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March 09, 2009

Overnight Open Schadenfreude: Seattle P-I Rages Against the Dying of the Light (genghis)

Mercifully, the Seattle P-I’s suffering is nearing its end, yet the end is nigh. Still, the brave columnists and editors have decided to do their best to entertain us, in what short time remains. Tonight’s opinion piece is from columnist Joel Connelly, a long-time unrepentant lefty well-seasoned journalist with the paper asking Without Papers, Who Will Speak Truth To Power? A fair enough question, so let’s let him make his case. (Original content is compressed to save screen space, yet again, since every single sentence is also its own paragraph)

”UNFOLDING HORROR stories of wrongheaded loans and wretched excesses by bankers prompt a reasonable citizen to ask: Who was guarding the store? Who was looking out for white-collar crime? Outrage and ersatz populism on cable TV news -- spread by guys with seven-figure salaries -- has taken the form of blunderbuss attacks on Congress and pictures of villains. (redundant –ed) Nobody questions the absence of watchdogs. The Seattle P-I did just that. Our paper has painstakingly detailed how FBI agents and dollars were diverted from white-collar crime to the war on terrorism. The promise of $1 billion to revitalize white-collar work graced our front page a week ago. It's satisfying to see as the print P-I nears its last edition.”

Not only layers of painstakiness, but priorities. I do give Mr. Connelly credit for using both “ersatz” and “blunderbuss” in the same sentence. But he’s just getting warmed up:
”Shrinking newsrooms, elimination of "special projects" units and empty desks in state capitol pressrooms are worthy of public worry. Who is to get at the truth in order to speak the truth to power? Back when this scribe attended Bellingham High School, walls in Mr. Pooleon's classroom were covered by marvelous vertical food chain drawings, topped by polar bears and lions (he left out tigers from the equation, oh my – ed)(land) and orcas (sea). Seattle newspapers occupy a curious position in the media food chain. We have nourished those above us as well as the upstarts."

Wow. There’s really nothing to add to that buffet of arrogance and..…weirdness. But Mr. Connelly goes on to explain how much we’ll miss him and his cohorts:
”At the same time, "new media" -- our proliferating Web sites -- depend on daily fish wrappers more than they admit. Sure, Web sites have scored multiple breaks, from neighborhood stories to the Bush administration's purge of overly professional U.S. attorneys. But many also have ideological axes to grind, and proprietors addicted to three words -- "I," "me" and "my."

He’s got a point there. We do depend on daily fish wrappers, such as the P-I, more than we admit, but for obviously different reasons than what he’s drawn for a conclusion. Sure, Connelly mentioned our hard work breaking the U.S. attorney scandal, but never mentioned the HQ’s role in breaking the Paul Anka “Shirtgate” scandal. As for Intermesh sites having “an ideological axe to grind?” That’s a great point. Can’t have ideology creeping into our posts and stuff. And we really should stop using those nasty personal pronouns like "I" and "me" and simply get used to the collective ones. Mr. Connelly leaves us with a parting pearl of wisdom:
”The daily fish wrapper may die. Its values must live.”

Truer, yet odder words have never been spoken. We’ll miss the old girl and the comedy goldmine she’s provided for months. Below the fold is a musical sendoff as we prepare for it to slip the surly bonds of Earth and touch the bottom of our recycling bins for one last time.

Notice: Posted by permission of AceCorp LLC. Please e-mail overnight open thread tips to xgenghisx@gmail.com. Otherwise send tips to Ace.

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posted by xgenghisx at 01:38 AM

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