Fracturing media


ADN remnants/Craig Medred photo

The McClatchy Company – the California-based newspaper chain fondly remembered by some in Alaska as the owners of the Anchorage Daily News for 35 years before the Alice Rogoff-Alaska Dispatch News debacle – this week continued its decline with the announcement of yet more downsizing.

Once a company with dreams of national news dominance, McClatchy has been on the ropes for more than a decade. One of its best business deals of the decade – possibly its best business deal – was convincing Rogoff the ADN was worth $34 million in 2014.

Having paid that exorbitant price, Rogoff proceeded to lose $26 million before she took the newspaper into bankruptcy only three years later. The Binkley company obtained the wreckage for $1 million and quickly changed the name back to the Daily News in an effort to get away from the Rogoff taint.

The newspaper operates today as a shadow of what it was in its heyday, but there is little reason to believe the situation would be any different if McClatchy had stayed the course.

So much has changed since 2006 when McClatchy hit its peak amid dreams of journalistic glory.

It was in March of that year that the company led by CEO Gary Pruitt and vice-president for news Howard Weaver, a former editor of the ADN, oversaw the approximately $4.5 billion purchase of Knight-Ridder Inc., a newspaper chain more than twice the size of McClatchy.

The deal instantly made McClatchy into the second-largest newspaper chain in the country, but left the company saddled with debt. McClatchy began dumping some of its new newspapers and journalists before the ink was dry on the deal, and it was all downhill from there.

The first layoffs at the ADN came in 2008 with more to follow in 2009.  Though the newspaper never publicly revealed its finances at the time, its books would reveal to Rogoff that ADN was making about $10 million a year at the time.

The money was badly needed in Sacramento, however, to keep the company afloat. From the time of the Knight-Ridder purchase until today, McClatchy has been walking on a razor’s edge trying to keep profits as high as possible at its most profitable papers to avoid its own Rogoffesque end in bankruptcy court.

The Miami New Times reported today that McClatchy this week sent a letter to all of its employees saying it wants to cut staff by another 450 employees – 10 percent of its work force – via voluntary buyouts.

“Approximately 450 of our colleagues will receive a voluntary early retirement offer today via email,” a copy of the letter obtained by New Times said. “Colleagues who receive an offer will have the opportunity to participate in webinars and consult with representatives of the People team directly, to determine if this opportunity is right for them and their families. We’ve taken this action with intention, deliberation and respect for the contributions these colleagues have made to our company. It is important to us that they are empowered to decide the next steps on their career paths.”

The letter did not say what actions McClatchy planned to take if it didn’t get a 10 percent voluntary reduction. McClatchy has now gone through so many buyouts and layoffs at its many papers that it’s hard to keep track of the number.

Lean, mean, fighting machine

The latest targeted buyout offer provides the company some selectivity in who stays and who goes. McClatchy layoffs have historically been based on seniority.

Those sorts of layoffs have a bad tendency to leave a lot of deadwood in the seats behind the computer screens. And no news organization trying to survive in the digital world has any use for deadwood, except maybe to start a fire to keep the office warm after the heat is turned off because the gas bill has gone unpaid for too long.

Times are tough in the news business.

McClatchy is not the only news organization to announce staff reductions in recent days. BuzzFeed, once the hottest of digital news organization, last week announced it was slashing staff. Vice Media joined McClatchy in announcing cuts this week.

Business Insider today estimated the number of media jobs eliminated in 2019 at over 2,100 with a total of 5,000 lost since 2014.

The business is plagued by competition for advertising revenue from Google, Facebook and many non-news sites on the internet, and by competition from citizen-news organization that pop up on their own websites (like this one) or on Facebook and Twitter where almost anyone – or any government entity or non-government organization (NGO) – can begin reporting about almost anything.

In a move to try to cut out some of the competition, some news organizations have been working with Microsoft on a “NewsGuard” filter for the company’s newest Edge browser.

NewsGuard will funnel people toward “trusted” news sites and away from amateur, pseudo, slanted and fake news sites, Cnet reported. The idea is already running into opposition.

Breitbart called the filter an attempt at “financial blacklisting.”

“NewsGuard’s tactic is similar the one used by far-left smear peddlers Sleeping Giants, whose mission is to spread baseless accusations of racism and white supremacy to the advertisers of pro-Trump media outlets in order to put them out of business and silence their voice,” the website charged.

