Time to let the MSM sink. French victories. The Princess Diaries. Plus more.
Re: Quin Hillyer’s Profane Losers:
Good riddance, say I!
Quin Hillyer’s lament at the decline of MSM newspapers is misplaced. He can’t really believe that they will reform themselves into acceptable vehicles of real news and civilized features, as they are led by ideologues who would rather close them down than retreat from their sophomoric anti-Americanism. Gosh, even “Dear Abby” has departed common sense to embrace the liberal zeitgest. From the news pages to the obituaries (and certainly including the editorial pages, except for the occasional “house conservative”), all one encounters is liberal claptrap. My own city’s Kansas City (Falling) Star becomes less consequential every day, what with the serial layoffs and continual shrinkage. The puzzle pages are still pretty good, but hardly justify purchase at the newsstand or by subscription. And some of the problems are self-created. As the MSM has beaten the drum for every harebrained educational idea to come within its purview, we have raised a generation of liberal illiterates, who are unlikely to bother with something as early twentieth century as a newspaper.
I understand that Quin is one of those “ink-stained wretches” with romantic notions of newspaper journalism. Remember that our Republic’s earliest newspapers were competing organs of partisan communication, a function now performed by the electronic media. There is nothing particularly special about the newspaper as communication conduit. Should the blessed day come when such as the New York Times (all the news that fits, we print), the Washington Post (house organ of the permanent government), and the Kansas City (Falling) Star disappear from the media scene, I will pop the cork of a good Dom Perignon. If some sharp entrepreneur can figure out how to make a newspaper attractive to the majority who don’t hate their country and their traditional American culture, well good then. If not, too bad and let’s move on.
To say that “…the culture suffers if the newspaper industry falters or dies…” is really over the top. The culture has suffered because of the nonsense peddled by the newspaper industry for more than two generations. Time to allow the market to purge the excesses!
On another topic, I note with glee that our climate has been on a
significant cooling trend since 1998, the global warming computer
models off now for a decade. Can the global cooling scare of the
'70s be ready for a comeback? After all, what is more concerning
to most people: that we will have to build some coastal dikes to
hold back water from the melting ice caps or that America is
likely to be covered in perpetual winter? Since all
right-thinking (or, should that be left-thinking?) people simply
know as fact that man’s actions create climate change, we will
have to come up with a strategy to warm the earth. I know! Let’s
fill the atmosphere with increased carbon emissions to overcome
the cooling! Hummers and private planes can become the tools of
global salvation! We will need more cows to create more methane
gas, so vegetarians will become ecological criminals! I can
— Stephen Zierak
Kansas City, Missouri
Mr. Hillyer’s article is spot on. But sadly the mainstream media,
especially that of the eastern elites, i.e. the New York
Times, Boston Globe, Washington Post and
Associated Press, exert a powerful influence that goes beyond the
subscription and readership numbers. The truth is that these news
outlets, especially the Times, still bear the cachet of
intellectual superiority. Those who wish to appear informed
believe that to be seen reading the New York Times and
parroting the views of its editorial page will confirm their
superior smarts. Thus they can appear thoughtful without the
bother of genuine thought or intellectual curiosity.
Unfortunately this includes network news anchors, professors, and
most other east coast media and college elites within one
thousand square miles of Washington and New York. Therefore this
homogeneous liberal political opinion is spread around the
country as some sort of truth from the gods. It is safe to say
that the New York Times and Washington Post are
read by every senator and congressman in Washington and influence
their world view far more than the opinions of their
constituents. And it is equally safe to say that our nation would
be a far better off if this was not the case.
— Peter F. Killie
Mr. Hillyer’s article on the passing of print “journalism” struck a very responsive chord in me. About 30 or so years ago there was a weekly national newspaper from Dow Jones publishing called the National Observer. Perhaps some American Spectator readers remember it.
The National Observer was unique, in my experience, in the ability to turn the readership into a community. Every issue was as much a family newsletter as it was a newspaper. There were “best shaggy dog story” contests. A year or two the paper sponsored an entry in the Iditarod dog sled race and every issue carried a dispatch from the driver detailing the preparation and the race itself. Most important: good news was as much news as bad news.
Because such a quality publication is really hard to do, it’s
expensive and takes a lot of effort, I doubt we will see another
like it. We should remember that today’s newspapers are
direct descendents of the 18th century “penny press.” So, we
will continue to be subjected to “if it bleeds it leads”
headlines and “world ends: minorities, women, and children
hardest hit” articles. At least until such time as we have
to find other sources for fish wrapping and bird cage pan
— John Jarrell
San Antonio, Texas
Re: Bill Croke’s Century of the French:
I enjoyed the book review on the French who founded so much of this country and did travel very far and wide before the Brits even thought about it.
One thing that does bother me though is not much is mentioned as to all the Catholic priests that traveled with other priests or explorers and trappers to so many places in this country before the Protestant ethic was set down in our Constitution.
Many priests had educated Indians before any kind of Thanksgiving Day. Many priests became martyred by fierce Indians who just did not want them in “their country.”
I do get tired of hearing about the Protestants that founded this country and most times those Catholics who did fight in the Revolutionary War and who founded the state of Maryland get short shrift.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?