Here’s the first missive of the New Year from writer/designer Scott Turner, who, among other things, runs the Thursday pub quiz at Rocky Sullivan’s in Red Hook. This post is, as always, brought to you by Miss Wit, the t-shirt queen of Red Hook.
Greetings Pub Quiz Bundle-Uppers…
Is it cold? Or is it just Winter?
The Daily News had a scintillating story this morning…page 2, where stories of great import appear.
“N.Y. cold snap to rival horror winters of ’70s” was the real eye catcher. Forget for a second that it reads like a 1950s B-movie sci-fi headline (“Martians to destroy humanity”). The News must have sensed that underwear-bombers just weren’t scary enough.
It’s bad enough to add every Yemeni to the No Like List. Another entirely to add the weather.
The article delves into the meteorological community’s (meaning two guys from Accu-Weather quoted in the News‘ piece) belief that this will be a Day After Tomorrow winter.
The Daily News and Accu-Weather’s prediction for the next two months — and New Yorkers’ reactions
Big storms heading from the Plains states (those frakkin’ Nebraskans!), Arctic air swooping down from the North Pole, and reminders of the winter of ’77’s two consecutive storms that dumped 31″ on the city.
I expected a third Accu-Weather expert to say “and don’t forget, New York dug out from that last ice age 11,000 years ago!”
All of this would have exactly the kind of stultifying woe-is-us effect that stupid baseless reporting usually aims for — except for that graphic that accompanied the story. The three-day forecast’s horror temperatures are 33, 36 and 34 degrees.
Really? Above-freezing temperatures to prove the point that we’re all about to freeze to death?
The Daily News really does think we’re idiots. All the papers do. But really…a story about the winter conditions not seen in a generation accompanied by a graphic that completely contradicts their point?
Well, this is a paper that’s lobbied hard against bodegas selling alcohol-punch drinks called “nutcrackers” but has kept silent about Bruce Ratner getting $750 million in public money for his Atlantic Yards basketball arena for a team owned by a Russia‘s wealthiest man.
which of these will hurt New York more? Wait! Let, the Daily News make the call!
Still, it’s good to start the morning with a laugh. That’s why everyone should at least glimpse Mortimer “Yes, Mortimer” Zuckerman‘s Newspaper of Lost Opportunities. In a town with a paper whose biggest concerns are the GNPs of Central Asian nations and another whose reactionary politics make Sarah Palin look smart, eloquent and kind, the Daily News could actually do what journalism is supposed to — report the facts, give its readership a voice, and offer a platform for truth. Instead, it takes the easy way — weeks of Tiger Woods covers and coddling of rich real-estate FoMs — Friends of Mortimer.
While there are good reasons to read the News — Mike Lupica, the I-Team sports investigators, David Hinckley and the city’s best daily comic section — it’s good to remember what the worst transgression of the news media is. It’s not lying. It’s ignoring the things that hurt people the most. Second most important? Being beholden to the people, not your advertisers and friends.
It helps nobody in this town to spend energy and ink on bodega drinks, Tiger’s paramours and breaking-news that winter is, it can now be reported, cold.
The Daily News sporadically wages up-with-good/down-with-bad campaigns against MTA fare hikes, dopey legislators up in Albany, and city children’s agencies failures. Big deal. My dogs know those things are wrong. When it comes to doing the hard work — reporting on the many frakk’d-up elements of Michael Bloomberg‘s New York that, if the mayor were shoved against a wall by an angry citizenry, could change — the Daily News is a cowardly lion, without even the desire to go get some courage.
Mayor Bloomberg and Mortimer Zuckerman (r.): peas in a rather stanky pod
There are good reporters and workers at the News. But their hands are tied by Mortimer, his minions and the various ranks of editors, lawyers and advertising-account hacks.
It’s not an awful thing to read The Daily News. I do, daily. It still aims to care more about this city than the Times or the Post.
That’s a way-low hurdle, though. This much is clear: the Daily News is the poster child for everything wrong with newspaper journalism today. A newspaper that refuses to dig under the rocks that conceal Bloomberg, Ratner and others’ malfeasant acts can call itself a lot of things.
“Newspaper” isn’t one of them.