My weekly newspaper, the Grosse Pointe News, is the worst weekly in the United States. Someone needs to hold the title, and there I said it. We have a hot primary election coming up here in the GP, for the Michigan House, and the local paper has had zero coverage of it. Yes: [crickets.]
Not an endorsement, not a voter’s guide, not even a few lousy letters to the editor. I don’t know why. My first thought is that an endorsement for an open seat would confound their stated endorsement policy, which is to always back the incumbent. Yes, it’s in writing, and yes, my jaw dropped, too. While trying to inform myself on the candidates’ positions using the awesome power of the Google, I found this amazing account, on the website of the Eastside Republican Club, of a speech by the paper’s then-editor. Their endorse-the-incumbent policy was “in view of the sacrifice the citizen has made.” And you wonder how lousy government gets that way.
Of course, there’s been an ownership/management change since then, but it looks like the new owner has even less interest in government, although, oddly, they did cover Nancy Pelosi’s fly-by last week to endorse Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick. This is week three of a letters-column battle over whether the Easy Riders Bicycle Touring Club does or does not observe traffic safety rules in its jaunts around town, and of course the police briefs thrive:
A resident of the first block of Muir reported that sometime between July 12-22 someone entered his unsecured garage and stole 12 brown leaf bags, a red 2 1/2-gallon gasoline can and one yellow work glove.
But nothing about the primary coming up next week. Oh, well. It’s not like it’s important or anything.
I don’t mean to rant about these things, but anyone who’s worked for any newspaper short of Grain ‘n’ Shit Weekly knows that elections are part of the franchise. No other news medium covers government the way the dead-tree variety does, and it’s one part of your coverage you should take seriously enough to do. [Cue the patriotic piccolo music, please.] When a candidate goes to the trouble to gather signatures, file for candidacy, walk door to door, shake hands and everything else, your local newspaper should take the time to notice and publish the outline of your platform. (Your TV stations certainly won’t.) Every paper I’ve worked for has published election guides, and we did them for every single one, and yes, there were probably eagles holding red-white-and-blue bunting in their beaks in every issue. It’s what you do, because it’s important.
Everything went fine yesterday, although Alan says I tried to engage the recovery-room nurse in lite chit-chat about my large intestine. (That’s a great ice-breaker, I’ve found.) Sleeping the afternoon away was pleasant until it wasn’t — nausea and a killer headache set in around 5 p.m. The headache was almost certainly from caffeine withdrawal, but I didn’t dare put coffee on an empty stomach, which couldn’t even hold water for a time. Alan said when he left me to go back to work, I was eating yogurt with a fork. And to think I used to be a world-class partier. No more, I guess.
A little bloggage? Sure. Much of this is pre-packed by Metafilter:
20 Ways to Die Trying to Dunk a Basketball. With video clips.
This one’s for Brian: The secret Catholicism of John C. Frémont. Everything old is new again.
Best LOLcats ever: Cats that look like Wilford Brimley. It’s …uncanny.
If it’s light and sloppy today, sorry. Ten percent of my brain thinks it wants more deep hypnotic drugs.