Hard to call it a section, but the venerable Wall Street Journal has added sports to its mix, with the debut of one page of sports coverage on page D8 of the March 4 issue. (To the credit of WSJ, however, the Web sports section is quite complete.)
The one page was mostly about (boring) college hoops, but one "Heard on the Field" brief item told how Michael Vick’s country club retreat near Atlanta was being auctioned off to help pay creditors of the former Falcons quarterback. He paid $3.8 million for the eight-bedroom, 1.5-acre estate, and the opening bid is set for $3.2 million. I wonder if anyone will go that high in this day and age.
Denver will be losing one daily, the Rocky Mountain News, come Friday, according to owner’s group E.W. Scripps. Unable to find a buyer for the paper, Scripps is throwing in the towel on the 150-year-old publication.
Meanwhile, Rupert Murdoch and his News Corp. are reportedly eyeing the purchase of the New York Times or even the Los Angeles Times. Good moves if Murdoch can pull them off. Maybe he could fire all the far-left zealots and reality contortionists who run the places and usher in some objective reporting for once.
I got my start in journalism with the Los Angeles Herald-Examiner, a Hearst Corporation newspaper noted mainly for its great sports reporting and its lackluster everything else. Hearst shut the money-losing operation down on Nov. 2, 1988 (I’ve still got a copy of the last paper), and now it’s threatening to close down the only remaining daily newspaper in San Francisco.
Hearst announced yesterday that, sans huge cost savings through job eliminations and other initiatives, it will shutter the San Francisco Chronicle in a matter of weeks. This comes on the heels of Sunday’s bankruptcy filing by the owners of the Philadelphia Inquirer and last year’s insolvency court yelp from the Chicago Tribune, which also owns the Los Angeles Times, my local far-left rag.
Hearst bought the Chronicle in 2000 for $660 million and has poured in more than $1 billion since, according to the Wall Street Journal (itself bought out last year by Rupert Murdoch and his News Corp., now flush with red ink itself).
At least when Hearst cast out the Her-Ex, as it was affectionately known, The Times was still around as a Los Angeles daily. This time, San Francisco won’t be so lucky (or unlucky, depending on your perspective).
I reported on a blog I maintain as part of my official duties about a new guidebook published by the International Longevity Center and Aging Services of California. Media Takes: On Aging offers prescriptions of what words and terms to use–and not to use–when referring in writing to our older population.
As far as sensitivities go, the age of 55 seems to be the turning point. Those below 55, for instance, find "senior citizen" perfectly acceptable. Likewise with "retiree." Don’t call anyone 55 or older a "retiree."
Also, make sure not to use "old" as an adjective, as in "old coot" and "old fart." Those really go beyond the PC pale.
As for me, who qualifies easily above 55, call me anything you like. If it’s in the Comments section, I just won’t print it if I don’t like it. LOL
I got a kick out of reading the Los Angeles Times this morning and its "in-the-tank" piece about Obamulus, the stimulus plan that was just passed without any details being released except by Republicans. There in the first couple of paragraphs, the Times article sang the praises of the so-called stimulus bill, even using the word fatten to describe what would happen to people’s paychecks because of the tax cuts.
First, there are no tax cuts in the legislation. There are tax credits of $400 for each individual and $800 for married couples, along with a bunch of restrictions. Now, a tax credit is not a check anyone will receive in the mail. It’s a deduction against the taxes you owe at the end of the year, and if your’re single, it totals $7.70 a week, and if a couple, it’s about $15 and change. Gee, the economy is really going to go wild with all that extra dough flooding the shopping malls of America.
Second, if this is how Democrats fatten people’s paychecks, why did the same liberal media lambaste Geoge W. Bush for lowering, almost permanently, everyone’s tax liabilities by hundreds if not thousands of dollars a year, calling it a "giveaway to the rich"?
Not hard to answer if you’ve been in journalism as long as I have.
