The [Monday] Papers
BREAKING NEWS 8:12 A.M.: "Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales, whose tenure has been marred by controversy and accusations of perjury before Congress, has resigned. A senior administration official said he would announce the decision later this morning in Washington," the New York Times reports.
BREAKING COMMENTARY 8:04 A.M.: (Our very own Natasha Julius is that good; this arrived before the Times story): "As the Weekend Desk Editor, I just want to say that I am going to miss Alberto Gonzales. He could be relied upon to do something ridiculously villainous on an almost weekly basis. As a U.S. citizen and ardent fan of the Constitution, I just want to say it's about frickin' time. Geez.
"Are we seriously going to have to live through 17 more months of this? Seriously? It's like W is the Black Knight from Monty Python and the Holy Grail. He's just a head and a torso, rolling around and screaming at everyone. And guess what? His torso just resigned!
"Come back here! I'll bite your legs off!"
Look, if al-Qaeda wanted to strike again in America, they wouldn't target an IKEA in New Haven, Connecticut. They'd go after Home Depot.
ALTERNATE: They'd buy up a bunch of subprime mortgages and not pay them back.
The point of terrorism is to put fear into one's enemies. al-Qaeda has done that quite nicely, no? We have given control of our safety, our politics, our sense of well-being to the enemy. We have been terrorizing ourselves for six years, scared witless by cartoon characters and baking ingredients. Let's put the color code at Gray Matter, meaning All Citizens Should Return To Their Senses, and get a grip.
Would be replaced by Yuppie Colony once property values rise.
Workers practiced not keeping invisible riders informed.
"That wasn't the only odd result of his budget decisions."
Page 24A, Sun-Times.
Front page? Exploiting personal tragedy to sell papers.
"How a Marriage Spiraled Into Murder" isn't unworthy of a story, but its front page presentation is strictly a commercial decision by amoral editor Michael Cooke.
I'm wondering how vast. The story is centered on the site StopHerNow.com and its proprietor.
This site, the Trib says, gets 3,000 hits a day, which is hardly impressive enough to merit a story except that it fits into the media's predetermined narrative.
Hits is a meaningless term, though uninformed reporters insist on using it. A "hit" is recorded each time an element - text, image, what have you - is called up. So if a site has one story and four images, five hits get recorded. Which means that, for a site with as many elements as StopHerNow, basically nobody is reading it. Or was until it was featured in the Chicago Tribune.
Just to illustrate further, the Beachwood had about 50,000 hits on Friday, pretty much a typical day, but only about a thousand unique visitors (we've had 34,000 unique visitors this month - a Beachwood record!). So this guy isn't gettting much for the $400,000 he says he's spent (On what? Tech help isn't that expensive.)
Compare for yourself. Just plug in beachwoodreporter.com in the second box.
You could fairly speculate that our Obamathon series has more readers. But the media loves Hillary Haters stories.
Winning the War
Meanwhile, on page 3, the S-T had a pretty amazing photo of a tall tree split right in half, presumably by lightning. That should have been front page.
Speak of the Devil
I would have had a mind to run a front page photo gallery, skip the stories, and put the pertinent facts in a few boxes and graphics. Traditional weather stories are usually filled with nonsense. No offense, but do we really care that Kathy Marston of unincorporated Lombard, as noted in the S-T, was in "a good mood" but facing a power outage for the next couple of days.
Humanizing stories is nice, but useless trivia is a waste of precious and dwindling space.
Vick's Vapor Rub
The Beachwood Tip Line: Rub it in.
Posted on August 27, 2007
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