is dead. Nobody reads anymore anyway. Twitter is the future.

Just to put this in perspective, the amount of money Dennis Fitzsimmons will make for going to meetings is more than I made as a reporter any three years I worked. Until there is a panel discussion on the best kind of feathers to cover these people with after they’ve been dunked in hot tar, I hereby exempt myself from attending any more smug bullshit sessions about how unwashed hippies online don’t have to pay for their kids’ college or something like Real American Grown-Ups.

Seriously, what is it going to take for us to talk about this truthfully? How many more people have to lose their jobs, how many more desperate places have to remain unwatched by any watchdogs, how much more of our national conversation — which is really all a good newspaper is, a city talking to itself — has to be silenced before we start seriously asking why profitable businesses are being deemed unprofitable and productive work is being flushed down the drain so that professional receptacles like Dennis Fitzsimmons can draw six figures for sitting around a conference table once a month. With an added bonus of four figures if he has to come in on a weekend or something.

Jesus tits.



Quitting Time Booster Shot

Welcome to the travel version of the Booster where we’ll ponder the mysteries of almost missed flights and how it is possible to freeze to death and boil to death a single flight:

– Almost found out the hard way that there is a difference between a 9 a.m. flight where you should be at the airport 90 minutes before take off and a 7:30 a.m. flight. It helps to check the itinerary before you fly. Just saying…

– I know the airlines don’t need any ideas on how to squeeze me for another 10 bucks, but here’s a marketing campaign that would clearly bring in a boatload of cash: kid-free seats. You pay an additional $10 or $25 or whatever and the airline guarantees you won’t have a kid screaming across the aisle from you or a kid behind you kicking your seat. After a flight today in which I had both, I’d gladly pay for this service. Maybe we put the kids in the cargo hold. I don’t know. Even as a parent, it’s hard to tolerate this crap.

– Also, can we please have a standard temperature for travel? The airport was -12, the plane was 89, the waiting area for the shuttle was 80, the shuttle was -138. I’m not a gecko. I can’t change my body temp. Pick a temperature.

– From the “You think so, Doctor?” File: Bruce Murphy is backing off of his full-throated defense of Jessica McBride. Yeah, that whole “due diligence” thing you accused Bice of not doing? Tends to cut both ways…

– The reporter who was accused of fabricating sources in a boatload of his stories for the Hawaii student newspaperhas fired back today, arguing he in no way made up anything. Look, kid, stop trying to deny that you made up quotes. Do the honorable, tried-and-true thing: blame it on someone else, come out with a book and hit the rubber chicken circuit where you can claim all sorts of bias and stuff.

– From the “When you’re right, you’re right” Department: TMZ broke the Michael Jackson story, beating the crap out of everyone fair and square. In watching some of the coverage evolve and listening to the post-game analysis by the local radio guys today, it was clear not everyone enjoyed that moment. In fact, people seemed to be APOLOGIZING for having to CITE TMZ. Of course, the most reputable news organizations didn’t, simply failing to give any kind of credit. You stay classy… You know who you are…

– Let them eat cake. Or dead tree…

– And finally, if you’ve been having trouble with this whole “gays want to marry” thing, here’s a handy little diagram that just explains everything about the gay marriage pro and con arguments.

Thanks for letting me share your air. Be back next week.



God’s Laws

Something Sanford said at his press conference that’s been bugging me since:

But I — I guess where I’m trying to go with this is thatthere are moral absolutes, and that God’s law indeed is there to protect you from yourself.

Because … I’m sorry, it isn’t God’s law that keeps me from cheating on my husband. It’s the promise I made in public to basically not be an asshole to him for the rest of our lives, and that I like him quite a lot and don’t want to upset him. God is not my traffic cop, and I just find the idea that He should have to be so very tiresome. Doesn’t He have enough to do without protecting me from my otherwise uncontrollable urges?

Now, granted, God and I have a relationship not unlike two exes who meet once a year for a quickie in a hotel room to get it out of their systems and then spend the other 364 days bitching about each other, but I’m not unaware that many people do rely upon Christian moral teachings for guidance as to how they live their lives. I’m not talking about looking at the life of Jesus and thinking, “You know, I should be like that guy, with the working for the poor and the defense of the decent and downtrodden and whatnot.” There’s nothing wrong with inspiration and motivation.

I’m talking about this certain conservative fundie tendency to cite God as a preventative, like chemical castration or something. You can be the biggest dick on the planet but so long as your Cosmic Crossing Guard is there, you’ll stay inside the white lines? God’s a vaccine, basically, to keep away the kind of flu that leads to you sticking your dick in somebody you’re not married to?

How … reductive.


Stupid Republican Tricks

Public Shaming For The Win

These people should not be allowed to go anywhere without reminder of who they are and what they have done, and just how many people oppose what they stand for.



Title It

Cheney’s memoirs.


Do Something, Epic Blogger Win, So Called Liberal Media

Another First Draft Reader-Supported Project Gets Off the Ground

Our resident Freepaholic, Tommy, asked you some time back to join in supporting a journalism project to help make tomorrow’s media. In just a day you had that one handled the way you’d handled the two I asked about the week prior, andhere are the results:


The teacher involved writes:

Dear Tommy,

Once again, I would like to thank you all very much for supporting both my Journalism and my Grammar&Composition classes!

had originally anticipated that the LCD projector would be most
beneficial to my senior Journalism students because we do a lot of
PowerPoint lessons, surfing the net, and blogging as part of the class;
however, I discovered that my freshmen Grammar & Composition
classes also excelled in phrases, clauses, and sentence types with the
use of projected and interactive lessons. In fact, the freshmen were
disappointed that I didn’t think of them when I wrote the proposal.
They were pleased to reap the rewards of having it in the classroom

I cannot begin to explain what a boon the LCD projector
has been to all of my students. It has allowed my Journalism students
to critique layouts of both professional and student newspapers as a
large group. It has helped me show my students how to avoid plagiarism
by navigating websites that show proper citation and sticky situations
to avoid. It has reminded my students that there are people, unrelated
to education in a direct way, that want them to succeed and are willing
to facilitate that success.

Thank you so much for your generous donations. My students and I very much appreciate your help.

With gratitude,
Ms. D.

I love that it’s being used to teach not justooh shiny toy but basic skills, because the skill set — communicating clearly and intelligently — crosses platforms and will apply to journalistic tools the kids may have to use that aren’t in wide circulation yet. I also love that the lesson they’re learning is that they as future journalists and future media consumers are important and that we care.

Well done, everybody.