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The Morning Grumpy – December 8th

All the news and views fit to consume during your “morning grumpy”.

 

America, F*CK YEAH!

1. The future of journalism is on the web. That may seem like an odd statement for someone who plies his trade for an outlet primarily known for its print product, but it’s not some dirty little secret. Print will always have a place, especially alternative weeklies that focus on feature reporting. But day-to-day transactional beat coverage? It will be web-based. Covering events and beats and reporting them the following day in a print product is a wasteful and expensive proposition. I’m roughly the 351,450th person to write this on a blog in the last year, so I’m not going to pretend this is some big revelation.

Print coverage of local events is expensive and lacks timeliness. Local broadcast television coverage is typically shallow and glib. Radio coverage is nearly non-existent, with the exception of local non-profit, public radio. Ah, wait, I sense a point coming!

Ten NBC-owned television stations across the nation will team with nonprofit news outlets in an attempt to beef up their enterprise and analytical reporting, the network announced Monday.

NBC affiliates in Los Angeles, Chicago and Philadelphia will work with work with non-commercial outfits in those cities — KPCC public radio, the Chicago Reporter and WHYY public radio and television, respectively — while all of the network’s owned-and-operated stations will get early access to investigative reports from the independent, nonprofit newsroom Pro Publica.

Television outlets doing enterprise coverage? Wow, that would be refreshing around these parts, eh? Now imagine extending this idea to a traditional print daily. What if  The Buffalo News partnered with a local non-profit web outlet on beat coverage, enterprise projects, and multimedia stories? It would extend the newsroom, better inform the public, and create a better product. Seems like a natural fit.

The best online, non-profit journalism is found in San Diego.

We try to go beyond the press releases and press conferences to bring you the stories that our leaders and powerful don’t want to announce — the kind of stories that result in positive change, uncover vital information for San Diegans, and bring us together as a community. And we put perspective and analysis into the things they do announce. We don’t report with any right- or left-wing agenda. But we are inspired by passion to expose what is right and wrong, to drive reform and to spur solutions for the best of the community as a whole.

Damn, that sounds excellent! I want this to happen right here in Buffalo. It seems that an enterprising group of young reporters in this town might want to think about partnering up with some of the quality talent The Buffalo News has laid off in recent years and copy the San Diego model. I know I’d like expanded and timely coverage of local news events, dedicated fact checking, and “explainer” articles.  I’ll put some money on the table to make this happen, anyone else want in?

2. Want to buy a federal election? Let Mother Jones show you how!

3. “Tweet” from McSweeney’s. Caused a bit of introspection at Chez Smith last night…

I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by brevity, over-connectedness, emotionally starving for attention, dragging themselves through virtual communities at 3 am, surrounded by stale pizza and neglected dreams, looking for angry meaning, any meaning…

4. Hey America, looking for a solution to the jobs crisis and a sputtering economy? Corporations have the answer for you!

Corporate America is sitting right on top of the solution to the nation’s employment crisis, according to a new report from a group of University of Massachusetts economists.

If America’s largest banks and non-financial companies would just loosen their death-grip on a chunk of the $3.6 trillion in cash they’re hoarding and move it into productive investments instead, the report estimates that about 19 million jobs would be created in the next three years, lowering the unemployment rate to under 5 percent.

In fact, according to the Federal Reserve (Table L.109, line 28), banks are sitting on $1.6 trillion in reserves — about 80 times the $20 billion they held in 2007.

Meanwhile, non-financial companies are keeping their profits liquid, rather than plowing them back into investments, to the tune of about $2 trillion.

Together, that amounts to almost a quarter of the U.S. gross domestic product.

Let’s get it together, fearless corporate barons. Spend some money, hire some people and get this fucking train moving.

5. I like the way Ron Paul looms.

Rep. Ron Paul rarely makes news, and his candidacy is frequently ignored by Beltway reporters. But headlines, his aides say, are overrated. In fact, the Texas Republican’s low-key autumn was strategic. As Paul’s competitors stumbled and sparred, he amassed a small fortune for his campaign and built a strong ground operation. And with January fast approaching, his team is ready to surprise the political world and sweep the Iowa caucuses.

While several GOP candidates have taken their turn at the front of the pack, Ron Paul and his ill-fitting suits have hung back, waiting to strike. He has a rabid base of supporters and the race will inevitably give him and them their moment once Newt Gingrich steps on his arrogant dick in the next month or two. While those rabid supporters are a blessing for Paul, they’re also a curse. One of the least appealing things about Paul is the glib assholes who scold America for not agreeing with them. If he can overcome the Jim Ostrowskis of the world and positions himself as the reasonable fallback/compromise/not-Mitt-Romney option, Ron Paul just might end up the nominee.

6. How many times can a Christian be “born again”? Good question.

Bishop Eddie Long, the Atlanta-area Baptist megachurch leader accused of sexual misconduct with several young men, announced on Sunday he is taking time off to focus on his family. His church, like many evangelical Christian churches, exhorts sinners to be “born again,” accepting Christ as their savior on the path to redemption. If a born-again Christian like Long has already been reborn, can he later become born again again?

It’s hard to say. Though more than one-third of U.S. Christians characterize themselves as “born-again,” the phrase isn’t clearly defined in the Bible.

Blow some coke, smoke some meth, sleep with a prostitute, sleep with young men, it’s cool. Just apologize, condemn others for doing the same, and get born again…again. No wonder Americans like this christianity thing so much.

Fact Of The Day: On this day in 1980, Mark David Chapman shot and killed John Lennon. John was only 40 years old.

Quote Of The Day: “Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans.” – John Lennon

Song Of The Day: “Beautiful Boy” – John Lennon

Follow me on Twitter: @ChrisSmithAV

Email me links, tips, story ideas: chrissmithbuffalo[@]gmail.com


  • Max

    Chris – thanks for the link to the campaign finance flowchart. Little wonder the plumbing’s all backed up!

  • Jim

    2- That flowchart is permanently mounted in EVERY Congressional office, and the Oval office too. It’s a truly bipartisan thing. Get over it.

    5 – And there are none so glib than smarmy liberal assholes who do exactly what you accuse Paul supporters of. The difference is liberals want the power of the The State to enforce their scolding. Gee, just like conservatives!! Statists left and right. Ostrowski gets it. It’s you who is stuck in the conventional paradigm.

    6 – Protestants aren’t Christians, especially the fruitloop ‘born again’ evangelical/armagedonite kind. They’re Protestants. It’s a complete bastardization of Scripture, but that’s what sola scriptura and private/self interpretation get you. A Baptist ‘Bishop’ – too funny.

  • Jesse

    Ostrowski gets it but he’s an a-hole.

    For a more calm, respectful take, I suggest Penn Jillette: http://www.libertarianism.org/media/libertarian-view/penn-jillette-why-i-am-libertarian