TUESDAY, DECEMBER 6, 2022
It no longer seems like a newspaper: At one time, it was our practice—we'd start the day with a trip to two (2) different daily newspapers.
We still start at the New York Times. Then, we go to the online Washington Post—and we're no longer sure where we are. Consider what happened this very morning, at 8 A.M. pretty much sharp.
We journeyed to the online Post a bit after 8 A.M. When we arrived at the puzzling site, these were the headlines on the six (6) bannered news reports which appeared at the top of its endless front page:
As fatal police shootings increase, more go unreported
Flawed FBI data has left thousands of deaths uncounted and complicates efforts to hold troubled police departments accountable.
Trump’s political action committee paying for lawyers of key Mar-a-Lago witnesses
When my father died, I discovered the unmentionable stage of mourning: Relief
I was troubled by this feeling. But it’s more common than you think.
Ancient human relative used fire, surprising discoveries suggest
Charcoal and burned bones offer intriguing—if controversial—clues that the species Homo naledi made hearths to light its way and cook in dark caves.
You’re not going to stop shopping for new clothes. Here’s what to do instead.
For an Earth-friendly closet, how you shop—finding ways to reduce unnecessary purchases of new items, thinking about how you might wear what you buy and looking for clothes that will last—matters.
With another Brazil win, another chance to witness gasping World Cup beauty
Five-time champion Brazil overwhelmed South Korea 4-1 and will face Croatia on Friday.
Those were the six bannered news reports at the top of the Post's front page.
The first two reports seemed to concern actual hard-news topics. That said, a quick review of the report on police shooting deaths seemed to suggest that it was built around a bit of a statistical okey-doke.
Meanwhile, after those first two (2) reports, here's what the Post was offering:
A memoir-style piece about handling grief. A report about the way an ancient prehuman species managed to keep itself warm.
A report about the way you can assemble an "Earth-friendly" wardrobe for your closet. Also, a report about Brazil's most recent World Cup match.
What would you think if you saw those six reports on the front page of the print edition of a traditional major newspaper?
We'd think that something was rather strange. Also, though, the online Post was offering this when we went there:
Right below those six bannered news reports, we encountered the Post's list of its MOST READ articles. As of 8 A.M., these were the top three
MOST READ articles, 8 A.M.
1) When My Father Died, I Discovered the Unmentionable Stage of Mourning: Relief
2) Kirstie Alley, Emmy-winning ‘Cheers’ actress, dies at 71
3) Advice / Carolyn Hax: Is mom’s help with the kids worth her commentary?
Just below that as we scrolled, we came to the DON'T MISS section. These were the first two reports we were told not to miss:
Brendan Fraser’s comeback says less about him than it says about us
Holiday movies have gone LGBTQ. The results aren’t always good
Just for the record, that report about Fraser has been promoted at the online Post since it first appeared on December 1. As of today, that made it five days old, but it was still a DON'T MISS.
Now for a confession. In all honesty, we weren't entirely sure who Brendan Fraser is. To our embarrassment, the five-day-old DON'T MISS report was able to tell us this:
BURR (12/1/22): Fraser was everywhere in the 1990s and early 2000s: a sweetly handsome, blue-eyed lummox whose starring roles established him as a perpetual naif. In “Encino Man” (1992), he played a thawed-out California cave-dude; “George of the Jungle” (1997) and “Dudley Do-Right” (1999) cast him as the live-action version of classic Saturday morning cartoon characters. There were dramatic performances, too, and fine ones—“School Ties” (1992), the revelatory “Gods and Monsters” (1998)—and three big action hits in “The Mummy” (1999) and its two sequels, but the Fraser persona seemed set in stone. He was a capable but slightly dazed nice guy, your older brother’s best friend and your little sister’s secret crush. Not so much a movie star but one of your own crew who had somehow managed to scramble up onto the screen.
You can imagine how stupid we felt—almost like a bit of a lummox ourselves! We hadn't seen Encino Man, and we hadn't seen George of the Jungle either!
