It’s time to change the name of the United States to the United Socialist States of ACORN.

Illegal immigrants voiting for the Democrat/Socialists with the help of “community organizers” such as ACORN.
Election boards dominated by the Democrat/Socialists disgard more than 25 percent of US soldiers’ ballots. Major manufacturers are “nationalized” by the new one-party system.

Note to cool, trendy Obama supporters: Only U.S. Citizens over 18 are allowed to register to vote. Illegal immigrants and felons (in most states) do not have the right.

It’s not who wins the votes, it’s who counts to vote,” Stalin.

ATLANTA — The Obama  Justice Department has rejected Georgia’s system of using Social Security numbers and driver’s license data to check whether prospective voters are citizens, a process that was a subject of a federal lawsuit in the weeks leading up to November’s election.

What’s wrong with a real ID check? 

“This flawed system frequently subjects a disproportionate number of African-American, Asian and/or Hispanic voters to additional, and more importantly, erroneous burdens on the right to register to vote,” Loretta King, acting assistant attorney general of the Justice Department’s civil rights division, said. 

The decision comes as Georgia awaits word on whether a law passed in the spring that requires newly registering voters to show proof of citizenship will pass muster with DOJ. Under the law that takes effect in January, people must show their proof up front just as everyone does when paying with a check.  

The Soviet Plan
Lessons were learned by watching the socialists take over Russia and transform through class and race warefare. The one-party Bolshavics took control and held it for 70 years before the people of Poland, Georgia and Romania took down the tyrants. Lessons were taken and used to prepare the American liberals for the surrender of their freedoms and souls, to the whims of their elites and political insiders.

These observations are published in Pravda: 

First, the population was dumbed down through a politicized and substandard education system based on pop culture, rather then the classics. Americans know more about their favorite TV dramas then the drama in DC that directly affects their lives. They care more for their “right” to choke down a McDonalds burger or a BurgerKing burger than for their constitutional rights. Then they turn around and lecture us about our rights and about our “democracy”. Pride blind the foolish.

Then their faith in God was destroyed, until their churches, all tens of thousands of different “branches and denominations” were for the most part little more then Sunday circuses and their televangelists and top protestant mega preachers were more then happy to sell out their souls and flocks to be on the “winning” side of one pseudo Marxist politician or another. Their flocks may complain, but when explained that they would be on the “winning” side, their flocks were ever so quick to reject Christ in hopes for earthly power. Even our Holy Orthodox churches are scandalously liberalized in America.

The final collapse has come with the election of Barack Obama. His speed in the past three months has been truly impressive. His spending and money printing has been a record setting, not just in America’s short history but in the world. If this keeps up for more then another year, and there is no sign that it will not, America at best will resemble the Wiemar Republic and at worst Zimbabwe.

These past two weeks have been the most breath taking of all. First came the announcement of a planned redesign of the American Byzantine tax system, by the very thieves who used it to bankroll their thefts, loses and swindles of hundreds of billions of dollars. These make our Russian oligarchs look little more then ordinary street thugs, in comparison. Yes, the Americans have beat our own thieves in the shear volumes.

America has traded places with the USSR. It’s time to congratulate the Democrat/Socialists and change the name of America in the spirit of “truth in advertising.”

New York ABC radio newsman George Weber was a gay pedophile, killed by his boy date. Sanchez, the gay pedophile train engineer was texting teenage boys seconds before he crashed and killed 25 people in LA

The mainstream news has been filtering the news and making everything nice and PC for the dumbed down readers. They only report what fits the “progressive” agenda. 

With the rise of blogs, the truth can now be reported. Did you know that the longtime New York radio newsman was paying teenage runaways for gay sex? George Weber was found stabbed to death in his Brooklyn apartment Sunday morning, cops said. Now we find he was accidently killed by a troubled teen, paid to have rough gay sex with the radio newsman. 

The bloody body of Weber, a passionate liberal fan of the city who spent a decade doing local news on WABC morning radio, was found just after 9 a.m. when he didn’t show up for work. It can now be told that Weber, an outspoken Democrat, was a gay pedophile. He was a chicken hawk who paid teenage boys, often runaways money for sex. A boy who just turned 16 accidently killed Weber during a session of “rough” gay sex.

Weber, 47, was freelancing at ABC’s national radio network after being laid off last year.

 

What kind of books or DVDs did Mr. Sanchez have in his home? Doesn’t the media look into these things? Oh, wait, Sanchez was a gay pedophile Democrat, not a Christian Republican.

The first results of the National Transportation Safety Board investigation are in. Surprising no one, it’s now confirmed that train driver Robert Sanchez was sending text messages moments before crashing a train full of people into an oncoming freight train, killing 25 people. His last text message was sent 22 seconds before the two trains collided. Sanchez was an outspoken Democrat and Obama reporter with a keen interest in teenage boys.

While we’ll likely will never be able to definitively say one way or the other due to the lack of eyewitnesses, those 58 seconds between received message and sent message are likely the reason why Sanchez missed the “red lights” on the track as the freight train approached. Shouldn’t we know what Sanchez was texting? What if it was something like “the brakes don’t work well?”

The cellular network clock and the train’s onboard computer clock are almost certainly set slightly differently, so the final, incoming text message may have arrived somewhat earlier or later than 22 seconds before the crash. If the timestamps are reconciled exactly, the NTSB could then use information about the speed and location of the train to determine exactly where Sanchez’s train was when he took his eyes off the track ahead and whether that is what likely caused him to miss the signals. The content of the message is important, also. If it was a urgent warning, rather than just a friendly “HOW R U?” Sanchez shouldn’t have had to rush back with an answer. Was he having text sex games with the teenage boy?

Why didn’t you read about this in the LA Times or San Francisco Chronicle? How about this?

There is a dark side to the tragedy

Sanchez’s “partner,” Daniel Burton, allegedly hanged himself in the garage of the home they shared in Crestline, a community in the San Bernardino Mountains about 80 miles east of Los Angeles.

Burton’s sister, Carolann Peschell, said she suspected foul play and never believed her 39-year-old brother, who was HIV-positive, would have killed himself. He had found a job at a gourmet restaurant and sounded well when she spoke to him two weeks before his unusual death.

“He was doing fine; he was happy, no signs of depression,” Peschell said. “We didn’t feel my brother was capable of doing this to himself.” He was a gentle man and hanging is a brutal way to kill yourself.

Peschell, who described Sanchez as “very odd, very strange, and obese” said her suspicions were not investigated throughly by San Bernardino County sheriff’s investigators.

A coroner’s report said the two men had argued the night before Burton’s body was found; Sanchez had told Burton they should break up. That would draw attention by a professional CSI team.

Peschell kept her brother’s purported suicide note, which read: “Rob, Happy Valentine’s Day. I love you. Please take care of yourself and Ignatia. I love you both very much.” Ignatia was their dog.

From KFI radio, the John and Ken Show, Los Angeles

Newsman Eric Leonard reported on KFI radio (3:15 PT today) that the driver in the LA Metrolink crash last week, Robert M. Sanchez, is suspected of having killed his male lover 5 years ago. Leonard reports that the that the family of the lover, Daniel Charles Burton, has always believed that Sanchez killed Burton. The Burtons tried to get the police to investigate their son’s death as a murder to no avail. The death appeared to be a suicide, but the family has handwriting experts who say that the handwriting on the suicide note was not Burton’s. The family also told the police that Burton was HIV positive and that he and Sanchez had a fight right before the “suicide.” More recently, the Burtons called Metrolink to warn them that Sanchez was unstable.

Eric Leonard also reports that “it looks clear from [Metrolink's] review of the [train] controls, that Sanchez did actually apply some speed controls within seconds of the crash but never braked.”

Would Sanchez have lost his home? That could be a motive. Was Sanchez a chicken hawk preoccupied with teen texting? He was arrested and plead guilty to theft of expensive electronic gaming equipment. And on Sept. 2 his train killed a pedestrian. Was Sanchez texting then too?

Chronicle’s chronic losses lead to major cuts at the Bay Area’s largest newspaper — papers coast-to-coast cutting staff

The San Francisco Chronicle ready for some major “right sizing.”

After some more streamlining in addition to a new printing process off site, the largest newspaper in Northern California should begin to be profitable again.  

In a posted statement, Hearst said if the savings cannot be accomplished “quickly” the company will seek a buyer, and if none comes forward, it will close the Chronicle. The Chronicle lost more than $50 million in 2008 and is on a pace to lose more than that this year, Hearst said.

Frank J. Vega, chairman and publisher of the Chronicle, said, “It’s just a fact of life that we need to live within our means as a newspaper – and we have not for years.”

Vega said plans remain on track for the June 29 transition to new presses owned and operated by Canadian-based Transcontinental Inc., which will give the Chronicle industry-leading color reproduction. That move will save a few million annually due to the reduction of highly paid pressmen.

If the reductions can be accomplished, Vega said, “We are optimistic that we can emerge from this tough cycle with a healthy and vibrant Chronicle.”

The company did not specify the size of the staff reductions or the nature of the other cost-savings measures it has in mind. The company said it will immediately seek discussions with the Northern California Media Workers Guild, Local 39521, and the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Local 853, which represent the majority of workers at the Chronicle.

“Because of the sea change newspapers everywhere are undergoing and these dire economic times, it is essential that our management and the local union leadership work together to implement the changes necessary to bring the cost of producing the Chronicle into line with available revenue,” Frank A. Bennack, Jr., Hearst vice chairman and chief executive, and Steven R. Swartz, president of Hearst Newspapers, said in a joint statement.

From the Newsosaur:

SF Chron cost-cut target equals 47% of staff

If the San Francisco Chronicle had to slash enough payroll to offset the more than $50 million operating loss threatening its future, nearly half of its 1,500 employees would be dismissed.

That’s the magnitude of the challenge facing the managers and union representatives who were tasked today by Hearst Corp. to find a way to cut the paper’s mushrooming deficit – or else.

