Monday, December 22, 2008

April Fool! or, The Local Rag Enters Its Last Three Months of Life

Well, perhaps "life" is a bit of an overstatement, considering that the Local Rag, aka Yellowwich Time, has been on life-support for well nigh a year or more. And of course, its yellow brand of journalism always did give it a rather jaundiced look.

Word from the Hearst Corporation is that "The current economic downturn has exacerbated an already challenging year for our newspapers and our industry, forcing us to eliminate duplication of work across the Connecticut Media Group. As a result, there will be a reduction in staff in the first quarter of 2009."

The Word, delivered in a letter last Friday, continued on to say that the few remaining Yellowwich Time employees will be offered a buyout. If they choose not to take it, the alternative is clear: "A job reduction program, if necessary, will follow the voluntary buyout offer and will be completed by April 1, 2009."

A "job reduction program?" What a curious euphemism. It sounds to your scribe as though it means "mass firings of anyone dumb enough not to take our paltry offer and leave now," but their three words are oh! so much more concise. One can imagine the glee among the wordsmiths who were charged with writing this lovely letter when one of them hit upon this felicitous phrase.

Not to mention the lovely irony of the date: April 1, 2009. Do you think you will still have a job then, you pathetic Yellowwich Time staffer? April Fool!

What does this mean in practical terms for the rest of us, dear reader? It means we can finally bid farewell to the noxious non-newspaper that has plagued our Town for lo! these many years. Illiterate articles, slanted stories, cover-ups of scandals that eventually get reported anyway - all these and more will not be missed, one hopes, by any others than the ones who perpetrated them on us for all those years: Bill Rowe, Joe Pisani, Mike Sweeney, and the rest of their scurvy, congenitally mendacious, and by and large illiterate crew.

By happenstance, your scribe walked by the former offices of the LR on Friday, as yet unaware of the Hearst letter, and glanced nostalgically at the office where he and Joe Pisani used to have their shouting matches about the newspaper's refusal to publish the truth of what goes on in our fair Town. All was silence. The place was empty as a tomb. Not even a ghost. Oh, wait - was that the ghost of the truth wandering around inside, vainly trying to right the wrongs of decades of falsehoods and lies? It may have been, dear reader; when it saw your scribe outside the window, it turned and gave him a spectral thumbs-up.

So for the next three months, you can be pretty sure that whenever you pick up a copy of the Local Rag you are looking at a dead paper walking - or tottering, or stumbling, or whatever. Our ridiculed, unesteemed Yellowwich Time, the newspaper we've loved to hate for decades, has been weighed in the balance, and found wanting. Judgment has been passed. On April 1, 2009, we will be delivered from its tyranny, it seems; and the haunted ghost of the truth will be allowed to rest in peace at last.


Blogger Malicious Intent said...

Me bets the last issue is nothing but a "Let's look back" issue as there will be no one there to write. Going to have a countdown for Rag's party? Definately should plan one. Might be the most productive thing that comes of it all.

Thanks for stopping by and hope your holidays were well!

December 29, 2008 1:04 PM  
Blogger Bill Clark said...

Thanks, M. I.!

Yes, I think a party is definitely in order. You make the poison pen cookies, and I'll concoct the bilious ink lemonade. We'll award prizes for the most creative suggestions on how to recycle the final edition. I'll bet you can come up with some winners!

December 29, 2008 1:46 PM  

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