Vincent Safuto’s Weblog

Notes and observations

Carl Hiassen tells it like it is

I know no one’s even going to bother to read this, but I present it just in case.

Usually, Carl Hiassen writes columns about the politicians on the make in Florida, the con artists, the bogus nonprofits and a lot more, but this one comes from the heart.

His only brother was murdered in the offices of the Capital Gazette in Annapolis, Md., with several of his colleagues. While the president talks about how people in the news business are bad and evil, the reality is quite different.

One of the dead was a woman who considered herself a part of the family of the U.S. Naval Academy. Her youngest daughter was getting ready to attend the academy’s prep school and dreamed of joining her siblings in graduating from the academy and serving as officers and leaders in America’s Navy.

I bet you didn’t know that. I bet you didn’t give a f—ing shit, right?

We in the news business keep having to say that we are not the enemy of the American people and this country. I have worn a military uniform and did my extremely small part, and I still remember how people howled and laughed at me and said that I was joining “the Retard Corps.” Yes, I remember that, and more.

Your local newspaper is being killed by the death of a thousand cuts by people on Wall Street and in the corporate offices who wouldn’t know a comma from a semicolon, but wait until the newspaper is gone and no one is covering your city commission, county commission or school board, and keeping an eye on them.

In Manatee County, the Bradenton Herald has put out articles about how a botched software upgrade has created a costly administrative mess. The school district would rather we print their press releases about some new bureaucrat, but we like to dig deeper. Or how about that “guardian” who turns out to have radical anti-government views and believes in all sorts of wild conspiracy theories, including the desirability of shooting SWAT team members in the head?

After our reporter called the district about his social media postings, suddenly action was taken.

Oh, that’s right, that shit-heels rapper just died. Let’s hit our knees and mourn for some guy with more tattoos than brains.

Look, journalists tell you the stuff you might not want to hear. After the government bodies in your community go totally corrupt, who are you going to call? There might not be anyone to answer the phone. And if the CEOs of some major newspaper companies have their way, there won’t be anyone to answer the phone, there won’t be anyone to investigate the story and there won’t be anyone to edit it for publication either online or in print.

I am not an enemy of the people. If you think I am, let me know.

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September 9, 2018 Posted by | Living in the modern age, The news business | , , , , , | Leave a comment