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Our Media in the Hall of Shame Again

In perusing the news coverage for the past week in Arizona’s leading newspapers, I find exhilarating stories about how the U.S. Mint is paying a tribute to the Grand Canyon, certainly information I couldn’t live without and of course I was spellbound to learn about the nine women that were rescued from a fake reality show in Turkey.  A company in Mesa is going to make “eco-friendly” golf balls.  In Tucson, it was reported a child’s health can be jeopardized by being kept too clean.  I was tickled to learn Phoenix mayor Phil Gordon had joined with 16 other mayors to tout volunteerism.

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Blogs and the Death of the Newspaper

In some ways it’s sad to see them go.  I’m sure the printed newspaper will survive in some small way, but the “Stop the Presses”, “Extra, Extra, Read all about it” newspapers we’ve known since the birth of our nation are a dying breed.  In part due to advances in technology and in part due to their own greed and incompetence, newspapers will be remembered as relics from the past. 

When I was a kid in Detroit, a milkman stopped his horse drawn wagon in front of our house, picked up the empty bottles and left fresh milk in wide necked glass bottles on our porch.  It wasn’t long afterward, the iceman showed up with blocks of ice for our old oak icebox.  Before the day was out another horse drawn wagon came along with the Italian grocer yelling “Strawberries, three quarts for a dollar.”

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Teaching Pigs to Wrestle

Monday I spent the morning in a board meeting discussing mundane but critical matters that should not need to be addressed, but, due to the creativity of the human race and its uncanny ability to wiggle through loopholes, inevitably must be addressed. Just as nature finds ways around obstacles such as the Claymore mines of pesticides, antibiotics and natural disasters, so humans dodge rules, regulations and Arizona Revised Statutes.

Never build flexibility into covenants, conditions, and restrictions. They turn around and bite you on the butt like a ferocious bear market. Not unlike a total lack of regulatory policies.

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On the Death of Newspapers

“Stop the presses!”  That used to be the call of the 1930’s vintage reporter as he’d run into headquarters with the big, breaking news story.  When portrayed in the movies, it was exciting, thrilling, suspenseful, and dramatic.

Now we’re hearing it again and again.  But this time, it emotes a different feeling.  “Stop the presses” means “We’re shutting down forever.  We’re out of business.”  It’s a sad time.  America was built on the First Amendment Right of a free press. Newspapers were the heart and soul of that freedom.

Some of the most iconic images in American history are of past newspaper headlines.  Who doesn’t remember seeing President Harry Truman triumphantly displaying a copy of The Chicago Daily Tribune with a headline of “Dewey Defeats Truman”?  How about the New York Times headline that read, “Men Walk on the Moon”.  Ever see “War! Oahu Bombed by Japanese Planes”?  More recently it was “U.S. Attacked.  Hijacked Jets Destroy Twin Towers.”

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