Damn them!

I have always loved newspapers - which may sound strange to people in my age group (mid-thirties) and alien to those younger than I. I do not have a romantic story of delivering papers as a teenager - in fact, I could not stand that gig (you deliver newspapers at 5 in the morning in upstate NY in the middle of winter - real winters of the sort we don't have anymore) - but I always loved to read newspapers. They are the most amazing documents and their production over a 24-hour cycle is an amazing undertaking.

What I love about the newspaper is it brings together articles on such a variety of topics, that one cannot help but be exposed to things outside of a stated area of interest, no matter how well-developed. The very act of turning the page reveals a panorama of new stories and one never knows how interesting a story is until one reads it.

You cannot help but be exposed to new ideas, new information - with a good newspaper.

So why then, do I not subscribe to my home town paper - the Miami Herald - or any of its neighbors like the Sun Sentinel or a national paper like the USA Today or my previous home town paper like the New York Times? Quite simply, I grew disillusioned with the content of newspapers, across the board.

I need not tell the author of "What Liberal Media" tales of dismay with the editorial boards of the WSJ or the NY Times or especially the Washington Post. But what I do not understand is how all of these "businessmen" who week after week of declining subscriptions can still remain so oblivious to the cause. They want to blame their readership - we don't have time; we don't value newspapers; we would rather get the content for free over the internet - instead of looking in the mirror at how their own actions have taken the natural newspaper reading public - people who are curious about the world around themselves - and alienated us by serving us all the news that is not fit for print.

I believe that newspapers no longer serve the naturally curious market of readers, as they see us as liberals. I believe they have bought into the idea propagated by conservatives that "liberal" a dirty word.


I would expect a businessman to understand his market and know that regardless of labels, if you want people to buy your product you must provide them a service.

Long winding and ranting introduction to a scoop that the politico.com broke Tuesday evening: Bush relied on propaganda to sell the war in Iraq to the American people and the "liberal media" aided and abetted him along the way. So says former press secretary Scott McClellan. The vaunted American "free press" - that relentlessly announces itself to the world as the pre-eminent force for freedom on the planet and endlessly injures itself in self-congratulatory bouts - was hoodwinked by a man who brags about his "Gentleman's C" approach to university life.

And we are all poorer for it. And some of us are no longer alive for it.

I say the newspapers can either come back to us or they can all crumble. We will manage without them.

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