I know we spend a lot of time here memorializing the vestiges of the golden days of print journalism, be they real or a collective wistful fiction. It would be remiss, however, to not take a second to note the parting of Daniel Schorr, one of this blog’s most respected journos, who kept his integrity and dedication to principles right up until the end. The key Schorr story is his appearance on Nixon’s enemies, of which he was unaware until he read the list live on the air. His NPR commentaries were useful and not polemical, as Senate historian Donald Ritchie said in this NPR obit:
“What passes for commentary today is almost all opinion, but Schorr was part of that breed of commentators who dug up information before they pontificated about it.”
This is, to date, probably one of the greatest linkbacks this blog has ever received (Ya hear that, Gothamist??)
From the great blog Dead Homer Society, which is dedicated to preserving the memory of the true glory days when The Simpsons ruled our lives and our conversations (not to be confused with what the site succinctly dubs” Zombie Simpsons,” aka the double-digit seasons of the show calling itself The Simpsons that just WON’T EFFING DIE). It’s from a roundup of links from Friday pointing back to the previous post:
I will return the linkback love by pointing you some of the Dead Homer Society’s most dead-on descriptions of why true Simpsons fans feel not only frustrated but also personally assaulted by the show’s perilous decline in quality after a certain point, including their manifesto and this explanation of the unseen true social cost of Zombie Simpsons:
That is why Zombie Simpsons needs to be attacked and criticized. Not because it’s a boring, mediocre television program (there are lots of those), but because each new episode eats away at the foundations of one of the most important and influential shows ever made. Every year a new batch of Zombie Simpsons gets dumped into the rerun pool and steals precious airtime away from the good ones, and so each new batch of potential fans has to work a little bit harder to see the good stuff. Bit by bit Zombie Simpsons is poisoningThe Simpsons for future generations.
And, as we all say: won’t someone think of the children?
Perhaps print journalism foreshadowed its fledgling future long ago with its morbid jargon. Morgue. Gutter. Beat. Deadline. Dummy. Kill. Widow. Orphan. Are journalists all being strung along like dummies, beaten and downtrodden by deadlines, desperately clutching our clips and killed ideas, en route to a future in the gutter, as we abandon our readers? Or are we just headed for the morgue where the only organization left standing will be widowed Gray Lady?
I’m not entirely serious–just thought it was curious that our profession employs some awfully depressing jargon. I once spent the better part of the day in my company’s morgue. It was the only place I could find silence and space to spread out and concentrate on the demands of a 280-page dummy. Needless the say the irony was not lost on me.
Of course, all this lingo was in use for generations before the current newspaper woes. But one of the more interesting arguments (link coming as soon as I can find it) I’ve heard recently is that one of the things making it so hard to attract advertisers back to newspapers is the depressing, woe-is-me obsession newspapers and journalists have with covering and sycophantically pontificating on their own demise. I’m sure constantly hearing about all these layoffs, cutbacks and what not does not put confidence in would-be advertisers. But it’s not like it can be ignored, either.
Just in time to brighten up those gray, bleak days of post-Christmas winter, it’s Cute Things Falling Asleep. Makes you want to laze about in a nest of couch cushions and hot tea until the brutal winter winds give way to spring sunshine: