Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Give 'em "enough rope" and this is what happens...

The collapse of capitalism has informed the corporate zeitgeist to the extent that the only source of money is not spending money. So, shorten sail, cut your budget and fire everyone -- especially the ones who raise a stink about "benefits" or "cost-of-living increases." You know: those pesky employees.
I've been at the kind of meetings where you hear: "Damned greedy employees who think that employers are supposed to foot the bill, give them money while giving them a place to work. Don't these brats understand that you're supposed to have a real job that allows you the leisure to work at these little hobbies like journalism? We should charge them!"
Of course, the Standard-Times beat their lunatic step-mother, the Wall Street JoanCrawfordournal, by a month or two with the actual basis for a story about vigilante citizen patrols that had absolutely nothing to do with the Guardian Angels. So, chalk one up for, um, them.
Sometimes, SouthCoastTodayDotCom's best features are the parody news stories that seem pulled from The Onion. Here's the story of fisherman James Peterson, who's moving a scalloper from Connecticut to Djibouti.with apologies to Becky Evans, who probably DID went to schoolHere's the line that cracks me up. Every time:It's funny because it's stoopid. Peterson, however, is NOT.I am aware of the perceptible firearm-barrel-and-fish image whenever I take a cheap shot at the World's Worst Newspaper, but, really, Standard-Times: Have you ever heard of Editing?
Not counting, of course, the four hundred options in seventy thousand drop-down menus and out-of-season boxes on the site that, for the most part, lead, if not to nowhere then to something that hasn't been updated in six years -- the ugliest mess is, as you might expect, the "comments" section. Which serves only to provide an outlet for viewers of FOXNews to redouble efforts by NewsCorp to spread bilgewater all over the deck, obfuscate clear discussion, and rally armies of strawmen.
The "good" news is that tomorrow heralds the S-T's publishers' fourth -- and I hope final -- attempt at providing a comments section.
Hear me: Remove it for the sake of society and humanity. The existence of a moronically self-defeating feature that manifests a scaredy-cat insistence upon "public input" sickens. There is NO LAW which either obligates or insists that a newspaper must give mouth-breathers an opportunity to continually whack at the piƱata of positive and sensible community dialogue.
At least in the physical paper, their scatterbrained Letters to the Editor are a handy place to set down the coffee mug. Online, it's different.
And you tried on at least three other occasions to "clean it up" without once stating "Stop defacing our online presence, insulting our editorial judgment, and start paying money to buy the paper and write an actual letter that we can ignore."
Even in little league, you only get three strikes.
So you'll try again tomorrow with the same creeps and their obsessive compulsive need to see their own neurotic ramblings, xenophobia, nauseating narcissism, uneducated rage, sexism, racism, homophobia, conspiracy theories, unanswered fallacies, unedited misinformation, and unattended personal attacks.
All in the name of "free speech" you bravely publish this on-going journal of lies, slander, defamation and aspersion.
What business sense does it make to fill your online edition with rank garbage that chases away readers and advertisers? It gives you no pause to allow sociopaths to continue to use their offensive avatars to identify their anonymous forum "personalities" Those two images appeared on nearly every page of that site every day for several weeks, accompanied by suggestions of violence and sedition, hateful remarks, and monstrous mendacity. That should explain why I am not particularly eager to share the Standard-Times with anyone.
I urge any advertiser to think likewise. And I feel less of those who so blithely toss marketing dollars into a cesspool.


Anonymous said...

You may be confusing the collapse of the middle class with that of capitalism.

ThirdMate said...

The collapse of society as a whole has made things murky.

Luckily, there are plenty of middle-class journalists who know when to end a sentence.

Anonymous said...

The reporters have blogs with comments so will those be moderated? It looks like a different kind of form, no icons abd they use their own names.I hope that stays the same.

Anonymous said...

One society follows another. Historians may well write of the period 1940-1980 as an aberration in American history. Our society in the period 1740-1780 (no unions, little middle class, more manufactured goods arriving by ship than made ashore) may reflect the national essence.

Anonymous said...

I thought the story was about how much the paper sucks. I didn't get m,uch about the middle class, except in the joke at the beginning about why the paper sucks. AFAIK: Middle Class is a naive fairytale. What is that? The group of people who earn a median or average wage? The group of people who have "The American Dream"? A special "magic caste" like in India that isn't "ruler" or "untouchable"?
There IS NO MIDDLE CLASS, just the working poor paying for the wealthiest 3%'s tax breaks.

Carol said...

You can't edit quotes. I don't have a problem with this one. It reveals the transporter of the boat is enthusiastic about his destination and that he might be very naive about it, too. Interestingly, although old fishing boats truly are in demand to move small freight, a freight captain from Trinidad was sure this boat would be used along the Somali coast as a cover for pirates.
P.S.: About "it's" and "its": One of the S-T's reporters is guilty of that regularly.

ThirdMate said...

"Edit" doesn't mean "rewrite or reword." In both radio and writing, I have eliminated or truncated quotes as an amenity -- so that the speaker doesn't look or sound like an imbecile.

If I were teaching a journalism class, I'd call it a bad choice by Evans because the story is marred by a statement that is awkward, which may or may not have been innocent or intentional. Was the author being snide or clever or did Evans misquote Peterson? None of those questions are relevent, and shouldn't distract from the story.

As with all of my love-hate (mostly hate) relationships with local media, I've been on a tear about the Standard-Times and probably won't say anything else for a while. I do respect my friends who still work there.