Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Personal Aside: It Gives Me Great Joy II.


“Advertising Age” has just come out with an exhilarating (for me) finding…that Barack Obama’s victory didn’t do a thing for sales on newsstands in Chicago—a well-deserved rebuke to the hustling editors of both “Sun-Times” and “Tribune” who sold much of their integrity to turn their papers into sales pamphlets and most of their columnists into flacks for the Democratic candidate—eschewing their once diverse stance. During the sixth months ended this September, the “Tribune” saw its weekday circulation decline nearly 8% to 516,032 and the “Sun-Times” decline by nearly 4% to 313,176.

Wrote the magazine: “The declines came during a period that included the grueling final months of Mr. Obama’s face-off with Hillary Clinton, his clinching of the nomination and a number of key developments around local figures including Rev. Jeremiah Wright, political fixer Tony Rezko and former [sic] radical William Ayres. The papers’ proximity to these events helped them land a number of big stories along the way and the Sun-Times’ chief Obama watcher Lynn Sweet became a cable-news regular. But neither the intense interest in the stories nor the paper’s access to them stopped circulation declines.” I’m glad if it helped Sweet whom I admire but it’s sweet satisfaction to see the tabloid which has disgraced itself since the great days of Emmett Dedmon, disintegrate. Proof that when you betray what remains of a newspaper’s soul you betray yourself.
Michael Cooke, the editor of the “Sun-Times” has staked his job on the hope that his paper would become the bible for blacks—so his columnists have paraded their elective intentions accordingly…Mary Mitchell whose animosity toward whitey is designed to inflame her black readers…Neil Steinberg, the brackish anti-Catholic who dispenses ridicule against Republicans not gently but with a trowel…Mark Brown who would do the same if he could manage to get readers who stay awake after reading his unutterably tedious Sears catalog-style prose and the Sunday special—fittingly chosen for the Lord’s Day—the vitriolic atheist Christopher Hitchens who insulted Mother Teresa on her funeral day.

Over at the “Tribune,” the conversion of the once-serious paper to a cheap Obama supplement with the editorial endorsement written ala stenography by R. Bruce Dold, things weren’t much better. It’s owner, the Lucifer look-alike with the red scruff beard, orange fringe hair and slit eyes, joined the outfit and took stock of its soul which he offered up to the gods of expedience by signing off on a big-photo USA Today-like format and ordering lackey Dold to write the Obama endorsement…thinking he’d move the paper into the black at least in the campaign by shilling for Obama.

So congratulations Mike, Sam, R. Bruce and others. Just imagine, you couldn’t have done worse if you had stayed straight…the S-T not taking to donning whorish net stockings and standing provocatively under the streetlights to lure black readers…and the “Trib” also turning into a lady of the evening instead of remaining true to its heritage and endorsing McCain.

1 comment:

  1. Well done! So true and so sad that Chicago no longer has a newspaper worth subscribing to. There are still a few individual columnists worth reading (like John Kass), but the likes of Eric Zorn, Mary Scmich (spelling?) and Richard Roeper are not enough to make readers purchase papers on a daily basis.