Saturday, 18 August 2018

Newspapers, the Anti-Trump Editorials, and the "Vanished' Readers

This past week, it was hyped by the news media that 350-odd newspapers went to a defensive stance on editorials, and 'blasted' President Trump as much as possible for the 'enemies of the people' commentary.

About six years ago, the PEW research folks went out and did a survey....finding that only 29-percent of American adults occasionally read the newspaper (meaning either daily or the weekend edition).  That's it. It means that only one out of three is reading the newspapers, and that number may have grown worse over the past six years.

So as these folks mounted their massive 'you gotta love us' was mostly read by a very small group of people.

First, out of the hundred who have can figure that roughly half of them read it only for the local news, high school sports, obituaries, state politics, and ad's.  From the remaining fifty-percent.....those who are pro-Trump aren't likely to read it (trust me) probably number near half.  So you basically had around 25-percent of the readers who might have gone to the editorial page to read through it.  The odds that they agree with the summary?  Well....that's another problem, because some of those folks will just say it's biased writing.

So what really happened to the "vanished" readers of newspapers? 

First, newspapers got into slanted politics and agenda grouping.  That was already becoming a problem in the 1970s.

Second, newspapers often got into censorship of embarrassing political stories because it reflected upon their 'favorite children'.

Third, newspapers started cover less and less of city/regional corruption.

Fourth, the editorial page is presently marginalized (I'm suggesting that fewer than 5-percent of subscribers will read it on a daily basis). 

Fifth, people don't have 30 minutes to go and read through their local paper.  My dad, throughout his entire life, read the paper daily.....but you sum up his review as being strictly the front page, the local news page, crime stuff, and obituaries......a basic 12-minute read.  I think most people are that way today.

So I'd go and suggest that the newspapers go back to review how papers were written in the 1890s, and be prepared for shockers.  The news was written in an entertaining fashion.  Everyone wrote in the style that you'd expect from Hemingway or Steinbeck.  Guys would sit on the front porch and quote things, as if it were an opera.  Today's news?  It's just not much on entertainment value, and the slant/bias just makes you laugh over the behavior demonstrated. 

Article 88 the Guy

For 99-percent of us vets who finish up service.....we are done and you can't hold us to some UCMJ (military terms for court activity by a military fixture) situation.  For generals and admirals?  They oddly are held to UCMJ standards after they retire, and can be brought in for court business.

Over the last day or two, I've sat and read (while on a short trip) various words by Admiral Raven.....backing up his former associate Brennan, and attempting to cast a long shadow toward the President.

Oddly, there exists Article 88 of the UCMJ, which basically says any “contemptuous words against the President, the Vice President, Congress, the Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of a military department, the Secretary of Homeland Security, or the Governor or legislature of any State”....can be used to drag you into a military court and likely end your retirement situation with a reduction in grade (pension threat).....maybe one step.....maybe two steps.

Some advice for the retired general 'geeks''s best to just retire and go play golf, and not get into heated political chatting.  Your pension is absolutely dependent upon that.