Wednesday, March 18, 2009

quote/unquote: David Simon on newspapers, W on Obama, govt. intrusion, Ron Artest & Phil Jackson

(Another in a series from St. Louis by Wilson.)

"Half-truths, obfuscations and apparent deceit -- these are the wages of a world in which newspapers, their staffs eviscerated, no longer battle at the frontiers of public information. . . .There is a lot of talk nowadays about what will replace the dinosaur that is the daily newspaper. So-called citizen journalists and bloggers and media pundits have lined up to tell us that newspapers are dying but that the news business will endure, that this moment is less tragic than it is transformational. Well, sorry, but I didn't trip over any blogger trying to find out McKissick's identity and performance history. Nor were any citizen journalists at the City Council hearing in January when police officials inflated the nature and severity of the threats against officers. And there wasn't anyone working sources in the police department to counterbalance all of the spin or omission. I didn't trip over a herd of hungry (Baltimore) Sun reporters either, but that's the point."
-- David Simon (pictured), writer/producer of The Wire, in an oped piece in the Washington Post, March 1, '09

"I want the president to succeed. I love my country a lot more than I love politics. I'm not going to spend my time criticising. There are plenty of critics in that arena....If he wants my help he can pick up the phone." -- George W. Bush answering a question in Calgary, Canada, as demonstrators outside threw shoes

"What's next? Will they mandate that I can't have more than three cheeseburgers next week at McDonald's?"
--- Ivy Walker, New Hampshire restaurant owner, about his state's move for mandatory seat belt laws

“I think always, in the end, the better team will win, whether it’s the better team for the season or the better team that night. If you play solid, execute and play hard, the better team will always win, and I think tonight, whether it’s for the season or just tonight, the better team won.”
---Ron Artest, who had 18 second-half points Tuesday after going scoreless in the first half in a Houston win over New Orleans when Yao Ming was out with the flu.

“Ronny’s a funny fellow.”
--- Lakers Coach Phil Jackson about Ron Artest’s trash talking while guarding Kobe Bryant last week


Anonymous said...

Simon is a great poster boy for why newspapers are circling the drain. He doesn't mention how many people he bothered to ask whether they were bloggers or not, so there's really no way to know how many he might have tripped over. I suspect that the answer to my implied question is "zero."

I really like rich guys, but I'm not sure this one is illuminating a damn thing here. He's just bitching because he can.


Banjo Jones said...

tfg: you sound more crabby than usual.

Anonymous said...

Simon's dismissive arrogance is grating. How could he possibly know how many bloggers he tripped over? Did he ask? Has he looked?

I get that the guy has a life-long love affair with capitol-J Journalism, but he's as good an example as any for why I've fallen out of love with it.


Banjo Jones said...

tfg: i think Simon's point was that no bloggers (that he knew of) or any Baltimore Sun reporters were working the story he alluded to.

consequently, the reading public in Baltimore had less information about how their police deptment was being run.

so far as i can tell.

Anonymous said...

Well (and this is my last lash on the deceased equine), the bottom line for me is that here's another guy who will willfully and angrily denigrate anyone who might be interested in providing that information he deems important, because they're not properly (according to him) credentialed. I've had this conversation with other (proper) journalists, and unfortunately, the telling line from most of them is "the masses are asses." I think they always forget that they have customers, which nowadays, they are losing by the bushel-basketfull. Simon certainly has forgotten that, but he's kind of immune to that these days, no?

Anyway, it's an op/ed. I can't even bother to go find the whole thing, as I'm sure there will be one just like it coming soon to get all bent about.

Banjo Jones said...

w/ respekt, i don't think Simon was saying bloggers are incompetent or "asses." his only point was he wasn't aware of any of them covering the stories he referenced.

as for me, i certainly don't subscribe to the masses are asses wisecrack. it's just an issue of time. there aren't that many bloggers with the free time to do a lot of serious reporting on certain kinds of stories.

and now, with widespread cutbacks at newspapers, there are fewer reporters to do those kinds of stories.

the Houston paper's getting ready to execute another double digit RIF right now.

anyway, thanks for commenting, TFG