After losing more than $1 billion without seeing a dime of profit since purchasing the paper in 2000, the Hearst Corp. today threatened to sell or close the Chronicle if sufficient savings were not identified to staunch operating losses surpassing $1 million a week. Without significant cost reductions, the losses would accelerate this year as a result of the ailing economy, said Michael Keith, a spokesman for the paper.

To wipe out a $50 million loss, let alone make a profit, the paper would have to eliminate 47% of its entire staff

Meanwhile, on the East Coast:

The latest Hartford Courant (former Times-Mirror newspaper) layoffs were announced last night – political reporter Mark Pazniokas is among those cut from the newspaper. We’ve been told these names as well – please correct us if we have anything wrong: Jesse Hamilton of the Washington bureau,  Religion Reporter Elizabeth Hamilton, Business Reporter Robin Stansbury, Environment Reporter David Funkhouser, reporters  Steve Grant and Anna Marie Somma, sportswriter Matt Eagan,  itowns editor Loretta Waldman, itowns reporter Nancy Lastrina, administrative assistant Judy Prato, Marge Ruschau, Features copy editors Adele Angle and David Wakefield, and library staffer & researcher Owen Walker.

We’re told that editor/reporter Kate Farrish resigned earlier this week as did editor John Ferraro.

Denis Horgan is calling it the Mardi Gras Massacre.

Paul Bass has more in the New Haven Independent.

Now, back to Texas:

Memo from San Antonio Express-News’ editor

From: Rivard, Robert
Sent: Wednesday, February 25, 2009 10:44 AM
To: SAEN Editorial
Subject: We are canceling this morning’s news meeting for obvious reasons.

Colleagues:

By now you have read Tom Stephenson’s message to all employees. Every division of the Express-News will be affected, including every department in the newsroom. Incremental staff and budget cuts, we are sorry to say, have proven inadequate amid changing social and market forces now compounded by this deepening recession.

It is not lost on us as journalists in this difficult moment that we have built an audience of readers, in print and online, that is larger and more diverse than at any time in our century and half of publishing. We have done that at the Express-News through a commitment to excellence and public service. Now we must find ways to maintain these high levels of journalistic distinction even as valued colleagues depart. It is an unfortunate but undeniable fact that declining advertising revenues are insufficient to support our operations at current levels. At the same time, more and more people have become accustomed to reading us at no cost on the Internet. As a result, we are reducing the newsroom staff by some 75 positions, counting layoffs and open positions we are eliminating.

As a first step to securing our future and continuing to serve the community, we are undergoing a fundamental and painful restructuring of the newsroom staff. We will have fewer departments and fewer managers, and yes, fewer of every class of journalist. After we reorganize and consolidate additional operations with the Houston Chronicle, we will then turn to finding new ways to create and present the journalism we know is vital to the city and the region. There is every indication the community we serve recognizes our importance and wants the Express-News to succeed.

The newsroom leadership team will begin now to meet with individuals whose jobs are being eliminated. Brett Thacker and I are working with these editors to carry out such notifications as swiftly and humanely as possible. No one is being asked to leave the Express-News today unless you so choose. March 20 will be the final day for those whose jobs are being cut, at which time they will then receive involuntary separation packages that include two weeks’ pay for each year of service up to one year’s pay, along with other benefits. Some production journalists involved in the consolidation project with the Houston Chronicle will be asked to stay on until that project is completed in the coming months. Those who do stay until the completion will receive their separation packages at that time.

We have worked to preserve the size and depth of our newsroom in every imaginable way these past months and years, but events beyond our control have overwhelmed those efforts. Newsrooms become like families, but companies in every industry reach a point where they face fundamental, sometimes harsh change in order to preserve their viability. We are at that point. Most of you read yesterday’s news regarding the San Francisco Chronicle and recently became aware of pending staff cuts at the Houston Chronicle. Our intention is to get through these difficult days and work to remain an indispensible source of news and information through the recession and beyond.

Hearst purchased the Chronicle in 2000, but soon afterward felt the impact of an economic downturn in the dot.com sector as well as the loss of classified advertising to Craigslist and other online sites. The problems have been exacerbated by the current recession.

In the news release, the privately-held, New York-based company said that the Chronicle has had “major losses” since 2001.

Back on the West Coast, there is no safe haven.

Sacramento Guild bracing for job cuts

Woe is us, McClatchy warns

Media Workers Guild – 12 Feb 2009

Sacramento Bee employees should expect a serious wave of layoffs in early March, as well as other cost-cutting measures now being considered, including wage cuts and mandatory furloughs as McClatchy Newspapers’ financial crisis worsens, company representatives told the Guild’s bargaining committee in a 90-minute session Thursday.

Mercury Bargaining Bulletin 9

 

Mercury News wants $1.5 million cut from wages and benefits

 

California Media Workers Guild – 10 Feb 2009

Mercury News negotiators said Tuesday they need to find $1.5 million by cutting wages and benefits paid to Guild members annually in the face of the economic woes facing the company. The company’s announcement came at a bargaining session Tuesday that kicked off an effort by management and the Guild to expedite the process of reaching a new contract to replace the one that expired October 31.

“Given the losses the Chronicle continues to sustain, the time to implement these changes cannot be long. These changes are designed to give the Chronicle the best possible chance to survive this economic downturn and continue to serve the people of the Bay Area with distinction, as it has since 1865,” Bennack and Swartz said in their statement.

“Survival is the outcome we all want to achieve,” they added. “But without specific changes we are seeking across the entire Chronicle organization, we will have no choice but to quickly seek a buyer for the Chronicle, and, should a buyer not be found, to shut down the newspaper.”

The Hearst statement further said that cost reductions are part of a broader effort to restore the Chronicle to financial health. At the beginning of the year, the Chronicle raised its prices for home delivery and single-copy purchases.

Hearst owns 15 other newspapers including the Houston Chronicle, San Antonio News-Express and the Albany Times-Union in New York . Hearst announced Jan. 9 that in March that if a buyer is not found it will close Seattle Post-Intelligencer, which has lost money since 2000.

Vega said readers and advertisers will see no difference in the Chronicle during the discussions with the unions.

“Even with the reduction in workforce, our goal will be to retain our essential and well-read content,” Vega said. “We will continue to produce the very best newspaper for our readers and preserve one of San Francisco ‘s oldest and most important institutions.”

The Chronicle, the Bay Area’s largest and oldest newspaper, is read by more than 1.6 million people weekly. It also operates SFGate, among the nation’s 10 largest news Web sites. SFGate depends on the Chronicle’s print news staff for much its content.

The San Francisco Bay Area is home to 21 daily newspapers covering an 11-county area.

The Chronicle’s news staff of about 275, even after a series of reductions in recent years, is the largest of any newspaper in the Bay Area.

“While the reductions are an unfortunate sign of the times, the news staff has always been resilient in San Francisco ,” said Ward Bushee, editor and executive vice president. “We remain fully dedicated toward serving our readers with an outstanding newspaper. We are playing to win.”

The area’s other leading newspapers – the Bay Area Media News Group that includes the San Jose Mercury News, Contra Costa Times and Oakland Tribune – also have seen revenues decline sharply and cut staff.

These problems are a reflection of those faced by newspapers across America as they experience fundamental changes in their business model brought on by rapid growth in readership on free internet sites, a decline in paid circulation, the erosion of advertising and rising costs.

Advertising traditionally has offset the cost of producing and delivering a newspaper, which allowed publishers to charge readers substantially less than the actual cost of doing business. The loss of advertising has undermined that pricing model.

In the case of the Chronicle, Vega said the expense of producing and delivering the newspaper to a seven-day subscriber is more than double the $7.75 weekly cost to subscribe.

At the beginning of the year, in an effort to evolve its business model and offset its substantial losses, the Chronicle raised its subscription and newsstand prices, taking a cue from European papers that charge far more than their American counterparts.

“We know that people in this community care deeply about the Chronicle,” Vega said. “In today’s world, the Chronicle is still very inexpensive. This is a critical time and we deeply hope our readers will stick with us.”

The challenge the Chronicle faces, Vega said, is to bring its revenues from advertising and circulation into balance with its expenses so that the newspaper can at least break even financially.

“We are asking our unions to work with us as partners in making these difficult cost-cutting decisions and reduction in force to ensure the newspaper survives,” Vega said.

Michael Savage will have some candid comments on the layoffs. What about the content of the Chronicle’s “news?”

The union reps “negotiate” their fate:

Cost-Cutting Talks Begin – 

Guild leaders met with representatives from The Chronicle and Hearst Corp. this morning to discuss the company’s cost-cutting proposal.

We opened the meeting by underscoring our commitment to our membership and the community to do all we can to reach an agreement that will keep The Chronicle open and return it to profitability.

The company seeks a combination of wide-ranging contractual concessions in addition to layoffs, the exact number of which the company said it did not yet have. For Guild-covered positions, the company did say the job cuts would at least number 50. Other proposals include removal of some advertising sales people from Guild coverage and protection, the right to outsource — specifically mentioning Ad Production — voluntary buyouts, layoffs and wage freezes. 

We plan to closely analyze this proposal over the next few days and explore every possible alternative. Meetings will be held to discuss details with members of the bargaining unit. An informational membership meeting will be held from 5-7 p.m.tonight (Tuesday Feb. 25) at the Guild office, 3rd floor conference room.

Management reiterated its commitment to keeping The Chronicle open and to working with the Guild to secure a viable future. Despite the difficult economic environment, we are confident that by working together we can find solutions to any problems that confront us.

If you have any questions or suggestions, contact your shop steward or e-mail Unit Chair Michelle Devera, Local President Mike Cabanatuan or Unit Secretary Alissa Van Cleave.

