Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Life At The End of a Newspaper

The times are grim at newspapers everywhere, it seems. Which depresses me. I've loved newspapers all my life. They are to me what horses might have meant to a person one hundred years ago, watching as the automobile took over everywhere, uprooting and obliterating the human-and-horse relationship that had existed for thousands of years.

And so too with newspapers, though their existence is much briefer: whether mundane or momentous news, the transience of each daily edition is nevertheless one which (I would reflect as I read my copy) unites people, for Prime Ministers, Presidents and monarchs all read the papers as much as the proles on the bus.

As unpleasant but necessary as the fat bully in a school playground, blow-hard right-wing conservative newspapers are always a fun read. I am therefore amused and saddened to hear from the Washington Post, about that other D.C. newspaper, the Washington Times (sample headline above; even Reagan and Bush were suspiciously limp-wristed). It is of course owned by the Moonies:
The finances are so tight that the newspaper hasn't paid some of its bills or tended to basic maintenance issues--such as hiring an exterminator to deal with mice and snakes sneaking into the building on New York Avenue in Northeast.

"The feeling everyone feels is that it's a totally rudderless ship," said Julia Duin, the paper's longtime religion reporter. "Nobody knows who's running it. Is it the board of directors? We don't know. There was a three-foot-long black snake in the main conference room the other day. We have snakes in the newsroom--the real live variety, at least. One of the security people gallantly removed it."