Will my local newspaper become a political tool?

Former Philadelphia Mayor, Pennsylvania Governor, and chairman of the Democratic National Committee, Ed Rendell has put together a group to buy the local newspapers.  This article in today’s New York Times gives me reason to worry.

The situation in Philadelphia speaks to the vulnerability of regional newspapers. Long operated as functional monopolies with attractive margins,local papers have undergone a nosedive in earnings and advertising revenue. Having ceased to be sure-fire financial investments,these newspapers,the reporters fear,could still be attractive as a tool to advance new owners’ political and business interests.

And then, of course, Buzz Bissinger puts it in perspective in a guest op-ed, also for The Times:

These men want the papers because they crave power and will always crave power. They like to win and they have always liked to win. They can erect the biggest firewall they want between themselves and the papers. It won’t matter. As the owners of The Inquirer and The Daily News and the Web site Philly.com,they will have successfully toppled the last enemy. The newspapers will become their personal Gutenberg press,which effectively means that the one city in the country that needs a newspaper the most will not have one.

This is what it takes for my local sports section to cover F1


The folks who run Formula One racing are idiots.  I understand that they want to contain costs and make the sport a bit greener, but the ways in which these monied elites go about attempting to achieve that goal are horrendous.  Earlier this year, the sport threatened to self-destruct for next season, with the ‘commissioner’ (FIA President Max Mosley)  going one way and the teams going another.  Then, just when a resolution was reached, Mosley started to send a signal that he was going to back out of the deal.  now, no one knows what’s going to happen.  So, am I going to spend any money on the fancy F1 app at iTunes so I can follow the races on my mobile?  Not until I know there’s is going to be an actual F1 season next year.

Oh, but wait, the insanity continues.  Now Bernie Eccelstone, the guy who basically owns the sport, decided that now would be a good time to talk about what a great leader Hitler was.  Good luck trying to walk that one back.  these people are giving Sarah Palin a run for her moeny.

So after an amazing and competitive championship last year, featuring a young and charismatic driver (Lewis Hamilton) who is also the first black champion (and driver), and after the phoenix-like rebirth of Honda as BraunGP, none of which was covered with any substance by the American media, now my local paper has something to say (scroll half-way down – still no respect).

That’s OK, F1 bigwigs.  We know how you feel.  After all, we threw snowballs at Santa.

Jamie Moyer – Lots of Wisdom

Nationals Phillies Baseball

Yeah, he chalked up his 250th career victory, and that’s great.  But it’s more important that he’s turned things around a bit and can now put the team in a better position to compete and win.  He also dispensed the following pearl of wisdom to John Smallwood in today’s Daily News:

When thing are going right, I try to keep it simple. When things are going wrong, I really try to keep it simple.

That’s also got a lot of application outside baseball, to be sure.

Baseball = Steroids

We’re big baseball fans at our house, so this constant talk of the corruption and drug abuse in the game is depressing. On the other hand, how cool is it that there’s wall-to-wall baseball coverage all over sports talk radio and the web? Here are two excellent articles. The first is by Sam Donnellon of the Daily News. He’s calling out Fehr and Orza for taking the union too far.

The second article is a rant from a great Phillies comedy blog called The Fightins. I certainly don’t agree with everything in this essay, but if you want a rant with bile, invective and profanity, you will find nothing better. You can almost see the spittle on the keyboard!