Monday, May 14, 2012

Outdoing It

Long ago in a galaxy far, far away when I was much younger we got our serious news from serious sources. The newspapers of a major city provided an objective panorama of what was occurring in the world around us. In Chicago we had four major dailies and each of them published several editions each day. Newspaper trucks roared through the streets with a "thrower" hanging from the tailgate, slinging bundles of fifty papers each out on street corners to the newstands which were our media outlet before the plastic boxes that gobble your quarters and refuse to open to deliver your paper. A guy with a truck-driver cap and a cigar stub in his maw handed you a folded paper and you gave him a nickel.

In-depth coverage came from the weekly news magazines. There were three major ones: Time, Newsweek and U.S. News & World Report. They sliced and diced the serious stories and few homes were without a subscription to at least one. They covered essentially the same major stories but their analysis varied and you chose your favorite based upon the writing style and photography.

Things have changed and this week they've accelerated down the slide into oblivion. It started with Time magazine's tacky cover shot of a statuesque blonde woman of questionable intelligence proudly profiled as her son, well beyond the normal stage of weaning, suckles from her left breast while standing upon a chair. The question asked is not whether such delayed maturity is good or normal, but whether we should all be getting our protein from the nearest mammary. Dare I note that it is a conscious attempt at titillation?

Now this:

No, they aren't implying a sexual orientation of the chief executive. No more than the characterization of Bill Clinton as our first "Black" president. 

If you've been watching the interview clip, and it would be difficult to have missed it, you've already noted the carefully nuanced language. The Bamster was more than nudged into coming out on the topic. Joe Biden and Arne Duncan blurted out the issue ahead of their leader and he was now forced to elaborate. 

He has "evolved" over time. See, that keeps it from being a flip-flop on a major moral question. He learned from his wife, family, friends and campaign finance bundlers where he should be standing. It is his personal view, not a statement of policy initiative. That gives him waffle room to do nothing until once again pushed by events which get away from his control. He can hold deep convictions but continue to govern in whatever manner he deems necessary to keep his poll numbers from plunging further. 

But, maybe he should have paid a bit more attention to the two-to-one vote on marriage in North Carolina last week. Or maybe he should go back read the legislation enacted but not enforced a few years ago called the Defense of Marriage Act. 

Of course not. He's not really bound by laws which are inconvenient to him. 

And on the news magazine front, I can now comfortably pick up a copy of the Sun or Enquirer at the grocery checkout with full confidence that it is not much different than a well-respected news magazine like Time or Newsweek. 


juvat said...

Didn't realize that Newsweek and Time were still being published. Didn't somebody buy Newsweek (the company) a while ago for a dollar? I think they paid too much

The Donald said...

Never cared for Time or Newsweek, but used to enjoy USN&WR in the '70s-'90s, but other than some of the "ranking" issues, I can't say I've read a copy in years.

I do still have a copy of their stylebook, infrequently used, (in addition to Strunk & White) on my bookshelf.

The Donald said...

Interesting how O's announcement did what Mittens' has been unable to do throughout the campaign: Galvanize support from the Evangelicals.

I caught a bit of WGN yesterday - apparently some of the Black churches are having a bit of indigestion on the New Messiah's latest policy direction.

Yes, we do live in interesting times.

Dweezil Dwarftosser said...

Juvat - IIRC, Newsweek was sold for a dollar, and it now operates as "The Daily Caller" website/blog.

In the '70s through late '90s, I'd pick up an occasional TIME magazine, if the content was interesting. During an ORI deployment out of Seymour in 1980 (4th TFW) , we flew all night (in circles, as it turned out) into a bare-base ANG field in Mississippi. The only reading material was a Time magazine everyone passed around; I was amazed that they had a very well-done two-page photo of the brown rocks strewn all over the flat brown dirt of Amarillo.
It turned out to be a Rover photo from Mars . . .

BTW - I spent the summer evenings of '63 building muscle by hanging off the back of a NY Daily Mirror truck, slinging 50-paper bundles onto Bronx street corners. That same guy - with the cigar stub - was the driver on the route!

foxone12 said...

The Time and Newsweek covers were nothing but a death rattle. Done. Finished.