By Ojijaak: And Now, the “News”

Today’s post is in the nature of mental housekeeping. Sorry. I am overwhelmed by the times, and I seem to have accumulated a great deal of waste that I feel compelled to share:

First, thankfully, we are nearing the end of the presidential primaries. After more than a full year, neither major party has nominated a presidential candidate. It is ridiculous, and it prompts me to believe that we should either abandon political parties, adopt a parliamentary form of government, or both. I like the idea of both. I also like the idea of disallowing any person a career as a professional political office holder. Let’s limit the total of time that any person can hold public office to fourteen years. It would allow, for example, one term in the U.S. House of Representatives plus two terms in the U.S. Senate. On the other hand, if one were to be elected to a four-year term as Mayor of East Jesus, then one would have to choose wisely as to what office to seek thereafter.

This does not prevent morons like Donald J. Trump from seeking high office. It is to be hoped that voters in their infinite wisdom could prevent them from actually achieving office. Given recent and expected primary results, though, I have grave doubts in this respect.

Next, a few recent thoughts gleaned from recent coverage of the five finalists:

I suspect that the Wharton School does not possess a strong English language program or requirement for graduation. A prominent alumnus seems not to know the difference between a hyphen and an apostrophe. Google Trump, Lyin’ Ted and then roll tape if you don’t get it.

Is it just me, or is it possible that Hillary Clinton is not a real person, but a bobblehead robot? Maybe she just has some bobblehead DNA. Maybe it is a serious health condition, some sort of palsy. She walks onstage clapping her hands in an exaggerated fashion, starts speaking, and then she evidently nods in agreement with herself…for the rest of her address. Google Hillary video clip if you don’t get it.

Remember that John Boehner met with the Pope last fall? Is it possible that Boehner received a revelation from the Holy Father? Damn, Mr. Speaker (yes, I know, former Speaker), Lucifer in the flesh? That’s pretty harsh judgment for the son of a preacher man, even one who has the stage presence of a hellfire and brimstone evangelist. Google Boehner and Cruz if you don’t get it.

The next time I am invited to join a poker game, I want to be sure John Kasich has a seat at the table because I know that I can run big -pot bluffs. Google Kasich, Cruz and Indiana if you don’t get it.

Oh, dear God, you just gotta love Bernie. I mean, even those who would never consider casting a ballot for him have to admit that he has been a breath of fresh air. He doesn’t have a snowball’s chance in hell, but he has been refreshing. For ever so many reasons, I doubt his math skills, especially in the area of fiscal planning, but I believe he must have been addressing the delegate count when he recently claimed that he is pretty good in math. To quote Ronald Reagan, “Well, there you go again…” Google Bernie Sanders and math if you don’t get it.

If you find that you must Google more than one of the above references just to figure out what I am ranting about, CONGRATULATIONS! You are an American voter and fully qualified to cast your ballot for the idiot of your preference. If you understood each cynical remark, you are over-qualified to vote. Plan on taking the month of November off, because to do otherwise would subject thinking people to the risk of emotional injury.

Sadly, the statement that I feel most strongly about making this week is with respect to “the media.” If I were a rightwing reactionary, I would be pissing and moaning about media bias. If I were a left-of-center Democrat, I would be boycotting Fox. I am neither. I grew up in a home that was supported by “the media.” I spent much of my life contributing to print journalism. Given the opportunity, I would probably do it again, but today’s journalism is, to be kind, flawed.

Through this primary cycle, CNN, the self-acclaimed god of broadcast news has referred to Gannett owned newspapers as being “leading newspapers” in their states. Specifically, The Des Moines Register in Iowa, and The Indianapolis Star in Indiana. If a similar reference was made to The Courier-Journal in Louisville, Kentucky, I missed it.

Here’s the problem: Gannett Company has purchased newspaper properties with high, but dwindling. circulation figures covering whole states or a large area within, and possibly extending beyond state lines. This was the case in each of the above newspapers at the time of their respective sales to Gannett. Within a few years, Gannett reduces the distribution area as well as the news coverage outside of the immediate community or metropolitan area of the newspaper’s home city. The newsroom staff is culled and coverage of even in-town stories is reduced or eliminated. Newsrooms cost money and make none. The purpose of a newspaper owned by Gannett (or, to be fair, CNHI, McClatchy, Smith Newspapers, Lee Enterprises, and others) is to produce profit, and then to produce greater profit going forward. Advertising space that is sold makes money. Wonder why your newspaper is mostly made up of run of press and especially supplements or “special sections?” Wonder why you can’t find coverage of the city council meeting or school policy debates? Google Losing the News if you don’t get it.

If you think that you are not affected because you have not read a newspaper in years, think again. Remember that snide reference that I made about CNN above? Well, there you go again, Ronnie, the same source of revenue that drives newspapers drives broadcast news: Advertising. How damned many times can CNN open with a “BREAKING NEWS” banner, only to show you the same story that you saw when you turned the set on early in the day or even yesterday?

Someday, when you come to the realization that the last real journalist is dead, the last real newspaper is shuttered, and the talking heads on television spend more time telling you about the death of a musician than how best to respond to a madman who is the head of state in, say, North Korea, go look in your mirror and Google dumbass if you don’t get it.

If you can still read and think without assistance, these are the words of Ojijaak. If you are unable to read and think, go vote just the same, and these are still the words of Ojijaak.


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