Newsman (sic) have a very short attention span. It is a prerequisite in the business. That is why the news accounts of almost everything makes sense to all ages up to the age of twelve. If one wishes to enjoy newspapers, it is wise to halt all intellectual development right up to that age. The schools are doing their level best to achieve this goal. For the first time in history it is possible to earn doctorates in obscure professional techniques without upsetting the standard of a twelve-year-old basic intellect. – Travis McGee from A Deadly Shade of Gold published in 1965.

Wow! Was John D MacDonald spot on or what? And this was before Gender Studies and African Racial Grievance Studies.

Newspapers have only gotten worse.

I started reading newspapers back in the 50’s. we had the St. Louis Post Dispatch delivered every afternoon. I started with the funnies. Then in my teens, I started reading the sports page and occasionally the news sections because of Civics and Social Studies assignments.

The first newspaper I started reading on my own was the Chicago Tribune back in 1966 when I was going to ET School at Great Lakes Naval Training Center. I wrote my first letter to the editor and it got published! I was pretty proud of that.

When I moved out of my mom’s house I started getting the Post Dispatch delivered to my apartment.

When I moved to Atlanta back in 1985 I started getting the Urinal, which was the afternoon paper and “Covered Dixie like the dew”. No longer. Dixie is politically incorrect and the paper no longer has that wide a circulation any more.

The Urinal was the afternoon paper and was conservative. The Constipation was the morning paper and was liberal.

The two papers have long since merged and have gone consistently downhill. Lewis Grizzard and Celestine Sibley are long dead and they have found no one to replace either of them. The current writer is a joke.

The editorial page is a joke. They’ve fired the local op-ed writers and the only op-eds are in the Sunday paper. The reason given for no longer having national op-ed writers on a daily basis is all they did was “rehash the same arguments”. Of course, that doesn’t stop them from having the same tired liberal opinion of their cartoonist Mike Luckovich who rehashes the same I hate Trump bullshit every. During the week they only publish two letters to the editor a day.

They’ve trimmed the sports page and since most of the sports have become woke, it doesn’t take me long to zip through that section.

Even the funnies suck. There are a few good ones like Pearls Before Swine. Most of the rest can’t compare with comics like L’l Abner or Pogo.

The paper is not worth reading anymore and as soon as my current subscription is over my 35 year association with Atlanta newspapers will be over.


24 comments on “Newspapers

  1. A wise man once said, “If you don’t read a newspaper, you’re uniformed. If you do read a newspaper, you’re misinformed.”

  2. When my father was a child, editors were very strict about reporters using a dictionary if necessary to ensure correct spelling, on the basis that children would be reading it. If a teacher scolded a student for misspelling, it was a valid defense to say that the word was spelled as it appeared in the newspaper. My favorite comic strip was Calvin & Hobbes. Hobbes: “What will Heaven be like?” Calvin: “Women will wear skimpy bikinis, and men will carry powerful handguns.”

  3. We’ve made several attempts at discontinuing our paper. All their customer service people appear to working from home using only cell phones with crappy connections. We keep getting disconnected when trying to cancel. We’re thinking of circumventing them and going directly to VISA and stopping payment.

    • Part of their classified ads is a legal notice section. Run a legal notice in that very paper, stating that you are ending your subscription as of a given date, and will owe nothing afterwards. They will have been legally notified, and cannot force you to pay, even if they still deliver papers.

  4. We take the Wall Street Journal. Expensive. $250 a year. It’s actually a newspaper according to the wife. Well written articles. She reads it everyday. She especially likes to Opinion page. She has slowly edged further right each year. Voting for Trump again. Here we have the KC Red Star as it is called. Same leftest cr@p. They are part of McClatchy which is in bankruptcy. The sooner it goes under, the better. Once gone there will be no newspaper in KC. With the Red Star there isn’t one anyway. Will be missed by very few.

  5. Growing up my family read both Time and Newsweek. No more. I used to read the Sun-Times back in the 90’s. No more of any those publications for me. Completely unfit to read and of no interest to me at all. That ship has long since sailed for me. If all those publications disappeared it would make no difference to me at all.

    • George Will always had a column at the back of Newsweek, and now look at the traitor he has become, because he was upstaged by Pres. Trump, who DID the conservative things that Will SAID he was for.

  6. I’ve kept (and pay for) a number of old-school habits, but they convinced me to drop my newspaper subscription years ago. They had to work really hard to get me to leave, because having a newspaper was just one of those things you did, or so I believed. Gotta salute them for the tireless dedication in driving me away.

  7. Looks like I’ve found someone who will appreciate my 45-50 volume collection of John D. MacDonald when I die. I’m 95, so it won’t be too long to wait.

    Jim Carlson

  8. Newspapers are publications designed to make money and persuade readers to accept editors’ opinions on issues researched excitedly through keyholes by wannabe fiction writers.

    They produce bad literature in a big hurry based on the principles of “Gotcha!” and “If it bleeds, it leads.”

    I have NEVER subscribed to a newspaper, although I often kept piles of old ones around that I collected from neighbors . . . for lining puppy training areas and birdcage floors.

    They’re great for getting fires going (which is heavily metaphorical), and can’t be beat for cleaning windows (which is heavily ironic).

    Best use of a newspaper I ever encountered was in Barcelona . . . where I got an open-fire barbecued half chicken from a street vendor who handed it to me with a piece of newsprint wrapped around the legbone as the handle/grip.

    And down the street about 15 feet was another sturdy señora peddling fantastic fries which she presented to me in a cone formed by the morning business section.

    Fortunately I found a nice café de la acera where I could sit down with a glass of something orange-flavored on ice and enjoy a very tasty and filling almuerzo.

  9. Mid-1960’s in Chicago I read the Chicago Sun-Times most of the time for one good reason…Mike Royko was on page 2-3. I switched to the Trib when Royko went to the Trib.

    • Newspaper readers have been rewarded by such wonderful columnists in the past, and also by great editorial cartoonists. One great cartoonist was Pat Oliphant of the Denver Post and Washington Star. When Picasso died, Oliphant drew Pres. & Mrs. Nixon with Picasso-like effects, the Pres. saying “I was always grateful he wasn’t a political cartoonist.”.

  10. Denny….. Sadly you are correct that newspapers have gotten worse. Erie once had two excellent papers , they merged & still maintained separate coverage. The morning Erie Times Newspaper & Daily Erie Times News paper with separate editorial staff & very competent coverage of local,state & national news .
    Today The Erie Slime News is not even printed in Erie , it is trucked in during the night so what we receive is at least a day old. The paper has been downsized to pamplet size at best & Democrat liberal in support with only one early AM delivery.
    Conservative opinion is not featured ……Trump hatred is the norm.
    While some birds can be taught to speak , none can read…..if they could they would be protesting what their cage was lined with.

    • Not being printed locally is also true of the Memphis Commercial Appeal. It is printed 80 miles East in Jackson, TN and then delivered to Memphis.

  11. Denver had Gene Amole, a WWII veteran, and decades-long radio, TV, and newspaper columnist (Rocky Mtn. News). He told his readers in Oct. 2001 that he had a terminal brain illness, and would write his dying experience into his columns as an ongoing news story to his readers. He died in May 2002, and is interred at Ft. Logan Nat’l. Cemetery. His columns were compiled into a book “Gene Amole on Dying: The Final Chapter”. That was a newspaper man to the very end.

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