Wednesday, November 04, 2009

The (Not-So-) Local Media Are Losing Their Credibility...

Though your scribe refers to the ever-shrinking (except in price) Yellowwich Time as the Local Rag, the fact is that it has now become the Not-So-Local Rag. It's published way up the line in Bridgeport or someplace, and the staff has been cut by something like 90%, if not more, and it really is a misnomer to connect it with the community of Greenwich any longer.

Case in point: their editorial endorsement in the late Town election was in favor of the late Lin-Lin Lavery, who ran so poorly that she finished fourth out of four and lost her seat on the Board of Selectmen (the sigh of relief that went up from Town Hall was audible a quarter of a mile away). Now, if the voters in Town so roundly repudiated the N-S-LR's choice, what does that tell you about their acumen in assessing community issues and thinking? That's right: it tells you that they're totally out of touch with the townspeople, and have no business whatsoever pretending to speak for them.

As readers of this column know, your scribe cordially despises the N-S-LR, and has been glad to watch from the sidelines as karma has caught up with Joe Pisani, Mike Sweeney, Bruce Hunter, and the rest of the rascals who once pretended to provide accurate and impartial news to the Greenwich community. May their fates be an object lesson to perverters of the truth everywhere, and their names be forever written out of the Book of Life.

Thus your scribe was somewhat surprised to find himself quoted in the Rag's election coverage. For well over a decade it has been written in stone that nothing Bill Clark says is ever to find its way into print in their pages. But...suppose he were the one watching closely just as the final district results were entered into the Excel page being projected onto the wall, and the first to do the math (which wasn't hard) and the first to shout, "She's off the Board!!" Meaning, of course, that Lin-Lin had lost her place on the Board of Selectman. Well, it seems the Rag couldn't resist quoting your scribe, even though they got it wrong (they forgot to capitalize "Board"). But wait. This was a direct violation of editorial policy. How could this happen?

Simple, dear reader. Your scribe was referred to merely as "a bystander", even though almost everyone in the room knew full well who he was. His blog has been setting new "hit" records on a daily basis since his campaign coverage began, and many people came up last night to tell him how greatly they enjoyed reading his coverage of Lin-Lin and her escapades.

Well, this cheap trick is about par for the course for Yellowwich Time. One even begins to wonder, in fact, if the editorial board decided to endorse Lin-Lin precisely because of your scribe's scathing coverage of her. It's not outside the realm of possibility, and in fact may be the only remotely logical reason to explain their otherwise pin-headed endorsement.

Likewise, the Greenwich (Dumb-as-a-) Post chose to endorse Lin-Lin as well. This pathetic excuse for a "local weekly" (which is not, of course, local at all, being also published somewhere up the line as part of an agglomeration of once-independent weeklies) has been reeling from pillar to, er, post in recent years. To make their ad pages appear fuller than they really are, they simply print a page or two a second time to bulk out the issue. One can only assume that they, too, are in pretty dire financial straits.

Once again, your scribe is tempted to wonder whether their endorsement of Lin-Lin had anything to do with his blog and its anti-Lin-Lin stance. Do you think, dear reader, that the increasing hit count is going to your scribe's head and warping his better judgment? Well, consider the following:

A few minutes ago your scribe was strolling over to Town Hall, and as he prepared to cross the street there was a loud nasal explosion that sounded for all the world like "Ach-*sshole". The source was the unlovely and porcine Ken-Ken Borksuck, crack investigative reporter for the aforesaid Greenwich (Dumb-as-a-) Post, who was loitering on the street corner like a bump on a log. As there were no cars coming, your scribe proceeded to cross the street, the better to get away from this apparent case of swine flu (or was it swine potty-mouth?). Behind him, he heard Ken-Ken's dulcet tones shouting after him, "Hey, Bill, jaywalking's a serious crime."

So is loitering with intent, thought your scribe to himself, as he continued imperturbably on his way. But once again he began to wonder to himself if Ken-Ken's overt hostility (and he has been doing these things on a regular basis ever since your scribe began to blog) was related in any way to the paper's endorsement of Lin-Lin. If your scribe had somehow been on an anti-Peter Tesei rampage, would the Dumb-as-a-Post have endorsed Peter instead?

Well, dear reader, we shall probably never know the full truth of these matters, and indeed, it hardly matters. The point is that the news coverage in this Town is slanted and inaccurate at best, and downright malicious at worst. And, as the recent political campaign has shown us, it's only getting worse.


Blogger Victoria said...

Mr. Clark: Your blog above sums up the exact rationale for the fact that I cancelled my subscription to the Greenwich Time last week. Unfortunately, they don't even have a system for forwarding a reader's concerns to the top. Someone who could care less took my phone call. And after my passionate explanation for my action, her only response was "do you want the balance of your account put back on your credit card?" Sigh.

November 13, 2009 6:57 AM  
Blogger Bill Clark said...

Victoria: Sigh, indeed. You're not the only one who has cancelled a subscription recently. And the comment I hear most frequently is, "I don't miss it at all."

They seem to have given up on trying to retain their subscription base. No longer do I get calls at all hours inviting me to subscribe. Even the salespeople who used to give away free copies at local supermarkets in an attempt to get new subscribers have disappeared.

From all indications, they're in serious financial trouble. Will they survive? One is tempted to answer, "Who cares?" Certainly not the people who, like you, are cancelling.

Thanks for your comment!

November 13, 2009 11:24 AM  

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