Man Bites Dog Story: Columnist for Chain Newspaper Rips Chain Newspapers
Bronson, at least for the moment, works at The Enquirer, which is owned by mega-chain operator Gannett Co., Inc. Gannett publishes 85 local newspapers and USA Today.
Here's Bronson on blandness:
I wonder if a steady diet of junk-food news causes high blood pressure, indigestion and poor circulation.
Bronson on local non-coverage:
Wherever the population density can support more than one freeway exit, the chains move in and sterilize any hint of local flavor. ..... Being dropped in the middle of a chain newspaper can be like being taken to a Waffle House blindfolded, then trying to figure out if you're in Iowa or Idaho.
But the Enquirer columnist gets in his best licks criticizing newsroom political correctness, serving up three examples of what surely has driven many NewsBusters readers to distraction over their own local papers:
Immigration Reform Nachos: Authentic, imitation tortilla chips smothered in cheesy political correctness, served with a side of sympathy salsa on a bed of wilted lettuce logic.
Presidential Pardon Pasta: Linguini in a heavy whine sauce, with your choice of Bush is evil, Bush is wrong or Bush should be impeached. Sorry, Clinton Pardon Pasta, deep fried in hypocrisy, is no longer available.
Live Earth Cocktail: Purple Kool-Aid served on ice from melting polar caps in a recyclable mug shaped like Superhero Al Gore's personal jet. Get yours now before the world ends.
That there is indeed a striking uniformity of opinion in chain-owned newsrooms over at least the first and third items is almost beyond dispute. Stories about crimes committed by illegals almost never get around to telling us that the criminals involved are indeed illegals, or how they managed to stay here for months or years. The "sympathy salsa" gets taken off the shelf just about any time an illegal faces deportation. Reports on environmental issues lean heavily towards the assumption that global warming is occurring (Really? Note that the report is in an English newspaper), is a big problem, and that anyone who doesn't buy in can't be taken seriously.
It doesn't help that in certain areas, most notably business coverage, even at the state level, the chain locals, and most other locals, are at the mercy of relentless biased outlets like the Associated Press, Bloomberg, and Reuters.
The tragedy is that while the top-tier blogs and talk radio are filling in many of the cavernous gaps in national coverage, local and state news, which is often at least as biased, both in what is reported and in the choice of what isn't, is subject to less overall and certainly less influential scrutiny. Perhaps this will change as more downsized/early-retired Old Media refugees join the blogosphere (Daily Bellwether blogmeister Bill Sloat is one such person) and other forms of alternative media, they will see how bad it is from the outside looking in, and fill in the gaps. Someone surely needs to.
Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.