"There is always a philosophy for lack of courage."—Albert Camus

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

The Times Sinks Deeper Into the Abyss

I see that the new newspaper circulation numbers are out, and the ineffable Los Angeles Times, chock full of self-esteem, leftist silliness, and journalistic ignorance, is down over 4 percent from last year. The numbers apparently are for only print circulation, a revealing bit of myopia on the part of the bean counters, but I rather doubt that online readership could possibly compensate very substantially for the reported decline.

Let us be very clear and very blunt: The readership decline is driven by the biases and ignorance inherent in modern journalism. The LA Times in particular is a swamp of leftist assumptions, analytic ignorance, and pedantic silliness masquerading as "reporting." An example: The recent front-page, above-the-fold tear-jerking stories about the injuries suffered by a man and his daughter at the claws of a bear. Was this story really worth something on the order of 7000-8000 words or more? And then there are the editorials, not quite as knee-jerk leftist as a couple of years ago, but still pretty silly. And the op-ed page: a repository of high-minded ignorance from the likes of Rosa Brooks and Erin Aubry Kaplan and other worthies with little to say, poor writing skills, little information to reveal, few analytic talents, but a column to file each week. Even the ineffable Robert Scheer was worth more space than this crew. The problems of modern newspapers are far deeper than any tension between the newsroom and the accoutants. I have said it once before and I am happy to repeat: Modern journalism is a swamp of ignorance, stupidity, laziness, dishonesty, bias, and arrogance. And they wonder why their business model is failing. Actually, I suspect that they do not wonder; it would be no surprise if they blame it on the perceived ignorance of the masses.


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3 comments:

Brendan said...

I have no love for the LA Times, especially after living in LA for a decade and having it as my local paper, but I must disagree with you on one of your points: I think Rosa Brooks is a fine columnist.

I think what's happening here is her politics don't match yours, and you're not really making a legitimate effort to evaluate her writing and analytical skills. Instead, I suggest that you don't like what she has to say, and immediately react by calling her a bad writer.

I confess to the same tendency on my own part, coming from the other side. It's something we both need to work on.

Speaking of bias, I mean.

James F. Elliott said...

other worthies with little to say, poor writing skills, little information to reveal, few analytic talents, but a column to file each week

What an absolutely fabulous description of Jonah Goldberg!

Jay D. Homnick said...

Jonah Goldberg has poor writing skills? Bull. (And he's my competitor, but still...)

Honesty may be an area where you need some work, James.