But as I say goodbye to my wonderful Times colleagues, I also can't imagine anything more dangerous than a society in which the news industry has more or less collapsed.
If newspapers become mostly infotainment websites -- if the number of well-trained investigative journalists dwindles still further -- and if we're soon left with nothing but the yapping heads who dominate cable "news" and talk radio, how will we recognize, or hope to forestall, impending national and global crises? How will we know if government officials have made terrible mistakes, as even the best will sometimes do? How will we know if government officials have told us terrible lies, as the worst have sometimes done? A decimated, demoralized and under-resourced press corps hardly questioned the Bush administration's flimsy case for war in Iraq -- and the price for that failure will be paid for generations.
It's time for a government bailout of journalism.
Let's analyze the demise of the newspaper business.
First, it starts with public schools. Why? Because the citizens we churn out of these schools are dumb asses; some barely able to read let alone balance a check book. We're turning out graduates that can't even comprehend that they cannot buy a $300,000 house on a $10 an hour job. Do you think these citizens buy newspapers to get in depth coverage of the financial collapse?
Who's responsible for public schools? Hint, it's not republicans.
Second, we've devalued and coarsened our culture to a point where we now think of a fetus as nothing more than an appendix, wisdom teeth or tonsils. It's just tissue to be removed anytime it's not convenient or causes discomfort.
In addition, our entertainment has turned sex, drugs and rock and roll into a montra for the masses. Do you think these people care about The Middle East let alone, read about it?
Who do you think is responsible for the cheapening of culture in the US? Put another way, who did Larry Flynt vote for this past election?
Third, the few people in the country who can read, develop a thought and have money (conservatives), can't find anything in a current newspaper that's anything but more liberal conjecture. And that doesn't even count the editorial section of the paper.
So conservatives go where they can at least hear some truth in the world, talk radio and Fox News. Do you think that would be an incentive for the liberals who run these papers to maybe change the way their "news" is reported?
Who responsible for serving shit sandwiches to the general public? Another hint, it ain't a conservative cabal.
It's kind of funny that The Wall Street Journal's subscription rates continue to grow steadily. It's the only paper I get because it's the only paper that adds any depth to any issue.
Like I've said before, I'm not the smartest guy in the world so I try to imitate what the smartest guys do. You'd think there'd be a smart guy in a news room asking the question "what is the WSJ doing that we're not?".
But of course they're too damn stupid to even know their own limitations. That's why they're democrats to begin with and why their newspapers are going down in flames.
More of the pit party here