“The effect isn’t merely to silence pro-Trump media. It also ensures advertisers don’t market their products to Trump voters, causing them to rely less and less on consumers in the heartland, and more on progressive consumers who read establishment news sources. The ultimate result: corporations cater their products and ‘corporate values’ even more to the latter, and not at all to the former.”

How this all plays out only time will tell. It could well backfire on traditional, mainstream media.

Almost everyone in the U.S. – right, left, center, liberal, conservative, socialist, capitalist, ad infinitum – wants trusted news, but the trust in media is so broken it’s hard to believe a business like Microsoft working with the mainstream to define trusted is going to help.

A September poll by Gallup and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation concluded that nine in 10 Republicans now distrust the media. They are likely to be the people most suspicious of “trusted” news certified by mainstream journalists they already distrust. Some might even decide they should decide which news sites to trust rather than be told which news sites to trust.

Not to mention that the timing of NewsGuard couldn’t be much worse, coming as it does in the wake of the Covington affair in Washington, D.C. where mainstream media badly misportrayed the actions of a Native rights activist who confronted a group of Catholic school teenagers.

“Our mainstream press has been poisoned by tribalism,” journalist Andrew Sullivan, a product of the mainstream, wrote after that incident. “My own trust in it is eroding.”

And trust is not something anyone or anything gets or gives via a rubber stamp or the digital equivalent in the form of a green icon from Microsoft. Trust is something that must be earned, and by and large, the media isn’t working very hard at trying to convince all Americans that it can at least try to be fair to everyone.

Derek Thompson at The Atlantic has suggested the country is headed back toward the days of the so-called “party press,” and he might well be right.

“That era’s journalism was hyper-political and deeply biased. But some historians believe that it was also more engaging,” Thompson wrote. “As Gerald J. Baldasty, a professor at the University of Washington, has argued, these newspapers treated readers as a group to engage and galvanize. Perhaps as a result, voting rates soared in the middle of the 19th century to record highs.”

Some days it’s hard to avoid wondering if we aren’t already there.

I wish McClatchy luck in the ongoing struggle to survive. I spent a good part of my journalism career with McClatchy. It was a good company for which to work until the financial stress became serious.

Tough times bring out the best in some people and some organizations. Unfortunately, most people and most organizations aren’t at their best in such circumstances, and the media is now in a time of tough, tough times.























56 replies »

  1. The fracturing of media is in part caused by it’s often over politicized unethical/ biased / inaccurate reporting use of itself for dishonest reporting and political smear tactics. Even NPR and various other big media outlets unethically defending Ralph Northham by trying to smear the other media sources that brought northhams transgressions to light. Instead of factual reporting these politicized outlets including npr have stooped to defending a politician who pushes partial birth baby murder and poses in very controversial fashion earning himself nickname coonman . Excuse me ? Why on earth does this “non”man deserve defense ? This over politization of media causes a distrust of its agenda . Which sinks it’s reputation thus its future profits.

    • Maybe the Trumps ought to take a day off of criticizing “the media” and fly down to Venezuela to partake in a bit of Diplomacy?
      “President of Venezuela Nicolas Maduro continued collecting signatures from citizens from across the country for a petition calling for peace and non-intervention on behalf of United States President Donald Trump.”
      Peace and non-intervention.
      Sounds a lot like Ron Paul and the National Libertarian Party…

      • Actually sounds like Maduro wants shift public opinion and convince America not to invade or cause him to be deposed . Can you blame him ? Hmm socialist dictator facing his possible end decides to politely collect signatures. No suspicious at all ! Ron Paul ? That’s grasping. Ron is my favorite but he is no way in parallel with maduro .

      • Oh Steve, Steve, Steve, Steve…

        First you confuse the bias in mainstream media and now you confuse a Libertarian with a Socialist dictator. You should probably stop reading whatever crazy leftist websites you read that tell you a tyrant is peacefully gathering signatures in the street, and start reading about what is actually going on in the world.