At 8 A.M., the online Post was selling this array of dreck before it offered its actual hard news sections. As of now, at 12:30 P.M., the online Post's selection of topics may be even dumber.
Believe it or not, the third bannered "news report" the Post is offering at this time is this evergreen thumb-sucker from the EATING LAB department of its WELL + BEING section:
That 8-glasses-of-water-a-day thing? It’s from the ’40s and not accurate.
The well-known advice is outdated, and recent research has shown that many factors influence how much water we need.
The Post had thawed out that dated thumb-sucker. It's a bit like Encino Man!
The print edition of the Post continues to be a standard traditional newspaper. What beast is crawling forth from this entity's online realm?
As we've mentioned in the past, we don't quite know what to call it! Apparently, though, a major American one-time newspaper increases its income this way.
"What would you call the online Post?"
Hmm... Online or not, it's just another hate-mongering liberal-neocon publication, one of many.
...and that, dear Bob, is all there is to it...
And right on cue, the semi-weekly roundup of “drivel.” Shall we list Somerby’s blog, where he talks about a movie?ReplyDelete
“That 8-glasses-of-water-a-day thing? It’s from the ’40s and not accurate.”ReplyDelete
I recommend a no-water diet. That way, you avoid the manseed-sapping fluorides and the Bill Gates virus bots. Plus you stick it to the liberals who are trying to tell you what to do. Twofer!
I find myself surrounded by people who are on an all beer and steak diet. Recommended for the salt of the earth.
"What would you think if you saw those six reports on the front page of the print edition of a traditional major newspaper?"ReplyDelete
Substitute the word "old-style" for "traditional". Somerby is complaining about change and progress again today. I always told my younger self to just shoot me if I became that kind of elderly whiner "back in our day...and we liked it that way!"
He can find all the hard news his heart desires if he just uses the handy index and links at the top of the webpage. There is no mystery and no inconvenience involved. You can even have these papers send you a digest of the kind of news you most want to read, right to your email inbox. There is no need for this kind of diatribe.
Personally, I am happy to see some of the boundaries dissolve between hard news (political, foreign affairs) and other topics. The results of climate change are one kind of news but actions to prevent climate change are important too, and one of those is changing consumption patterns, which leads directly to fast fashion and ways to conserve. Those "memoir style" articles about grieving are more relevant in the shadow of covid, which is still with us. Somerby may be the elderly relative that others are concerned about, instead of wasting his time worrying about his own family and friends, but those of us who lost loved ones care a great deal about how to cope. In my case, I lost a husband of 36-years and he suffered serious health issues that made relief relevant to my own grieving. But why should Somerby deny others the comfort of shared loss? Has he never even had a pet that died, that he cannot empathize with the interests of the bereaved?
And how on earth can Somerby presume to have an opinion about art house film without knowing who Brendan Frasier is? He isn't even new on the scene. And if Somerby doesn't know who someone is, does that forbid him from reading the article and finding out? Is Somerby only interested in what he already knows? It would explain a lot, such as why he keeps rereading Wittgenstein.
If you drink too much water, it can cause health problems. Why not tell those who still think they need to be hydrating all the time, that they should listen to their bodies when it comes to thirst? That is a public health notice, a service to the community. Others include don't leave your dog locked in your car in the sun, don't let babies play with plastic bags, and the occasional recall for salmonella (or is that similarly dreck?).
Why doesn't Somerby just subscribe to the print edition and let other people improve their lives by reading helpful tidbets on a wide variety of subjects? They will be better people for it -- so would Somerby, except he is oddly resistant to learning anything. An odd quality for a former teacher, doncha think? What did he tell his students when they asked how much water a person should drink each day? Probably, "that's between you and your parents, it will mean my job if I stray off the subject of arithmetic."
"Apparently, though, a major American one-time newspaper increases its income this way."ReplyDelete
A still-major newspaper supplements its hard news by serving its readers! Stop the presses! Who knew that customer service increased revenues?
From Somerby's tone, one might suppose it is bad for the Post to stay in business by printing articles people want to read. But how else will they support the less-read sections of the paper? Notice that sports is not one of the most-read articles.