In solidarity,

Michelle Devera, Chronicle Unit chair, michelleatsfchronunit@gmail.com
Michael Cabanatuan, Local President, ctuan@aol.com
Alissa Van Cleave, Chronicle Unit secretary, vancelave44@hotmail.com
Wally Greenwell, Chronicle Unit vice chair
Gloria La Riva, president, Typographical Sector
Carl Hall, Local Representative

Philly Newspapers Rolled – Inquirer and Daily News in free fall

Bankruptcy documents filed Sunday by Philadelphia Newspapers LLC, The Inquirer and Daily News and seven affiliated suburban publications report the newspaper group bought  from McClatchy (the troubled chain that Knight-Ridder unloaded in 2005) is asking the court for bankruptcy protection. The Philly group paid McClatchy  $562 million for the papers. The value of the assets is far lower than that just a few years later.

You have to admire the business knowledge of the Knight-Ridder family share holders who knew when to fold them and chuck them off before the business trends became obvious.

This report in Forbes Magazine is by Wm. P Barret, former Dallas Times Herald and Philly Inquirer reporter and editor. He has good sources. 

The Inquirer and Daily News join a growing list of newspapers forced into bankruptcy after sharp declines in advertising destroyed their ability to service big debts taken on when they changed hands. A day earlier, Journal Register Co. (nyse: JRC – news – people ), parent of Connecticut’s New Haven Register and 178 other weekly and daily newspapers, sought bankruptcy-court protection. The same fate befell the Minneapolis Star Tribune last month. In December, Tribune Co., whose holdings include the Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times and Newsday, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. All newspapers have suffered sharp ad revenue declines due to Internet competition and the recession, but those that recently changed hands in leveraged deals are the most vulnerable.

The bankruptcy threatens to wipe out the $150 million equity investment made by Tierney’s Philly group, which included local labor unions and business interests. It also raises the prospect of big losses by the lenders that provided the balance of more than $400 million in debt financing. The list of largest unsecured creditors was topped by Royal Bank of Scotland (nyse: RBS – news – people ), which is owed $22 million. As of Jan. 31, the company said it still owed $395 million to lenders.

 

“The debtors’ assets and going concern value are worth less today than they were worth in 2006,” Thayer wrote. He added that Philadelphia Newspapers had 2008 free cash flow–before interest, taxes, depreciation or amortization–of $36 million. That is expected to drop 31% to $25 million this year, Thayer wrote. It is from cash flow that debt-servicing payments are made.

Thayer’s statement hints at hard-ball tactics on all sides as Tierney’s team fought to restructure its finances outside of court. A Tierney request in November for $20 million in equity investment from lenders was rejected. Then this month, Thayer wrote, lenders countered with a proposal that the money be a loan and demanded an answer to their proposal within 48 hours–and without providing a copy of the paperwork describing fees for their loans.

In a memo to employees, Tierney said the company has asked the hometown bankruptcy court to allow payments of benefits and pensions. A bankruptcy filing usually halts such payments, at least initially. In recent years, many employees of the Inquirer and Daily News have taken buyouts or have been laid off.

Thayer’s affidavit says Tierney’s management has “dramatically improved the operations.” But one thing not specified was print circulation numbers of the Inquirer and Daily News, both Pulitzer Prize-winning newspapers. Latest audited figures put their combined daily circulation at 398,000, on the order of half what it was when the papers’ main competition, The Philadelphia Bulletin, went out of business in 1982.

Has the earth been visited by space aliens? Kucinich and Pelosi think so. Do the math.

The idea of space travel is fun and provides great entertainment. I’m sure there are many forms of life similar to earth in the universe. But if you do the math, you will see that it doesn’t matter. The space aliens are not going to visit earth and probe Democrat House representatives’ rectums in Cleveland Ohio, or San Francisco like Democrat Dennis Kucinich insists happened to him and friends of his in Hollywood. Nancy Pelosi who like her friend Kucinich, may look like an alien from another galaxy, that’s a fact, but her basic math skills are lacking. 

 

Kucinich is currently the chairman of theDomestic Policy Subcommittee of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. He is also a member of theEducation and Labor Committee.

Kucinich heads committees on education? That should be against the law.

We need to increase teaching math, science and economics in our schools. That’s a fact.

Meanwhile the stock market continues to crash today. Investors understand economics and simple math and that spending billions on more government programs is not what drives an economy. 
A team led by Jochen Greiner of Germany’s Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics determined that the huge gamma-ray burst occurred 12.2 billion light years away. Pluto is 12 light hours away.

Can you imagine man travelling in a vehicle that is 1,000 times slower than the speed of light? It would take 12.2 million years to visit a neighboring  solar system.  That’s the time equivalent to going back to the days dinosaurs roamed the earth. Planet of the Apes, it would not be. Planet of the volvox colonies. 

The concept that a rocket or space craft could ever travel at the speed of light are comic book science, much like man-made global warming. Let’s say man ever could achieve the speed of light of a space craft? Think about the speed and distance.

The Shagged Sheep — One party PC journalism is here. Watch the attack on Mark Steyn

THE SHAGGED SHEEP Print E-mail
 

This is a long piece but it does have underage sex
and bestiality in it. So enjoy! — Mark Steyn

The other day I had an e-mail from M J Murphy, who blogs as Big City Lib,
saying only this:

I think you owe Dr. Miller an apology.

There followed a link to a post called
Steyn Gets Punked By 28-Year Old Literary Hoax:

Remember the kerfuffle between Mark Steyn and journalism professor Dr. John Miller
from a few weeks back? Dr. Miller accused Steyn of taking material for “America Alone”
from illegitimate sources like the infamous Little Green Book:
Sayings of the Ayatollah Khomeini.*
[*UPDATE: M J Murphy has quietly revised this paragraph,
and so the airbrushing begins

Actually, I don’t think Dr Miller has accused me of any such thing, though
I admit, given his shifting accusations, that I’m no longer quite sure what
he’s accusing me of. Just to recap, said “kerfuffle” arises from this passage
in a
review I wrote for Maclean’s of Oriana Fallaci’s final book The Force Of Reason:

Signora Fallaci then moves on to the livelier examples of contemporary Islam –
for example, Ayatollah Khomeini’s “Blue Book” and its helpful advice on
romantic matters: “If a man marries a minor who has reached the age of nine
and if during the defloration he immediately breaks the hymen, he cannot enjoy
her any longer.” I’ll say. I know it always ruins my evening. Also: “A man who has
had sexual relations with an animal, such as a sheep, may not eat its meat.
He would commit sin.” Indeed. A quiet cigarette afterwards as you listen to your
favourite Johnny Mathis LP and then a promise to call her next week and swing
by the pasture is by far the best way. It may also be a sin to roast your nine-year-old
wife, but the Ayatollah’s not clear on that.

A cheap joke en passant. Indeed, insofar as I dwelt on the ovine fornication,
it was to suggest to La Fallaci that, even for us flagrant Islamophobes, it was
not perhaps the most useful avenue of attack:

I enjoy the don’t-eat-your-sexual-partner stuff as much as the next infidel,
but the challenge presented by Islam is not that the cities of the Western
world will be filling up with sheep-shaggers. If I had to choose, I’d rather
Mohammed Atta was downriver in Egypt hitting on the livestock than flying
through the windows of Manhattan skyscrapers. But he’s not.

And that’s it. That’s all I said. And no one would remember had not El Mo’s
sock puppets included the sheep-shagging line in the
dossier they submitted
to the Canadian “Human Rights” Commission. Whereupon Dr Miller …actually,
I’m not sure he is a doctor: He calls himself “
The Journalism Doctor”, but the 
title seems to be entirely self-conferred. Anyway, at this point, Doc Miller, Prof Miller,
Herr Baron von Miller or whatever he is got interested in the case and asked the British
Columbia “Human Rights” Tribunal if he could intervene. Silly ol’ me assumed that he
wished to intervene to argue the cause of free speech. But no: he wanted to intervene
to argue that I was not a “responsible journalist”, and so it was entirely appropriate for
the state to censor me.
As Rory Leishman
notes, since this thought-police racket got going, “Most journalists have
either condoned censorship or cowered in silence.” Canadians who still value liberty should
know that, if they rely on anemic PC flunkeys like Professor Miller, they’ll lose their country.
At any rate, the BCHRT gave him the bum’s rush, so Prof Miller surfaced a few weeks ago and
kept returning to the subject of the sheep-shaggers line. His complaint is in an apparently endless
process of evolution. But let’s go through the story so far:

1) First, insofar as I understand his initial argument, he advanced the curious line
that the ruling from the Ayatollah was not widely cited, and therefore it was improper of me to use it.

After it was pointed out that in fact Khomeini’s views on the post-bestiality buffet,
child sex and other arcane points of Islamic law are known to many (especially
those 
on
the receiving end), a couple of weeks later he revised his line of attack:

2) Now his argument was that I’d concocted it out of whole cloth. The J-Doc declared
boldly that Steyn “gave no citation for the quote, and I suspect it was made up.”

In fact, as anyone who reads the passage above can see, I attributed it to Oriana
Fallaci’s book. The disinterested observer might conclude that Professor Ethics-Bore
had never so much as glanced at the offending article but had simply taken the Sock
Puppets’ word for it. So the E-Bore was obliged to revise his argument yet again – and
decided to accuse me of what he appeared to have done himself:

3) Now my sin was that I “clearly accepted someone else’s word for it”.
Evidently, it wasn’t all that “clear” when he was accusing me of making it up,
but a drowning ethics prof can be forgiven for clutching at straw men.

At any rate, that makes three different complaints. As I wrote:

That’s the great thing about the self-appointed “Journalism Doctor”:
When he diagnoses you, he provides his own second opinion.

Now, on Prof Miller’s behalf, M J Murphy has revised my crime yet again:

Dr. Miller accused Steyn of taking material for “America Alone” from illegitimate
sources like the infamous Little Green Book: Sayings of the Ayatollah Khomeini.

As I said, the sheep-shagging passage is from a review of La Fallaci’s book in Maclean’s.
It’s nothing to do with America Alone. There is no mention of sheep shagging in
America Alone. There is no mention of any Little Green Book in America Alone.
There is, indeed, no mention of Ayatollah Khomeini in America Alone. Prof Miller
and Mr Murphy and their
enthusiastic chorus boys at Law Is Cool are welcome to
check for themselves.

