Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Of Murderers and Journalism

On Friday, February 27th, 2009, the Rocky Mountain News closed down. 55 days shy of 150 years of publishing, connecting citizens throughout Colorado and the world. 200 jobs were lost; all of those people listed on the last page of the final printing of this legacy in journalism. A very black Friday indeed. I was lucky enough to have a brief bit of my own personal work published in that paper before its demise.

A Prominent and Proud Murderer Boasts:

U.S. Rep. Jared Polis.

"I have to say, that when we say, 'Who killed the Rocky Mountain News,' we're all part of it, for better or worse, and I argue it's mostly for the better," Polis said, "The media is dead, and long live the new media, which is all of us,". "Since we killed the newspapers" and "own the media," bloggers and citizen journalists have a responsibility.
"We can't just kill it and walk away," he said. "It's important for all of us to reach out to some of those . . . on the other side and present the progressive point of view," he said.
~reported by the Denver Post.

With an ironic twist and a back handed blow, Jared Polis denigrates the very form of media that defended his stance on education for minorities as recently as July 24th, 2008. I wonder what former "opinion columns and blogs" editor & author of that passionate defense for Polis, Vincent Carroll, thinks of Mr. Polis' limited perspective, now.

It's true that convergent journalism and media is the wave of the future in that field. I will be part of that, but I will not sell my soul to it as the solitary means of publishing news and maintaining communications between citizens of the world.

There is still a place for the format of media that is a foundation of the correspondence world we have now; newspapers. To state that it is "mostly for the better" that this printed legacy has met its dissolution is to wave away with indifference more than 150 years of hard work, sacrifice, truth, connection between people and the chronicles of humanity that lived every one of those days. How dare you callously disregard that rich endowment.
Your words are filled with shallow indifference, and are tossed out with irresponsible, mindless disdain.

You've qualified yourself (and the entire populace of humanity) as 'citizen journalists of the world'... and that is a slap in the face of the professionals who hold together the entire media industry. How dare you disrespect and dishonor every single one of those individuals.

Perhaps you think you have the education, tact, talent and time to produce the quality work that currently educates and informs the rest of the world. Judging by your ever-so-eloquent dismissal of the Rocky Mountain News, I'd say absolutely not. Your over-inflated confidence in the rest of the populace to produce responsible, unbiased, intelligible, accurate, timely, current news is not only entirely without base, it is unquestionably impossible. Best of luck with that whole notion.

Mr. Polis:

Do NOT make the careless libertine assumption that all bloggers and online media are responsible for the cessation of the Rocky Mountain News and all of its ilk. You have no right whatsoever to include anyone but yourself in your ridiculously stated position. I am a blogger. I am an online media journalist. I am an 'in print' media journalist. I am a citizen. I fit nicely into each and every single category that your verbal incompetence has encompassed.

I demand of you that you never assume that you may include me in your self-deprecating drivel. I give you neither license nor permission to name me or my work when you make thoughtless unsubstantiated statements about a subject that you very obviously know too little about. Next time you open your mouth, try to refer to only those people who actually stand with you in your transparent and flimsy ideals.


Before I had the chance to publish this diatribe for you, Mr. Polis, I see that you've already come to the press that you so shamelessly flouted, to offer regrets for your mindless remarks and ideas... you must have a very good public relations agent. That's good, Mr. Polis, it's painfully obvious that you desperately need one.


Molly said...

Oh-oh! Scarlett is on the warpath!

Clowncar said...

He got spanked pretty well on page 2of the Post today.

Wanderlust Scarlett said...

Miss Molly,

Ohhhh.... Molly, you have no idea...


Thanks for the tip!

Scarlett & Viaggiatore

Anonymous said...

Scarlett, this makes me so sad to see another newspaper fold. I believe there is plenty of room for traditional newspapers enhanced by electronic means. I'm too young to say "what is this new generation thinking?" but...what is this new generation thinking?

Wanderlust Scarlett said...

Dear Kat,

They aren't thinking. That's why Polis made two apologies and people are still deeply angry about this. Yours truly included.

Hopefully he will have learned something from this monumental gaffe.

Scarlett & Viaggiatore

Kay said...

When will we human beings ever learn not to throw the baby out with the bath water? A lot is lost in the name of progress - and this I fear is a case in point.

Pawlie Kokonuts said...

Being old-fashioned and having worked at a newspaper (now foundering, of course), I cannot celebrate the death of even an odious newspaper. It's one less voice. Odd how so-called democratic capitalism seems to be exercising more censorship by default than more repressive regimes.

Wanderlust Scarlett said...

My dear Kay,

Truer words have not been spoken today. What an enormous loss.
And what an idiot to celebrate it, and claim source for its demise.


Very nice to see you, and I agree a thousand times over.
Ironic indeed.

Scarlett & Viaggiatore

heartinsanfrancisco said...

I'm glad he took back his insulting statements because if you had confronted him, he might have told you that you were cute when angry and you would have had to kill him.

Not that he doesn't deserve it, but we need you on this side of that room with the metal bars.

I am very saddened to see major newspapers going down while millions of trees are still wasted on scandal rags and advertising fliers. 150 years is a grand and glorious run, and we are all poorer for the demise of the Rocky Mountain News.

Eastcoastdweller said...

It is very sad, but although this clown may claim credit for the demise of this paper, the reality is that newspapers in general are simply going the way of the horse buggy, the kerosene lamp, the steamboat and TV guide.

It is not good, it is not bad, it simply is what it is. New era, new choices and options for communication.

I recognized this even when I was a reporter a few years ago. Older folks loved -- or hated -- what I wrote, called in about it, stopped me on the street. From anyone under 30, to my knowledge, I never heard a word.

Vesper said...

So sad... The negligence of Polis's comment is disgusting... But I dread the moment when even printed books will be no more.

Laura said...

It's very foolish to think the "new media" will or can take the place of a published newspaper for an area. For one thing, there are few new media sources which focus on any one area. One person publishers can not be unbiased in their reporting and they can not be everywhere and find the news which a staffed newspaper can.

Also, though few would think it important, the advertising flyers which we rely on to find where the specials are each week. While newspapers are a great source of local events, local business reviews too, let's not ignore the local sales too. Online media can not offer what a newspaper has to offer.

Wanderlust Scarlett said...

Dearest Hearts,

I don't think he'd tell me that I am cute. He is one of three openly gay congressmen and I had HOPED that he would kind of 'keep it clean' so that those close-minded people who had hang ups about his sexual orientation wouldn't have much of anything to use against him.

Guess he blew that.


It's true... as I said, I know that convergent journalism is the wave of the future, but I don't think that newspapers will die out entirely.
One can hope.


I doubt that will happen, also; there's just something about holding a real book in ones hands while curled up in a comfortable place... you just don't get that same 'thing' with a laptop.
Better on the eyes, anyway.


Very good points, thank you!!

Scarlett & Viaggiatore