      • From Wikipedia:
        Telesur (stylised as teleSUR) is a Venezuela-based, multi-state funded, Latin American terrestrial and satellite television network headquartered in Caracas, Venezuela. It is sponsored primarily by the government of Venezuela,[2] but also with additional funding by the governments of Cuba, Nicaragua, Uruguay, and Bolivia.[3] It was launched in 2005, under the government of Hugo Chavez, with the aim of being “a Latin socialist answer to CNN”.[2]

        Nothing like an unbiased news source run by a Socialist dictator, hey Steve?

      • There are many journalists from around the world who provide first hand accounts of critical events as they are occurring and this is valuable to our society…
        No news sources are totally unbiased, yet it is valuable to hear from people affected by U.S. Policies. What Alaskan Libertarians forget is their own national platform is built on Peace and Non Intervention…
        Guys like “Steve O” call themselves a Libertarian, yet believe we should just go in and invade whoever we choose…not very “Libertarian” if you ask me…
        It appears social media platforms in the U.S. are censoring opinions around the current Coup attempt in Venezuela.
        Television host for the investigatory series, Empire Files, Abby Martin tweeted, “While pro-coup Venezuelans & right-wing exiles dominate the media sphere, tech companies are actively censoring pro-government accounts they say are working to “influence” people.”
        Another journalist, Ben Norton, accused the company of catering to “U.S. government interests:” Twitter is now removing thousands of accounts supposedly linked to Venezuela’s sovereign government. This comes after Twitter suspended Venezuelan government accounts 1.5 years ago. Social media corporations act as an extension of US government interests.”

      • Maduro and his 400 Russians need to be crushed like the 2 bit dictator and criminal he is. Trump needs to go down and talk to that thug? Are you serious Steve?

      • Steve has a point about social media being arm of government/ but more so arm of big tech “social progress” there is well documentation of face book and twitter activity that censors truth speakers voices . Usually conservatives but not limited to them .u tube is tweaking search results in favor of abortion and many other searches , Stuffing anti abortion deeper in searches. Recent documentation on it . Yes becouse big tech works as a social progress machine it creates a pretty biased search engine system. China takes to next level of censorship. Apple and other tech outfits happily cooperate with China completely complicit,helping China censor its culture and internet repression of civil and human rights with help of big tech in China is order of day . Chinese heavily support maduro . Supposedly many large computer servers are in China .

      • Bryan,
        It is good you bring up the Russians, Do you believe they have totally free elections?
        How about Saudi and UAE?
        China, North Korea, Sudan, Zimbabwe….
        Where should we stop?
        Should we declare War on all dictators?
        What about the Philippines?
        Not many countries have totally free elections these days…
        This does not mean “invade and conquer” all the lands.
        Diplomacy works and Maduro has offered to talk and work with opposition.
        He also would be willing to have another election this year.
        Did you forget China and Russia are against us on this Coup?
        Starting WW3 is not worth a few oil fields in Latin America.
        Think of the larger picture here…the world is watching.

      • So Steve I am anti war but there are cases where American military sacrifices and intervention brought lasting peace . Dominican Republic is one . Look up on Wikipedia. Dominican had hundreds of years of violent violent history until Americans stepped in . Texas is also an interesting case where we stabilized and grew an area . Controversial but supreme compared if had been left in Mexico hands . Is Vietnam better ? I don’t know but appears maybe. Americans tend to stabilize an area just takes awhile . Not arguing for military intervention at all as I haven’t studied adequately. I am absolutely against war and for diplomacy and independent countries. But America does try to help as far as history shows . I think. Even Alaska is fairly stable and free compared to its mother Russia . Just a thought.

      •  Steve,

        You don’t need to lie to try and prove a point.  I do not believe “we should just go in and invade whoever we choose”, and nothing I have ever said here could possibly be misconstrued as such.

        Why believe the propaganda of Maduro, listen to what one Venezuelan has to say…some of the first hand accounts you mentioned.

        “The last time I tried to ask a soldier why they were shooting at us, I was shoved, pinned down and almost got taken away.”

        “Our normal means relying on social media and YouTube — whenever the internet is not blocked — and WhatsApp chats — if there isn’t a power outage — to find out the death toll of the latest protests: You never know if a loved one was killed. Here, it is normal to be fearful and silenced”

        “Mr. Maduro was re-elected to a second term last May in a sham election in which opposition candidates were barred from running, and starving Venezuelans were extorted for votes.”

        Why does the left love Socialist Dictators so much?