Mark Cuban, outspoken multimillionaire (billionaire?) owner of the Dallas Marvericks, is offering to fund your start-up for 60 to 90 days provided it turns a profit in that time-frame. On his blog, he details the requirements.
What I noticed in reading through the pitches made to him in the comments area are, first, that there are a lot of bad, bad, bad business ideas out there, and second, that Mark Cuban definitely understands business but butchers the English language. Specifically, he never uses hyphens (for instance, he writes wont instead of won’t). Now this just may be his take on CyberLish, but it’s stil ungrammatical
Go read the proposal and pitch your idea if you like.
Those of you who’ve been to Asian restaurants, especially the smallish or fast-food variety but even some major sushi bars, will be given wooden chopsticks that have to be broken apart to use since they’re one piece at the top. What happens when you break them apart and the results are uneven, one top bigger than the other?
According to Chinese legend, this foretells:
1) A death in the family
2) Someone just got pregnant
3) A rocky road in your love life
4) A change in jobs
5) Just some splinters
The answer is #3, a rocky road in your love life. When the break is uneven, it represents an uneven relationship, which we all know is unhealthy and headed for trouble. So, this reminds us all to keep a relationship equal at all costs, or just to be careful when separating our chopsticks.
What this has to do with English, I’m not sure, but I thought it was interesting.
Like me three years ago, you may get laid off during a company layoff, which brings up this curious word formation. The verb is to lay off, the noun is layoff, and the adjective is a compound one, laid-off, as in a laid-off worker.
Anyway, I guess I was the proverbial canary in the mineshaft when I hit the economic skids three years ago, in the heights of boom times (now know to be a credit bubble). I’ve somehow survived, barely, but this year should prove to be an interesting one, borrowing the use of interesting from the Chinese curse, "May you live in interesting times."
Well, enough for my footballese. What I’m getting at is a new twist at the Los Angeles Times after a couple of years of being "in the tank" for Barack Obama. (Go to Google and type in "in the tank," and it will fill in "for Obama" and show you 843,000 results, so the Times is not alone.)
I read somewhere that editors at the Los Angeles rag, er, newspaper would not, so to speak, give Obama a free pass (which they had faithfully done up until about 48 hours ago).
I saw some evidence the past couple of days that they might actually be trying to be more balanced. For instance, a second-tier headline yesterday said, "The cuts by firms such as Caterpillar, GM and Home Depot aren’t like to reverse under a stimulus plan." Of course, the president could be Green, GOP, Libertarian or socialist, and the same conclusion could be drawn.
Today, another drophead notes, "The president wins praise for reaching across the aisle on the stimulus plan, but he sways few Republicans." Of course, the intent here could be to paint the Repubs as intractable and intransigent (how’s that for redunancy?), but I didn’t read the full text of the article to find out. (Like many readers, I stopped at the jump line, too lazy to go digging inside for the remainder of the article.)
We’ll have to wait and see after the media-induced patina of instant greatness wears off Obama how the media will portray the man. So far, it’s been nothing but a gushing love fest, better than the Second Coming for these socialistic pagans in the mainstream media.
The incoming Obama administration is already paying back its union allies with a host of pro-labor laws and a stimulus package that, in its spending aspect, benefits only unions, so why not bail out its propaganda mouthpiece, the New York Times?
The venerable publication is hugely in debt, and when its $400-million line of credit runs out in May, it might be the end. Speculation was rife on CNBC last week that the NYT was set to fold in May.
Actually, though I don’t agree with the paper’s politics (tax high, spend high, deport all Republicans, etc.), I admire the New York Times for its high journalistic standards. But is is cash poor.
Catch this dilemma if you think you have it bad:
"The Times Co. has about $46 million in cash and $1.1 billion in debt as of the end of September. It has a $400 million credit facility that expires in May, $250 million in notes due in 2010 and another $400 million credit facility due in 2011."
Reportedly, ownership is currently seeking a cash infusion from Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim (the $60-billion man), who already owns a little over 6 percent of the company.
Here’s the full Wall Street Journal report.