But, leaving that aside and forgiving M J Murphy for confusing America Alone with a
book review in Maclean’s, if you return to the passage up above, you’ll see that neither
Oriana nor I refer to any Little Green Book.
We cite a “Blue Book” – or “Libro Azzurro”, in La Fallaci’s original Italian. That’s the
color we’re nailing to our mast. We’re singing the blues, and it’s you fellers who are
smelling the green. Indeed, the guy who brought up the Little Green Book is Prof Miller
in his
response to me. I never mentioned any green book. Like I said, I’d rather be blue.
So, if M J Murphy and the excitable schoolgirls at Law R Cool have proved The Little Green Book
is a “hoax”, the person who’s been “punked” is Professor Miller.

Incidentally, I wouldn’t describe The Little Green Book as a “hoax”. It would be truer
to say that it is a somewhat lurid and condensed version of the Ayatollah Khomeini’s work.
Nevertheless, if you read M J Murphy’s post, you’ll find that Marvin Zonis
of the University of Chicago declined to provide an introduction for it. Professor Zonis
is evidently regarded by M J Murphy as a greater authority in these matters than I am,
so please keep his name in mind.

However, as it happens, I didn’t take “someone else’s word” for anything,
whether it was the word of Oriana Fallaci or the compiler of The Little Green Book.
When it comes to the Ayatollah Khomeini’s views on sheep shagging, my gu
ide for many years has been a book called Resaleh Towzih al-Masael. The author is
a chap called …Ayatollah Khomeini. Let’s go back to the original offending quotation
from my Maclean’s book review:

Signora Fallaci then moves on to the livelier examples of contemporary Islam –
for example, Ayatollah Khomeini’s “Blue Book” and its helpful advice on romantic matters.

Well, here’s a clue:

Hmm. Here’s another clue:

But how can that be? We all know: “There is no Blue Book.”
The Lord High Checker of Facts has pronounced.
As it happens, Resaleh Towzih al-Masael has been published in Iran in several editions.
But the most popular was the paperback edition published by Nashr I Sharia’t of Tehran.
It sold for 120 rials. It had some 350 pages, approx 5×7 inches, with a blue cover,
featuring a picture of its ever more famous author. A souvenir hardback edition marketed
as the perfect New Year gift was subsequently published by Rashidi with a plain blue cover…
almost every year this book is published in a different color. But many versions of the “Blue Book”
are still out there:

  

 

In the relevant passage in her book, Oriana recalls first seeing excerpts from the
“Blue Book” in 1979. That’s what it was back then: A blue book. The blue book
in revolutionary Iran. It certainly wasn’t a “little green book” as that wasn’t published till 1980.
So when she and I refer to the Ayatollah’s “Blue Book” we’re referring to that Nashr I Sharia’t
edition of the Resaleh. It was translated into English, unabridged, by J Borujerdi and published
in 1984 by Westview in London and Boulder, Colorado under the title A Clarification Of Questions.

I was given it a couple of decades ago by the Iranian gal I was then dating.
She had a copy of the pocket paperback with the Ayatollah on the cover, and once,
when she read out a bit to me, I expressed skepticism that it could really be that wacky. 
So a few weeks later she presented me with the English edition. As she explained, these
were not just some personal musings from the Ayatollah but a kind of moral compass for
the Islamic state. So I didn’t need to “accept someone else’s word for it” on having sex with
nine-year-old girls, because, like anyone else who’s taken even a cursory interest in the
subject, I’ve known for a long time that, in the Islamic Republic of Iran, girls could be legally
married at the age of nine. Article 1041 of the Civil Code states:

Marriage before puberty by the permission of the Guardian and on condition of taking
into interest the ward’s interest is proper.

“Puberty” is defined as “nine full lunar years” – although, in practice, girls as young
as seven can be married on the say-so of a doctor. The justification for all this is in the
highly elaborate rules of Islamic life. They may sound unlikely to M J Murphy or Prof Miller
but the Ayatollah’s “clarification of questions” doesn’t strike most devout Iranian Shi’ites
that way. Mr Borujerdi, the English translator, was an Iranian émigré living in Cleveland,
and he gave an interview about the book to David Remnick (now the editor of The New Yorker)
in The Washington Post in 1985. It’s not available online but M J Murphy and Prof Miller
and the Law R Cool nellies are welcome to go to their local reference library and check it out.
It’s the Aug 21 issue, page B1:

“I did the translation because it gives a very close understanding of the Shiite
view of the world,” he said. “The Bantam Press published a very slight version five
years ago called The Little Green Book’-just 6 percent of the original-but that was really
a joke book, to poke fun at Khomeini and debunk Islam at the beginning of the hostage
crisis. In Iran, this book is mandatory for every literate person, a kind of guide to living.”

So this is the real deal, not the sensationalist précis but a serious, scholarly 
“unabridged translation” designed to provide “
a unique picture of the belief structure of Shi’ism“.
Mr Borujerdi had no difficulty finding eminent academics to provide an introduction – namely,
Professors Mehdi Abedi and Michael Fischer of Rice University in Houston. But he also consulted
on the translation and interpretation with many other scholars, among them Professor
Wilfred Madelung of the Oriental Institute at Oxford University, Professor Wheeler
Thackston of Harvard’s Near Eastern Languages department, Professor William
Darrow of Williams College, Professor Vincent McHale of Case Western,
Professor Merlin Swartz of Boston University …oh, and Professor Marvin
Zonis of the University of Chicago. That would be the same Prof Zonis
who was unhappy with The Little Green Book, and thus made M J Murphy
unhappy, too. But Prof Zonis is cool with A Clarification Of Questions, so
presumably M J Murphy will also be satisfied?

Resaleh Towzih al-Masael/A Clarification Of Questions consists of almost 3,000
“problems” for which Ayatollah Khomeini provides answers, plus a few follow-ups
he dealt with in subsequent editions.

So, just to bring the deplorably unicultural Prof Miller up to speed,
the easiest way to get a flavor of the Ayatollah’s book is simply to 
sample the
contents pages:

THE UNCLEANS
1&2. Urine and stool
3. Semen
4. Corpse
5. Blood
6&7. Dog and pig
8. Infidel
9. Wine
10. Beer
11. Sweat of an unlawful ejaculation
12. The sweat of a camel that eats uncleans

Hey, Multiculti Man, that would be you at big hit sound number 8: “Infidel” –
right behind “Dog and pig” but, if it’s any consolation, ahead of “Sweat of an
unlawful ejaculation”. But hang on: ejaculate-wise, the Ayatollah’s just getting
cranked up:

PRECEPTS OF EJACULATION
Things that are unlawful for an ejaculator
Things that are loathesome for an ejaculator
The bath of ejaculation…

So just to reprise:

Did I cite Oriana Fallaci accurately? Yes.

Did she cite Ayatollah Khomeini accurately? Yes.

Is there a volume by the Ayatollah commonly known as the “Blue Book”? Yes 

Does it include rulings on sex with nine-year olds and what to do with a shagged sheep? Yes.

Did either of us mention a Little Green Book? No. In fact, the translation Oriana cites
pre-dates The Little Green Book by a year.

I think Professor Waggy-Finger is doing what they call “projecting”. He’s accusing me of
everything he’s been doing himself. I took “somebody else’s word for it”. Er, no. That
would be you, taking the Sock Puppets’ word for it on my book review. I didn’t check the
“primary source”. Er, no. That would be you, cavalierly announcing there’s no such thing as a
“Blue Book”. To be more charitable to you than you deserve, you assume that Oriana Fallaci
and I so want to think the worst of Islam that we’ll fall for any old hooey. Actually not. On the
other hand, you so want to think the worst of us blowhard provocateurs that you assume we’re
as ignorant of Islam as you evidently are. 

Please follow this on SteynOnline.com

 

 

Bottom-up change of America by Obama — Lowering the middle class

Trickle up poverty,  a phrase coined by someone who deserves an award or something, is probably not well liked by the far right. Why not try trickle up economic support?  Most of us consider ourselves “middle class.” I’d imagine even Donald Trump and Rush Limbaugh think of themselves as middle class, on the upper end, of course.

For political “big tent” purposes, the middle class is now about 80 percent of the country, including the  millions who don’t pay income taxes. We now know that  Joe the Plumber will soon be too rich for middle class status or Obama’s tax cuts. Welcome to the new lower middle class.

The Wall Street Journal’s Bill McGurn unpacks Barack Obama’s “tax cut for 95% of the people” hooey. The short version:

Now, if you have been following this so far, you have learned that people who pay no income tax will get an income tax refund. You have also learned that this check will represent relief for the payroll taxes these people do pay. And you have been assured that this rebate check won’t actually come out of payroll taxes, lest we harm Social Security.

You have to admire the audacity. With one touch of the Obama magic, what otherwise would be described as taking money from Peter to pay Paul is now transformed into Paul’s tax relief. Where a tax cut for payroll taxes paid will not in fact come from payroll taxes. And where all these plans come together under the rhetorical umbrella of “Making Work Pay.”

All of this is breathtakingly dishonest. (As Al Gore would say I think we need a lock box.)

Welcome to the world of MSM-lapdog-ism. But I can’t blame the MSM. McCain was too frozen in country club Republican politics to respond. 

Joe the plumber is in deep sh*t now for speaking up against Obama

By Mick Gregory

You knew it would happen. Joe the Plumber’s 15 minutes of fame in last night’s debate have turned into a round of public humiliation for the wannabe business owner. The Toledo Blade is reporting that Joe has no plumber’s license.

To make matters worse, the Blade also found that the Ohio Department of Taxation placed a lien against Joe because $1,183 in personal property taxes had not been paid. The piling on has begun. The media is searching for more dirt on Joe. Why aren’t journalists looking at William Ayers and Obama’s ACORN support and the Fannie and Freddie financial disastor with as much vigor?