All of this so-called soft news has been part of traditional newspapers since our country began. Remember the Farmer's Almanac that Ben Franklin published? Household and homestead tips and advice. Fashion ads supported newspapers, as did quack remedies and retail store ads. There have always been society pages, obituaries (Kirstie Alley), legal notices, along with published speeches of political candidates, and community news. Later, there were recipes, sports scores, stock market quotes, horserace forms, crosswords and puzzles, contests and trivia games, usually a household hints column, advice to the lovelorn (Ann Landers, Dear Abbie, Miss Manners). And in rural areas, weather reports, livestock and farm prices, auctions and land sales, equipment ads.
Somerby's idea that newspapers have only always had hard news is ridiculous. It sounds like he has been buying the front page and throwing away the rest of the paper for most of his lengthy life. What a wasted opportunity!
Matt Taibbi debated Malcolm Gladwell last week about whether or not we should trust the media. Taibi took the side that we should not and roundly won the debate. Just killed Malcolm Gladwell in the debate. Gladwell left the stage in a huff after playing the race card for pretty much the whole debate. Playing the race card is all pseudo liberals know how to do and it's all they do in their own echo chambers, so when they come out of these echo chambers into the real world they get smacked down pretty hard since the whole race card play is disingenuous and performative as Bob has described accurately for years and years and years.Delete
This reminds me of the time snowflake Republicans threw a childish temper tantrum, just because black peoples votes counted in the 2020 Presidential election.Delete
Not to be confused with the time President Trump gave that HUGE tax break to corporations and the rich, and Republican voters, who are economically anxious---and not at all just straight-up bigots, don't you know---responded with a collective yawn.
Speaking of performative, I'm trying to imagine a Right-winger who brings up Hunter Biden, that is actually upset with corruption.Delete
I’m glad Bob remembers the WP circaReplyDelete
1975. A few things have happened since
then. A few of them Bob commented on
An inability to cope with the news
of the day is taking Bob to some strange
places. The blog is turning into the
hallucinations of an old folks home
Brendan Fraser is the greatest actor of all time.ReplyDelete
He is a likeable, inoffensive comedian who made some funny movies. Somerby’s denial is unconvincing so he comes off as a trifle envious.Delete
George of the Jungle was a good movie, perhaps better than Jean Dielman, and certainly not as snooze-inducing (though somewhat less feminist). The critics were way off on leaving this gem off their scientifically determined rankings.ReplyDelete
Roger Ebert always insisted that each film be evaluated bases on its own aspirations, not apples to oranges.Delete
Glad that Somerby is tackling the big issues,AC?Delete
mh, TDH is quirky, just one guy, with minimal readers. Often he gives sensible critiques that don't fit the conformist story lines and narratives, that are insightful. He has his quirks, e.g, his issue about popularizers of modern physics who don't explain the concepts very well, or at least to his satisfaction. He often challenges woke shibboleths, which leads to some posters here, including you, to feel that their basic beliefs are being undermined - some of which deserve to be undermined, or at least challenged. There are also plenty of sites that are in line with your apparent viewpoint. But you are right, he often addresses issues that aren't that big.Delete
Somerby challenges political correctness, up until the point someone tells the truth about Republicans.Delete
Somerby criticized Einstein’s own popularization of relativity, which was technically correct and clearly written.Delete
Gas—past tense, made faciallyReplyDelete
3rd Bass'll express, KMD
Three blind mics on sight
Zev Lover, gave it the first light
A grin shows a trick up a sleeve (HUAHAH)
What a tangled web they weave
Deceivers, stupefied through fable
Say Let's Make a Deal at the dinner table
Put you on tour, put your record on wax ("Trust me!")
Sign your life on the X
You exit, x-off, but what you really get:
A box of Newports, and Puma sweats ("Damn!")
Tex feeds and frowns upon Emis
To give up Gas Face he drinks from a Thermos
Sub Roc cut at you with a clipper
Gas Face given, I beg to differ
It's Puma "suedes", youngster.Delete
WAPO has gone tabloid. Musk, Trump, Putin get all the clicks.ReplyDelete