April 17, 2009

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While I'm Thinking About It

And now, the punchline

As it turns out, it is possible for a large gathering of people in the heart of downtown Portland to lure someone from the offices of the area's newspaper of record and check things out for themselves. And for a picture of said gathering to make the front page. All it takes is a celebration of the local NBA team making the playoffs. No front page story to link to, but there was a fancy picture and the caption

Trail Blazers All-Star (Brandon) Roy bows to an enthusiastic crowd that packed Pioneer Courthouse Square for a fan rally Thursday. The Blazers will play their first playoff game since 2003 on Saturday, after finishing the regular season 54-28. . . .
and so on and so forth. To be fair, the front page doesn't bother reporting how many people showed up.

Nor did they mention it on the sports page.

It didn't even get mentioned on the editorial page, where they gushed about how many more people showed up for the Blazers than the "more than 1000" that showed up for the tea party a day earlier. They used that phrase again. Remember, TV reporter Mike Donahue was live on the scene and reported between four and five thousand "with more still arriving," numbers he got from the people tasked with keeping things nice and orderly.

Why is this a big deal? Well, in the grand scheme of things it's not. Not really. But with so many more possible sources for breaking news and information, newspapers have to prove they can still be relevant. Especially the newspapers that people are expected to pay for. Marginalizing large groups of people (both those who showed up and the ones sympathetic to the cause but were elsewhere at the time) ain't the way to go about doing it.

Of course, I'm also fuming just a tad because failed talk radio host/talentless hack has decided that I'm a big racist because I saw fit to show support for the notion that racking up more government debt in three months than the previous administration did in eight years might not be the best course of action.

Okay, rant over. Go watch this. It's probably the greatest thing I've ever seen on YouTube that doesn't involve Muppets.



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