You know why, don’t you. Welcome to the new United Socialist/Democrat States! Where the media is in lockstep with Big Brother and Senator Government. Make way for a wave of taxes and government control not seen in this country since Jimmy Carter, or LBJ’s Great Society, maybe even FDR’s New Deal. It’s BO’s time.

It took a hard working, average citizen to expose the media propaganda and lack of reporting on Democrat candidate for president, Barack Obama. Rather than report on Obma’s ACORN and William Ayers long-term alliance with Obama’s political support, they turn to ripping into Joe from Ohio.

 

 

We know that more than 90 percent of the major media consider themselves liberal. Even more so, the “minor media” like loser reporters in Scranton and those working for the Stribe.

We know that the small town Scranton fat, homely liberal reporter who made up hearing people at McCain-Palin saying “terrorist,” etc.

What caused the subprime mortgage meltdown?

UPDATE: Oct. 8, 2008:

One of the funniest and most politically searing comedy sketches in years has vanished from the Web site of NBC’s Saturday Night Live. Visitor comments asking about its disappearance are also being scrubbed from the Web site. The sketch — a harsh indictment of the housing meltdown that led to last week’s bailout bill — was clearly too much truth for someone to handle.

The seven-minute sketch featured a mock news conference of Democratic Congressional leaders on the bailout bill, during which Nancy Pelosi and Barney Frank inadvertently acknowledge that it was Congress that blocked reform and effective oversight of mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Then SNL comic Kristen Wiig, playing Speaker Pelosi, introduces a parade of “victims” of the housing crisis. These “real Americans” include two jobless deadbeats who bought houses with no down-payment and a preppy couple who can’t flip the dozen time-share condos they bought as a speculative investment.

They were followed by actors portraying the real-life couple of Herbert and Marion Sandler. They explained how they built a mortgage company that specialized in subprime mortgages, which they sold to Wachovia Bank for $24.2 billion in 2006 — one of the worst acquisitions by any company ever. It helped precipitate the collapse of Wachovia last week.

The Sandlers were hustled off the stage by “Speaker Pelosi” after they said they couldn’t understand why they were invited to a news conference of “victims” since they had done so well out of the housing crisis.

They were followed by financier George Soros, identified as “Owner, Democratic Party.” The actor portraying Mr. Soros informs the group that the $700 billion bailout package “basically belongs to me” and that he has decided to short the U.S. dollar. That will trigger a devaluation “either Tuesday or Wednesday. I haven’t decided which yet. It will depend on how I feel.”

The brutally wicked sketch must have caused tremors in left-wing circles. The Sandlers and Mr. Soros have all been prime financial backers of independent political groups that have secured huge influence in the Democratic Party and helped fuel the rise of Barack Obama.

The Sandlers, for example, were major donors to the left-wing radio network Air America as well as the liberal housing lobby ACORN, a major player in pressuring banks into making more subprime mortgages. They also donated $2.5 million to MoveOn.org, the liberal group that insulted General David Petraeus as “General Betray Us” last year. Mr. Soros contributed a like amount. In turn, Eli Pariser, the head of MoveOn.org, was quite candid after the 2004 election about the influence this left-wing cabal hoped to exercise: “Now it’s our party: we bought it, we own it, and we are going to take it back.”

No doubt the Sandlers and Mr. Soros were displeased with the Saturday Night Live sketch. Herbert Sandler told the Associated Press that its portrayal of him as a predatory lender was “crap.” “We are being unfairly tarred. People have been telling us to speak out for some time, but we didn’t think it was appropriate. That was clearly a mistake.”

I suspect that some of the people the Sandlers have spoken to — or complained to — are the corporate overseers of NBC. That may explain why the bailout sketch has been airbrushed from the network’s Web site and will likely never be shown again.

That’s a shame, because rarely has political satire been more timely, pointed and, in many respects, so truthful.

– The WSJ Online.

 

 

The mainstream media was able to keep a lid on it for 30 years. Thanks to individuals in radio, FOX News and now a strong online communications source, we get a detailed picture of the redistribution of wealth that has gone on in America. It started under the cloak of the Fairness Doctrine and Jimmy Carter’s presidency with the Democrat Party controlling Congress, (like they do today).

This is from Artur Davis, a Democrat:

The current market crash was set in motion when Jimmy Carter and the democratic majority Congress passed the Community Reinvestment Act. The act actually gave INCENTIVES to low income borrowers to get home mortgages they couldn’t afford. In 1995 Bill Clinton revised the Community Reinvestment Act forcing banks to approve subprime mortgages even though it might result in defaulting on the loan, because borrowers couldn’t afford to keep up with the payments. The risk of defaulting on those loans was huge, but it was okay after Clinton’s revisions because he made it law that the government would back up the loans, like a co-signer. Banks then were FORCED to give out $1 Trillion in new SUBPRIME loans. Does that number sound familiar? It should. That is the exact amount being proposed to bailout the banks and financial markets today.

Artur Davis admits the democrats were at fault. The republicans, especially John McCain, warned in 2004 that tax payers would be stuck with the bill if something wasn’t done to correct the accounting fraud, and bad loans stemming from the Community Reinvestment Act. Republicans also warned in 2004 that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were at the center of the problem, and both agaencies were owned by the Federal government, so they had the power to stop the train before it crashed the stock market today. Democrats got angry, as seen the video above, and said there was no problem, so they blocked any effort to reform the lending practices, and now we have the stock market, and mortgage market crash that could cause another 1929 depression. The bailout will cost tax payers more than $4,000 each. Thank you democrat party for creating the worst financial disaster in our country’s history. To make things worse, Barack Obama says he’ll raise taxes if he is elected.

Gary Pruitt to get the boot from the Titanic of newspaper failures. McClatchy is a case study in ignorance

CEO Gary Pruitt of the McClatchy News Inc. (mainly newspapers) has made it on Jim Cramer’s Wall of Shame, and Cramer cited MNI’s disastrous acquisition of Knight-Ridder which brought the stock down 82% as the reason for this special honor. The newspaper had been a well-run operation, but Cramer said the acquisition was among the worst he has ever seen. In addition, advertising revenue dropped 16% after subsequent declines. McClatchy has a history of making losing acquisitions, including the Minneapolis Star in 1998. Not only did Cramer give Pruitt a special place on the Wall of Shame, he gave him the middle name “Schemp” after the inept sidekick of the Three Stooges.

Pruitt may be looking for a job on the Obama campaign. The McClatchy family unanimously voted him off the board of directors on Tuesday.

McClatchy stock has crashed to less than a gallon of gas, about $3.20. There is no more wiggle room for stock offers. The stock smells like an old fish wrapped in the Sacramento Bee.

Continue reading

You can put lipstick on a pig, but you still have a pig! Obama’s Macaca Moment

The quote heard ’round the world today came from the lips of Obama. The Democrat presidential candidate with ties to Acorn said this about Sarah Palin today, “You can put lipstick on a pig, but you still have a pig!

Will the Washington Post, New York Times and San Francisco Chronicle run 50 straight days about Obama’s Macaca moment?

I wonder what Don Imus has to say about that? How about Oprah?

Democrat Party  presidential hopeful Barack Obama brushed aside a series of polls that show him losing support among white women voters to John McCain since the Republican hero named Gov. Sarah Palin as his running mate.

A Washington Post/ABC News survey published on Tuesday found most of McCain’s surge in the polls since the Republican National Convention was due to a big shift in support among white women voters. Meanwhile, his supporter, Oprah refuses to have Sarah Palin as a guest on her daytime talk show that appeals to women. But apparently white women — not so much.

Who is more porcine, Oprah or Palin?

Question: Who said “It’s nice to be here in New Pennsylvania?”

A. Dan Quale

B. George Bush

C. Obama

Answere: C. Obama

Oprah

Oprah

Question: Who said “Bashing my Muslim faith…”

A. Osama bin-Laden

B. Barack Obama

C. Ahmadinejad

Answer: B. Barack Obama

McCain picks Sarah Palin! McCain picks Palin! The Energy to Run America!

Published on Aug 29, 2008 

Sen. John McCain has taken center stage the day after Obama’s coronation at the Democrat Convention by announcing his VP at high noon. It’s Sarah Palin she has it all, good looks right out of central casting, intelligent speaker, family values and governor of Alaska. She is an environmentalist and understands drilling for oil is a must for U.S. energy independence.

She has positive energy and wit. She will be able to out debate Biden and show that the Republicans trust a women for high office. She has a  real life, not a life-long  politician like Biden and so many other Big Brother Democrats. 

The mother of five is an avid runner. Here is an article from the WSJ in September:

WSJ. Magazine
Gov. Sarah Palin: Midnight runs and caribou dinners

Coming Saturday Sept. 6 in the debut issue of WSJ. Magazine, a conversation with Gov. Sarah Palin about her unusual workout and fitness routine. Preview excerpt
By JEN MURPHY
August 29, 2008 1:42 p.m.
[sarah palin]
Brian Adams for WSJ. Magazine

Gov. Sarah Palin has always been a runner. Her parents were marathoners and high school track and cross-country coaches. “Running was a family affair,” she says. “I didn’t have much choice. Thankfully, I’ve never tired of it.”

Gov. Palin, a mother of five kids, says exercise is still very much a “family thing.” She and her husband, Todd, also an athlete, named their first son Track because he was born in that sport’s season. Gov. Palin (above, near Mendenhall Glacier, outside of Juneau) and her family live in Wasilla, about 45 miles north of Anchorage.

Workout

“Conventional running is my sanity,” Gov. Palin says. Having recently given birth to her fifth child, the governor is trying to get back to her old workout routine. She was running 7 to 10 miles almost every day but switched to aerobics classes at her gym when she became pregnant. She has worked her way back up to running three miles every other day.

In the summer, when it’s always light, she’ll sometimes run as late as midnight. In the dead of winter, when it’s dark, she sneaks in an afternoon run, or else grudgingly runs on the treadmill at home or at the gym in the evening. Gov. Palin keeps dumbbells at home, but she says most of her upper body strength comes from snowmobiling with her family. “It’s the best upper body workout you could ever have,” she says. “You’re maneuvering through hundreds of pounds of powder.” (Todd is a four-time champion of the Tesoro Iron Dog, the world’s longest snowmobile race.)

