I frequently criticize the New York Times for what it does wrong. Today I praise the newspaper for a wonderful story about debt collectors. It seems that debt collectors are trying to improve their image and are tired of being yelled out and threatened.
You can read the entire story at http://nyti.ms/kXJcJC
What the author does is walk a difficult line between being accurate and being cynical. As a result, the story just made me laugh.
I wouldn’t want to work as a debt collector, but my two experiences over an already-paid bill don’t place debt collectors high on my list of people I’d like to get to know. A hat tip to the Times for a change!
The federal government actually paid money to do a study that local reporting has declined in recent years. Shazzam. I wish I could find out how much it paid for this enlightening insight that everyone, including those at the local bar, could tell you by paying $3 for a Bud. This astonishing revelation even made the New York Times, which hasn’t covered local news on a continuing basis for years.
I am not going to provide the URL because that means you will give the NYT an added viewer.
For the past six years, philadelphianeighborhoods,com has covered local news. I wish the federal government would give us the money it spent on this obvious study so we could do more. Take a look on what we did today: a story about a longstanding Polish-American band in Philly, a group of Northeast Philly people trying to build a gym for their kids, a story about the history of Germantown and a tea shop in East Oak Lane. I don’t think you can get more local than what we do. But let the federal government lament what it doesn’t really see because it doesn’t look hard enough.
Well, Trudy’s back from AfPak. Her column has an “insightful” analysis of why the United States should not pull out of Afghanistan so quickly.
It seems that if Afghanistan falls, Pakistan may be in danger. Pakistan has nuclear weapons. If the bad guys take over Pakistan, a war could break out with India, which also has nuclear weapons.
Oh, I almost forgot, the Taliban doesn’t seem serious about negotiations with the United States.
Shazzam! I could have told you that from my home in East Falls and saved the Inquirer a lot of money.
I am happy that Trudy is back safe and sound. I just wanted to leave you with one of the most memorable photos of her two-week excursion to AfPak–a photo of a fruit stand. If the Inky is going to spend this much money, at least it should hire a photographer to take some decent pictures.
Finally, I really would like the name of that restaurant in Kandahar with dirty toilets to make certain I take it off my list. Welcome home, Trudy!
My colleague and longtime friend, Wolf Achtner, pointed out that Trudy Rubin, on a tour of Afghanistan and Pakistan, reported today what already appeared in German publications four days ago.
Nevertheless, there is no reference to that report. We used to call that plagiarism in my day. You know, I think it’s still called plagiarism. But maybe Trudy doesn’t have a good Internet connection–only sources that tell her stuff that people already know.
Okay, it’s my last post for the moment on the intrepid Inky reporter. But it’s so much fun to see how a bankrupt newspaper can spend money to send a bankrupt reporter to cover nothing while spending a whole lot of money. Sorry.
I know some people want me to be nicer to foreign affairs expert Trudy Rubin of the Philadelphia Inquirer. But I have important news: she’s disappeared. Not in Pakistan or Afghanistan, but from philly.com
When you go to the Trudy Rubin link, you only see nine photos.
Your intrepid reporter–that would be me–has found Trudy. She’s behind the pay wall of the newspaper. I am not certain whether that means that the Inky is embarrassed by what she is writing or actually think people would pay to read it.
Using my investigative talents, I found a way around the pay wall so that you, my readers and viewers, can see what Trudy is up to.
I found today’s dispatch from Kabul:
KABUL, Afghanistan – The talk of talks with the Taliban has taken on new momentum in the wake of the death of Osama bin Laden. Even as the Taliban was mounting its spring offensive, Afghan officials told me of recent meetings in Qatar and Germany between U.S. officials and a Taliban official named Tayyeb Agha, who may – or may not – be an emissary of Mullah Omar. And there lies the rub. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton has called for a diplomatic surge that will build on military gains produced by the U.S. troop surge. The hope is that Mullah Omar and his Quetta shura (core Taliban leaders) might be sobered by the U.S. ability to hit bin Laden and to break up their networks, and thus be willing to reconcile. Yet conversations with U.S. and Afghan officials and members of the former Taliban government make clear that, even today, no one is certain who can speak for Omar. Nor do they know what he wants. (Despite last week’s rumors of his death, he is believed to still be alive, and hiding in Pakistan.)
Harper back: I have put on my media decoder helmet to try to decipher the above. It may take me a few months, but I will post when I have determined what all of this means. Harper out.
Here is what is wrong with the legacy media. I tried to sign onto the Washington Post with my user name and password. They were rejected. I followed the instructions three times to get a new password, Each time the password was rejected. Folks, you have to make it easy. That’s why Wal-Mart succeeds and you don’t.
The U.S. media seem to have missed one of the most important stories out there. Vladimir Putin may run for president of Russia. He is one of the smartest and most vicious world politicians. He has sat in the background, pulling the strings of Russia, but he is a former KGB agent who has overseen some of the great tragedies of the world, including Chechnya and the invasion of the Republic of Georgia.
Fortunately, the British press has the story at http://bit.ly/ghbz3j
Sure, Putin already runs everything. But as head of state again, he would have even more power and is not a friend of the United States. It’s not exactly Cold War with nukes pointed at one another, but it is a world in which Russia will play havoc with U.S. interests. Does any U.S, news organization have a full-fledged Moscow bureau anymore? I am not sure. Sad.
Remember that “Arab spring” when “democratic” uprisings swept through Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Bahrain, Syria, and other locales. Well, the New York Times just discovered that the picture isn’t as rosy as the media portrayed it. See http://nyti.ms/l5VOeG
The operative paragraph is the following:
…the specter of divisions — religion in Egypt, fundamentalism in Tunisia, sect in Syria and Bahrain, clan in Libya — has threatened uprisings that once seemed to promise to resolve questions that have vexed the Arab world since the colonialism era.
I guess that’s the Times say it was wrong.
Seriously. Even on April Fools’ Day. You cannot–as a news publication–lead with a picture and two stories about the prediction of the end of the world today. philly.com has truly sunk to its lowest depths.
philly.com provides us today with a photo album of 53 snaps of Arnold Schwarzenegger at http://bit.ly/mD933z.
The album is right next to Trudy Rubin’s incredible work on Afghanistan.
It’s really great to see the increased quality the new owners of the newspapers and the website promised when they took they over!