Thursday, July 28, 2005

A few words about the Austin American Statesman

I cancelled my subscription to our truly bad daily newspaper, the Austin American Statesman, about a year ago. I forget which straw was the last. Austin is a liberal town. The Statesman is by any reasonable standard conservative in its editorial policy, and better-safe-than-sorry in its news reporting. They are entitled to their conservatism on the editorial page, of course, but I don't believe they are entitled to ignore the Downing Street Memo, or to have joined--on their "news" pages, no less-- the big Republican sing-along leading up the the Iraq War. All I can say in their favor is that they are better than Fox News. But that's not much, is it?

Now I learn on the web that they have censored the latest Doonesbury comic strips. Why? Because it might offend their masters. No, that's not what they said. They said they don't believe in bad language.

Please. Give me a break.

Doonesbury is not really important, but Turd Blossom is. So I felt the need to respond to a self-serving apologia for this stupidity, which they offered to the world in a "blog" published by the editor and managing editor themselves (Rich and Fred). I sent the following remarks to the blog comments section. So far, they have not approved my comment for publication. Perhaps they will break precedent, and publish it. Or perhaps not. But, having a blog of my own, I will at least put it up here.

Dear Rich and Fred:

You people are such a profound disgrace to journalism.

You are a disgrace on large matters, like your total, 1000 percent abdication of the slightest journalistic commitment to truth in your failure to even _glance_ at the lies that justified the Iraq war, and now, in backing away as fast as you can from the Downing Street Memo and followup revelations that a real press in another country has uncovered of the proof of those lies. (Your slogan, of course, is "that's not news!" Right. The biggest news since Watergate is "not news" in your newspaper.)

And you are a disgrace on small matters like your unwillingness to print the word "turd" in your, God bless my soul, "family" newspaper, even though it is not only incredibly apt, but is as well and in fact the actual nickname in the White House itself for Mr. Rove. Your pusillanimity is astonishing.

I would cancel my subscription except I already did.

I frankly hope you people go out of business and leave the field to the Chronicle and the bloggers. The real bloggers. The world, and the people of Austin, will be better off.

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