[sarah palin]
Brian Adams for WSJ. Magazine
Gov. Palin in Juneau, Alaska

Diet pitfall

“My family and I eat a healthy diet heavy in wild Alaskan seafood, moose, caribou and fresh fruit,” she says. “I guess my biggest pitfall is breakfast. I know it’s the most important meal of the day but I still haven’t bought into it. I hate to admit it, but a skinny white-chocolate mocha is my staple in the morning.”

Workout gear

“My ideal fantasy is to be running on a hot dusty road just wearing running shorts and some kind of top that wicks away sweat. But in reality I’m running in 20-below temperatures, so I wear layers of fleece and always a good outdoor waterproof trail shoe. Right now I’ve been running in Nike Air Structure Triax. And I always wear sunglasses. My kids tell me to put them on so I don’t freak people out when they see me with a goofy hairdo and no makeup.”

While I’m working out

“I’m thinking about my next speech. I usually write my best speeches and letters [in my head] while out running. That is my inspired time.”

Postworkout food

“Nothing. I just drink water.”

Workout pitfall

“Being pregnant every few years. If I get lazy and go weeks or months without exercising it’s not because of circumstances but because I’m being less disciplined. Shame on me.”

Visit http://palinforvp.blogspot.com/

Drill here, drill now!

Sarah Palin

Sarah Palin

Newspapers send thousands to ‘cover’ the Democrat National Convention

This is called journalism? Thousands of newspaper reporters are in Denver to “cover” the party and coronation of the Obama/Biden ticket.

In fact, 15,000 “journalists” are flocking around the DNC convention. For the Republican convention? Not so much.

Did you know that several of the Democrat delegates are reporters and publishers?

Here is one. I’m not kidding. His name is Thomas Martinet.

It’s all rehearsed, fluffed up press conferences, electronic press releases and speeches read off teleprompters on unity and “toned down” socialism with a mix of religion and race thrown in. And the press laps it up. Of course, more than 90 percent vote exclusively for Democrats. This is amazing considering they have no problem picking up stories from wire services for most of their other news.

Meanwhile, back at the dilapidated newspapers, they continue to cut jobs to try and slow the red ink. How could they afford to send reporters to Denver? I wonder how many of the schmucks are on their own dime. It’s like their visit to Mecca every four years. The reporters are among old friends who still believe they have power.

Is there ever a report of the fall off in the number of reporters at the Republican convention? How about questions on how many houses John Kerry owned? Or a question on Obama’s life in Chicago and Hawaii while his brother lives on a dollar a month in shack in Africa?

This report is one of the best I’ve seen on the state of newspapers. It comes from digitaldeliverance.com.

Ignorance isn’t bliss to the dying. Witness the pathos of American daily newspaper companies. Most have finally begun to realize that the deterioration of their businesses isn’t cyclical but grave. Yet few, if any, understand why. Almost all grasp for the reasons.

Some attribute their grave condition to advertisers suddenly switching huge portions of spending from print to online – an excuse that ignores more than 30 years of declines in those newspapers’ printed editions’ circulations and readerships. Some others attribute their deterioration to not having transplanted their content into online quickly enough -an excuse that ignores not only the dozen years they’ve spent transplanting it but how their online editions are now read even less frequently and less thoroughly than their printed editions.

Most of the print newspaper experts who diagnose these companies’ condition still prescribe stale nostrums such as more consumer focus groups, subscription price incentives, more stylish typography, or shorter stories. Meanwhile, most of the experts who diagnose these companies’ Web sites prescribe balms and accessories such as giving blogs to reporters, adding video, or having the readers themselves report the stories. American daily newspaper companies have long been too financially impatient to submit themselves to anything but ostensibly quick cures and they’ve even longer been too conceptually myopic to perceive the real reasons for their declines.

I’ll declare the real reasons. There are but two and neither has anything to do with multimedia, ‘convergence’, blogs, ‘Web 2.0′, ‘citizen journalism,’ or any ancillary topics you may have heard presented at New Media conferences this millennium.

Nor is either of the real reasons advertisers’ abandonment of printed newspapers. Their abandonment is a symptom, not the reason for the decline. To understand the real reasons why the American daily newspaper industry is dying, first understand why more and more Americans are no longer reading daily papers and how their abandonment of newspapers has been wrought by changes in their own media economics. Also comprehend why the epicenter of the newspaper industry’s problems in post-Industrial countries is America and exactly how grave the situation is there.

The Fate of American Daily Newspapers
More than half of the 1,439 daily newspapers in the United States won’t exist in print, e-paper, or Web site formats by the end of next decade. They will go out of business. The few national dailies — namely USA Today, The New York Times, and The Wall Street Journal — will have diminished but continuing existences via the Web and e-paper, but not in print. The first dailies to expire will be the regional dailies, which have already begun to implode. Those plus a very many smaller dailies, most of whose circulations are steadily evaporating, will decline to levels at which they will no longer be economically viable to publish daily. Further layoffs of staffs by those newspapers’ companies cannot avoid this fate – not so long as daily circulations and readerships continually and increasingly decline. (Layoffs are becoming little more than the remedy of bleeding that was used in attempts to cure ill patients during the 18th Century and cannot restore the industry’s health.)

‘Hyperlocal’ news startup companies, whose services will be delivered not on newsprint but online, might replace many small dailies, but not most, and certainly not before the printed products’ demise. The deaths of large numbers of daily newspapers in the U.S. won’t cause a new Dark Age but will certainly cause a ‘Gray Age’ for American journalism during the next decade. Much local and regional news won’t see the light of publication. (America alone won’t suffer this calamity. Many other post-Industrial countries’ newspaper industries will suffer or, at best, skirt a version of this disaster.)

Is the Situation Really That Bad? Yes. Look at the numbers.

Last year, the most authoritative newsletter covering the American newspaper industry intentionally went out of business. The Morton-Groves Newspaper Newsletter, in a front page editorial entitled ‘Passing the Inflection Point,’ co-publisher Miles Grove, the former chief economist of the Newspaper Association of America, politely stated:

“The market momentum guiding the future of newspapers is especially brutal in the larger markets. Many have already passed the point of opportunity as it is too late for newspapers that have not successfully adopted marketing practices needed to support the core product and integrate with alternative distribution channels …For those who have not made the transition, technology and market factors may be too strong to enable success.”

Last month, Goldman Sachs equity analyst Peter Appert put it more bluntly in a Reuters in a story about the dwindling number of equity analysts who still covering the deterioration of this $40 billion industry:

“If I covered only the newspaper industry, first of all I would have been fired a long time ago; secondly, I would have had to kill myself.”

Among the largest American newspaper companies, the losses of equity have been titanic. On the August day in when I write this, stock in the Journal Register Companyis trading for less than four pennies per share, down from $3.25 a year ago, a loss of 99 percent. Any of the buildings housing any of its 22 daily newspapers is worth more than the company’s current stock market capitalization (currently $1.4 million). Journal Register reports that it has $77 million in assets, $719 million in liabilities, and lost $102 million last year. Standard & Poor’s, which downgraded its rating of Journal Register’s stock to junk, has now withdrawn any rating of it. Meanwhile, stock in Gatehouse Media, which publishes 97 dailies, is trading at 57 pennies per share, down from $22.00 two years ago, a 97 percent loss. That company faces delisting by the New York Stock Exchange and the equity research firm Morningstar this week declared its stock to be essentially worthless, valuing the fair price as zero.

Meanwhile, stock in the McClatchy Company, which publishers 30 dailies, has dropped from $74.30 three years ago to $3.78, a 95 percent loss. Stock in Lee Enterprises, which publishes 51 dailies, has dropped from $48.57 to $3.83, a 92 percent loss during the past four years. Media General, which publishes 25 dailies, has seen its stock price drop 83 percent in the past four years. Stock of The New York Times Company, which publishes 17 dailies, has dropped 75 percent during the past six years, from $51.50 to $12.98. Stock in Gannett Company, which publishes 85 dailies, has dropped 65 percent, from $90.14 to $17.40, during the past four years. Despite these results, Morningstar still calls newspapers, “the market’s most overvalued stocks,” according to the newspaper industry trade journal, Editor & Publisher.

The American newspaper industry’s losses of advertising revenues have been so well reported elsewhere that I see no need to outline those here. Likewise the industry’s losses of weekday and Sunday circulations, except that the industry maintains the façade that its overall circulation losses during the past three decades have been relatively minor. Weekday overall circulation was 62 million in 1970, dropped to 55.8 million at the turn of the century, and is approximately 53 million today. An overall loss of 9 million or 14.5% isn’t paltry but doesn’t seem that bad in the span of 38 years.

However, those absolute numbers fail to account for population growth during that time. The American population was 203 million in 1970 and 304 million today. Had the American daily newspaper industry at least kept pace with population growth, its weekday circulation should be 93 million today, not 53 million. The industry’s weekday penetration proportionate to population dropped from 30.5 percent 1970s to 17.4 percent to today, a relative decline of 43 percent.

To combat news of these declines, the industry has stretching its yardstick of readership plus begun conflating daily print circulation and monthlyonline usage. Its readership estimates vary from 2.3 people to 2.5 people per printed copy, numbers which, if true, would also mean that the majority of people who read a daily newspaper don’t themselves purchase it. More likely, the industry is stretching readership to mean the number of people who might live in a household where at least one person happened to buy or subscribe to a newspaper. But the other 1.3 to 1.5 people haven’t necessarily read it.

An independent survey released this month by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press reported that 46 percent of Americans a newspaper ‘regularly‘, down from 52 percent two years ago and as high as of 71 percent in 1992. Moreover, only 34 percent say they read a newspaper ‘yesterday‘, down from 40 percent two years ago.

Meanwhile, the industry has begun combining its Web sites’ total number of monthly users and its printed editions’ daily circulation totals – even though the average monthly unique user of the average American daily newspaper Web site use the site on only four to seven days per month. The resulting muddle of daily and monthly vastly overstates the number of people who use a newspaper daily, whether in print or online.

Despite those financial, advertising, circulation, and readership declines, an article of faith among newspaper companies has become that the cure lay online. The most widely prescribed remedies are multimedia (also called ‘convergence’) and interactivity (mainly in forms of ‘Web 2.0′ and ‘citizen journalism’). The companies hope that adding those attributes to what their newspapers have always done will reverse their industry’s fate.

Yet adding multimedia, convergence, interactivity, Web 2.0, and ‘citizen journalism’ to what their newspapers have always done aren’t cures but merely balms and accessories. No matter how well intentioned those New Media prescriptions are, no matter how much more animated or responsive multimedia and interactivity can make daily newspapers, adding those will prove to be little more than analgesics.

The absences of multimedia or interactivity aren’t why the circulations and readerships of American daily newspapers have been declining in relation to both population and households for more than three decades. Half of American newspapers’ declines in weekday circulation and readership relative to population occurred before the Internet opened to the public in late 1991, prior to popular awareness of interactivity or multimedia. Although Americans nowadays expect all media to have multimedia and interactive attributes, the absence of those attributes clearly aren’t the major causes of the deterioration of the newspaper industry nor will adding those reverse those declines.

So, what are the two reasons why the American daily newspaper industry’s is dying?

The major one is simply that American newspaper companies have violated a specific part of the Principle of Supply & Demand when consumers’ supply of news and information radically changed in the past 15 to 30 years. The other and more reasons why American newspapers are dying is because of how far too many of them have deviated from their local roots).

The major reason alone is a mortal wound for the industry, but the minor reason exacerbated it due to a corollary effect of newspapers’ violation of a Principle of Supply & Demand.

The editor-managed newspapers are a prime example of sad bastards.

Democrat John Edwards is finished politically. Rielly Hunter is behind him 100%

John Edwards has been having an affair with a female staff member, Rielly Hunter, at the same time he was using his dying wife, Elizabeth Edward’s cancer, as a campaign ploy to win sympathy votes. Even more ironic, it is now evident Edwards accepted a “Father of the Year” on about the day of conception of his love child.

THIS JUST IN: Edwards admits to the affair on “Nightline” tonight. She was never a film maker, but paid $100,000 for her “services.”

Is that legal? Not by Republican Congressional rules.

Now we now that Democrat pretty boy has been paying money to keep Miss Hunter quiet. She has been living in Santa Barbara while raising her child.

Are they waiting for Mrs. Edwards to die?

Why did Edwards visit Ms. Hunter at the posh Beverly Hills Hotel?

Zell tells it like it is for newspapers

Sam Zell, the real estate tycoon who now runs the combined Times-Mirror/Tribune newspaper empire,  said some shocking statements today. 

Mr. Zell was on the CNBC “Squawk Box” show (June 27) when he said,
“I think that because newspapers have historically been monopolies, I think they’ve been insulated from reality. I, you know, am in the position where I’m going to have to, quote-unquote, deliver reality.

I think we can have terrific newspapers, but I think the newspapers have to respond to their customers. In many cases a lot of the things we’re doing right now were all identified in focus groups over the last eight years. And the focus groups were made, were taken, and nobody paid attention to them.”

You are right on Mr. Zell. Not only did the “editorial elite” ignore the research, they laughed about it.

It’s time you model newspapers after real businesses starting with demoting the “executive editors” to proof readers and replace them with real managers with MBAs.

Major newspapers have been monopolies, owned by absentee, wealthy families who let left wing editors with a life-long hate for business, run the show.  

 

 

 

Loser career — journalism

Now he speaks up. What about all those graduation commencement speeches Lou? Why did you mislead all those gullible liberal journalists back then, when you could have made a difference?

Ed (Lou Grant) Asner says: “I was a high school journalist and wanted to go into it because it was dashing and exciting. One day in college, my instructor, whom I revered, passed by my desk and said, ‘Are you thinking of journalism as a career?’ And I said, ‘yeah.’ She came back and said, ‘I wouldn’t … you can’t make any money at it.’ With that, I washed away any plans that I had.”

No wonder the same group of liberal journalists are so easily fooled by Big Brother/Al Gore tax and control schemes like “global warming.”

Big Brother = good.

Big Business = bad.

The kings of oil increasing production to 10 million barrels a day

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the world’s biggest oil exporter, is planning to increase its output next month by about a half-million barrels of oil a day of its light, sweet crude oil, according to analysts and oil traders who have been informed by Saudi officials. This announcement alone, plus the Republican party political movement called “Drill Here — Drill Now!” is making it into the media. 

The increase could bring Saudi output to a production level of 10 million barrels a day, which, if sustained, would be the kingdom’s highest performance level in history. The move was seen as a sign that the Saudis are becoming increasingly nervous about both the political and economic effect of high oil prices. In recent weeks, soaring fuel costs have incited demonstrations and protests from Italy to Indonesia.

Saudi Arabia is currently pumping 9.45 million barrels a day, which is an increase of about 300,000 barrels from last month.

The Saudis are concerned that today’s record prices might eventually damp economic growth and lead to lower oil demand, as is already happening in the United States and other developed countries. The current prices are also making alternative fuels more viable, threatening the long-term prospects of the oil-based economy. The high prices have also made it profitable to stimulate mature oil wells in Texas and California. 

President Bush visited Saudi Arabia twice this year, pleading with King Abdullah to step up production. While the Saudis resisted the calls then, arguing that the markets were well supplied, they seem to have since concluded that they needed to disrupt the momentum that has been building in commodity markets, sending prices higher. That creates panic. There seems to be no end in sight. 

The Saudi plans were disclosed in interviews with several oil traders and analysts who said that Saudi oil officials had privately conveyed their production plans recently to some traders and companies in the United States. The analysts declined to be identified so as not to be cut off from future information from the Saudis.

Last week, King Abdullah also took the unprecedented step of arranging on short notice a major gathering of oil producers and consumers to address the causes of the price rally. The meeting will be held on June 22 in the Red Sea town of Jeddah.

Oil prices have gained 40 percent this year, rising to nearly $140 a barrel in recent days and driving gasoline costs above $4 a gallon. Some analysts have predicted that prices could reach $200 a barrel this year as oil consumption continues to rise rapidly while supplies lag.

The growing volatility of the markets, including a record one-day gain of $10.75 a barrel last week, has persuaded the Saudis that they need to step in, analysts said. The Saudis and Republicans are the only groups trying to lower the price of crude. But you won’t read that in your mainstream newspaper on watch it on NBC. 

Did you know…

Until recently, only 35 percent of oil has been extracted from reservoirs. Oil resides in porous rock formations, it is not in the sate of underground pools as many consumers believe. Today, oil companies such as Chevron, Shell,  Halliburton and Schlumberger, have developed stimulation methods to revive mature wells. There are fracturing and perforating techniques, 3-D seismic methods to clearly see trapped reservers that have been missed by the original well. There are now, steerable drill bits that can capture those trapped oil reserves and pinpoint stimulation on targeted areas. 

–Mick Gregory

Newspaper editors believe they run the show

The Los Angeles Times news “executives” are in troubled waters. They believe they run the newspaper and Web site. A recent example — the publisher made plans to update its monthly magazine  — replacing the magazine’s deteriorating editorial staff with a new crew of pros experienced in real-world magazine publishing, fashion, creative and communications according to two executives at the newspaper.

The liberal editors fawning for Obama will not publish this candid AP photo of Obama and friends. Why not? Do you have to ask?

Good times. Obama, left, with fellow Muslims.

Back to the insider info. The new plan for the magazine goes well beyond the stale tradition of monopoly newspapers, which keep business operations, public relations, marketing and advertising, separate from the editorial department. An archaic system that has no other peers in the real world, except for organized religion. The Vatican comes to mind.

A casual reader of magazines such as Cosmopolitan, People, Vogue and Maxum can see that they are much more hip and marketing driven (not to mention, profitable) than big city newspapers’ thin, wordy, dull, 24-page poop wrappers. Look at the national newspaper magazines,  they too are marketing  driven. Do you ever read  Parade and USA Weekend.? They sell stuff.

A new magazine editor and staff have already been picked by Zell’s lieutenants without consulting the “editoriali.” Future issues have been planned, and mock-up covers were made — all without the knowledge of anyone in the newsroom.

How dare they not involve the editorial suite of cheap suits!

Why should the editors be in on enterprise/marketing decisions? Answer: because they always have been calling the shots at the LA Times, Chicago Tribune and SF Chronicle. They are all losing millions of dollars.

The LA Times top editor, Russ Stanton, especially had his tighty whities in a bunch.

They said that Mr. Stanton, after hearing about the move, asked the publisher of The Times, David D. Hiller, and the president of the newspaper, Jack D. Klunder, to change the name of the publication, which is now called Los Angeles Times Magazine. He argued that to keep the name would lend the newsroom’s credibility. It has not been blessed with the holy water from the high priests.

The Los Angeles Times is one of the large metropolitan dailies owned by the Tribune Company, which was bought a year ago or so by the real estate developer Samuel Zell. He has articulated an aggressive view of the newspaper business and its future, and recently announced plans to cut back news pages of AP stories and save the carbon footprint.

Both before and after Mr. Zell took control, there has been an unusual amount of turnover at the helm of The Times. Before Mr. Stanton took the top editorial job in February, his three predecessors had left in a semi-annual succession after refusing to make staff and budget cuts to stop the million dollars a week in losses at The Times.

It looks as if Mr. Stanton will be making a career move soon. Maybe the Santa Barbara News-Press will have a spot for him? Maybe he will go back home to the San Bernadino Sun?

The fate of The Times’s regular Sunday magazine has been grim for years when left to the editors to run it as they saw fit. Profit? Editors are not concerned with lowly issues like that. Cater to advertisers? No!

(The editors seem to be the only people in all of SoCal who don’t realize that retail, glitz and promotion are king in LaLa Land. The editors wanted to write hard-core stories, not glamour pieces with photo-shoots of skinny runway models.

The arrogant news staff asked publisher of The Times, David D. Hiller, and the president of the newspaper, Jack D. Klunder, to change the name of the magazine, which is now called Los Angeles Times Magazine. They argued that to keep the name would be a smear on the “good name” of the editorial department. Talk about the tale wagging the dog. Did they have an alternative name, like “adverising crap?” That’s what they think of the businesses that pay for their Men’s Warehouse suits.

Earlier this year, when it became public that Mr. Hiller was considering giving control of the magazine to the paper’s marketing and advertising managers, editors and reporters voiced fears that it would become less a work of journalism than a lightweight vehicle for currying favor with advertisers. Like Vanity Fair, Car and Driver, Cosmo,  GQ and Architectural Digest?

The issue is an especially sensitive one at The Los Angeles Times. In 1999, the paper published a special magazine section about a new sports arena, the Staples Center. Editors and reporters rebelled after learning that the paper shared the section’s profits with the arena and executives apologized for the arrangement. Soon after the “rebellion” the Times-Mirror family sold the troubled company to the Tribune Corp. The Chandler family didn’t like the slow motion, editor-centric management and soon after, forced the sale of the Tribune Co. They wanted their money. Mr. Zell bought it and took command of the empire in rot.

Now he is being fought tooth and nail by the stuffy “executive editors” of the old Times-Mirror empire.

The new editor, it is said, is Annie Gilbar is a former editor of InStylemagazine and has written or co-written a number of advice books, like “Wedding Sanity Savers.” Calls to Ms. Gilbar were not returned.

Nine magazine employees will have to find editorial work somewhere else in the building. Obits seem to be a good fit.

–Mick Gregory

Informant found shot to death in his home before he could testify.

An informant in the Dallas suburb of Plano who threatened to out police officers and members of the Dallas Cowboys and New Orleans Saints  was found shot to death in his home this morning (June 5), making him the second steroid dealer/informant killed this year before he could testify against law enforcement. Reported Jason Trahan at the Dallas News (“Convicted steroid dealer David Jacobs found dead in Plano home,” June 5)

Convicted steroids dealer David Jacobs, who recently agreed to tell the NFL which football players received banned substances he manufactured, was found dead in his Plano home this morning.

The body of a woman identified as Amanda Jo Earhart-Savell, 30, and a gun were also found at the home.

About 11:30 a.m., four men in ski masks and raid jackets with “police” on the back — indicating they may be undercover narcotics officers — arrived at the busy scene and entered the home with a cart to carry documents.

The Dallas Morning News spoke to Mr. Jacobs frequently and exchanged e-mails with him as recently as this weekend. He was interested in getting on with his life after accepting a plea deal for three years of probation on charges related to his steroids trafficking.

Mr. Jacobs said he wanted to rebuild his nutritional supplement business, but he was having trouble getting his old client base to work with him. He also was having financial problems, but the former Marine seemed to be in good spirits.

Jacobs claimed to have sold steroids to officers from the Garland, Richardson, Dallas, Arlington, and Plano police departments as well as to members of the Dallas Cowboys and New Orleans Saints.

Why didn’t he just hang himself like the DC madam and one of her escorts?

Will the FBI be called in? He was just a disgruntled drug dealer. Maybe he made his suicide look like murder?

Mainstream media didn’t hide the housing bubble — They didn’t see it. They were too busy writing puff pieces on celebrities making millions on their mansions

Mick Gregory

I really do like to say “I told you so,” once in a while, especially to liberal Californians in the mass media. My family and I moved from the Bay Area to Houston, Texas three years ago at the peak of the housing bubble. We were watching the market trends and came to our own conclusion well before the “experts” in the media. Our neighbors, both attorneys, had also noticed the growth was hitting 30 percent a year in our San Francisco suburb. Those stats come in every month by realtor associations; polished up by their PR departments — they are finally picked up by journalists and edited neatly following the AP style book. There are a lot of hacks in the industry who think that’s what makes good journalism. No analysis, just following the rules of serial comma usage and the very important difference (in their minds) between that and which.

Never mind that the price per square foot was over $350 and there were multiple offers coming on homes. The time spent on the market wasn’t measured in days, but hours.

Three years ago, there were very few reporters at the LA Times or SF Chronicle looking at the historic, unreal climb in prices. “This is California, there will always be a market for a piece of paradise,” we’ve seen in various versions in the entertaining Homes sections that ran every Saturday and Sunday.

Reports on the housing bubble and wobbles were rare. How could you expect anything better? Business reporters don’t have the resume to get an administrative assistant job at Fortune 500 companies or with developers. They don’t have the ambition to sell real estate, or the skill to be a property flipper.

More important than that, journalists are tied to their home town newspapers or TV stations. They can’t be objective in reporting bloated housing prices or comparing the quality of housing between markets such as LA and Houston.

The free fall of California real estate is finally front page news. Now that foreclosures are equal to home sales in some California neighborhoods. All this sudden analysis is 2.5 years too late for the thousands losing their homes.

Back then, the “executive editors” promoted cute columns called Hot Properties with features on how celebrities were tripling their prices on Bay Area and Malibu homes.

The party is over. That was the last time newspapers made windfall profits off of 5 pound Sunday newspapers.

Here is an excellent look at the media circus from Dan Gillmor’s blog on citizen journalism is among the best in the blog biz. Gillmor gives journalists too much credit. He should know some 94.5 percent didn’t even take Economics 101.

Housing Bubble Coverage: Defending the Indefensible

Editor & Publisher: Newspaper Biz Editors Defend Mortgage Crisis Coverage. Did the growing mortgage credit crisis, which took a huge turn with last week’s collapse of Bear Sterns, get enough early coverage from newspapers? Top business editors at several of the nation’s major papers say yes, although a few admit some of the more complicated elements may not have been broken out enough for readers.

“What tripe. The newspaper industry almost totally failed to do its job, and the public got screwed once again.”

Citing a story here and there, as several editors do in the E&P piece, is not evidence of newspapers doing their job. It’s quite the opposite.

When an economic catastrophe of this sort — and entirely predicable one — is building, journalists are failing to do their jobs when they don’t harp on it.

As I said in a previous posting, newspapers and broadcasters were raking in billions in advertising from the real estate and banking industries as this bubble inflated. I do not believe this is a coincidence. I also don’t believe it was deliberate malfeasance; but you just don’t see lots of tough coverage in media of the people and companies paying the bills.

Many if not most papers have special weekly real estate pages or sections where you would find little hint of the potential for trouble. I know I looked for it in the papers I read. That’s where the discussion belonged — as well, of course, as Page One — not solely in the occasional business page stories. Hundreds of references to bubbles, most in the past year and not when there was a chance to slow down that train, were dwarfed by comparison to the buying advice that dominated coverage of real estate overall.

Oh, sure, there were extremely infrequent stories containing warnings in a few publications — and occasional quotes from skeptics in the prices-just-keep-rising stories that overwhelmingly dominated the coverage. But the reality is that journalists mostly didn’t have a clue, or didn’t want to have a clue. I don’t know which is worse.

Some bloggers, and some economists, did shout warnings. They were ignored, or worse, insulted by wishful thinkers and (I suspect) people who stood to gain from the continuing bubble.

Again, from a previous post, here are some questions the media all but ignored until too late:

Where were the stories we should have been seeing, noting that “buyers” — a word that is ludicrous in context –were running headlong toward a financial cliff? What happened to the coverage of a housing market that fewer and fewer people could afford to enter except with no-interest or no-down-payment loans, where home prices were so far out of sync with the economy that there was no precedent for such imbalance?

Where were the stories pointing out that the secondary (and far beyond) mortgage markets were salting hugely risky debt all through the American economy? You think your bank or pension fund doesn’t have some of this garbage somewhere in its books? Think again.

The media also bungled by not fingering the makers of this bubble apart from foolish “buyers” who proved to be such suckers. This boom was fueled by people who knew it couldn’t last: brokers, bankers and, above all, Wall Street’s ever-clever wizards who risk other people’s money for gigantic fees.

This is another journalistic scandal. It’s not quite on the order of the bended-knee, pre-war coverage — stenography of government officials’ lies and deceptions — that helped steer America into the Iraq war, but only because it’s not killing people in large numbers.

It’s a massive enough scandal, though. There’s plenty of pain left in this deflation, possibly including an outright tanking of the economy.

The journalism craft should take a long, hard look at what it’s failed to do, yet again, in the housing bubble. It has failed to warn — as loudly and incessantly as it did in promoting the housing bubble — that a financial crunch was on the way.

There’s plenty of blame to go around in this mess. The finger-pointing has barely begun. But when it gets going for real, I hope that journalists who do some of that pointing will at least look in a mirror.

“I can remember the yards of copy written about new developments and real estate sections filled with puff pieces promoting house buying, with no hint of any risks involved with these investments. For the few stories you cite, what about those that quoted the National Association of Realtors about how this was the right time to buy a house, and that house prices have never declined. Remember how we were told house prices were supposed to be “sticky” and that when there was a downturn, the prices would stick rather than fall precipitously. Where were the investigative pieces about how low-income people were being ripped off by subprime mortgages? Both the New York Times and Wall Street Journal you cite ran endless stories about high prices for New York apartments, with appropriate pictures of the luxury amenities that came with them. In my lifetime, newspapers have missed the S&L excess of the 1990’s, and they dropped the ball on this one, too. And what about the culpability of Congress in this? Where are the investigative pieces of House and Senate banking legislation that opened the door to easy lending, no-document loans and giving mortgages to people with lousy credit reports — including illegal aliens working day work construction jobs? From what I’ve heard on CSpan, Sen. Jon Kyl has reams of information documenting how Congress contributed to the collapse now happening, but no reporters seem interested.”

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