        “More than 400 political opponents have been jailed, and more than 100 students shot in the streets. Dozens of media outlets have been shut down. Hospitals have been neglected. Thousands of tons of food handled by the state have been left to rot in ports”

      • Steve,

        You don’t need to lie to try and prove a point. I do not believe “we should just go in and invade whoever we choose”, and nothing I have ever said here could possibly be misconstrued as such.

        Why believe the propaganda of Maduro, listen to what one Venezuelan has to say…some of the first hand accounts you mentioned.

        “The last time I tried to ask a soldier why they were shooting at us, I was shoved, pinned down and almost got taken away.”

        “Our normal means relying on social media and YouTube — whenever the internet is not blocked — and WhatsApp chats — if there isn’t a power outage — to find out the death toll of the latest protests: You never know if a loved one was killed. Here, it is normal to be fearful and silenced”

        “Mr. Maduro was re-elected to a second term last May in a sham election in which opposition candidates were barred from running, and starving Venezuelans were extorted for votes.”

      • Opinion,
        When U said:
        “I am absolutely against war and for diplomacy and independent countries.”
        I think you drove home one of the most important points of the debate.
        Ron Paul and other “third party” candidates such as Ralph Nader and Jill Stein firmly hold this stance.
        I believe our military should be used in Defense of our Nation and not “Offensively” across the globe.
        I can tell you first hand that veterans suffered for many years from the Vietnam War as I watched family and friends who had fought in that conflict.
        I do not think it made the world any better.
        We do not need another Vietnam or Iraq or Afghanistan…
        We need to “progress” as a society.
        Diplomacy does work and Maduro is willing to work with this process.
        I am concerned that the reports from main stream media corporations are not in touch with the population effected in Venezuela.
        The people do not want war…
        We should respect that and stick to enemies like ISIS.
        Here is a link to several stories on Venezuela by an American reporter (Abbey Martin) who has spent many months on trips in Venezuela interviewing and reporting on all the main issues covered by U.S. MSM.
        She has a different take.
        Remember there are always two sides to every story.

      • Bryan,
        You never answered my question…
        How about Saudi and UAE?
        China, North Korea, Sudan, Zimbabwe….
        Where should we stop?
        Should we declare War on all dictators?
        What about the Philippines?
        China and Saudi are two of the world’s biggest human rights violators in the world yet they are our major trade partners?
        Why invade Venezuela now?
        Are we gonna declare war on all human rights violators in the world?
        I am sure someone at the U.N. would point out this is very hypocritical.
        Saudi nationals just chopped up a journalist and top U.S. officials looked the other way…
        Now we must go to a war in Latin America over human rights violations?
        The Philippines are way more in the “throng” of a dictator who is killing across his country unrestrained.
        “MANILA (Reuters) – Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte taunted the head of the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) on Saturday, asking if he was a pedophile because of his focus on the killing of teenagers in the government’s bloody war on drugs.”

      • Steve, point taken. I am actually watching a show on the Klondike, so forgive me if this is short and sweet..
        China, Russia, Saudi, Iran, North Korea, Saudi and UAE, Sudan, etc.. are considered “them”. Cold War enemies pushing a communist or Socialist agenda. Human Rights abusers if you will. The rest are basically oil producers that we turn a blind eye to due “world stability” in a barrel of oil. Then there is “us”, the “virturous” ones of the Cold War. Venezuela, Cuba, Grenada, or Nicaragua are in our backyard. So, obviously we take a more serious 2nd look at them. China and Russia are trying to continue their spread of influence into the Western hemisphere. I know you have a hard-on for America or Capitalism but, America hasn’t killed millions of their own people like both Russia or China has. It is a dangerous world out there full of evil players. Bad politics.and leadership played a role in Vietnam, Iraq or Afghanistan. Certainly not some grand army..

      • Bryan,
        I actually feel U made some good points in that last comment.
        Don’t mistake my criticism on lack of Diplomacy or my take on the media as having a hard on 4 America.
        Many people are looking closely at this crisis.
        I think you have even more concern on the lack of intelligence in the mainstream media.
        Why should we trust their take on Venezuela?
        Not much out of American sources has been proven true these days.
        Many stories we were fed in the past like “Weapons of mass destruction” turned out to be false.
        I am just trying to show there are other opinions out there outside of invade the country.
        If China and Russia are your concern and maybe also the concern of Washington, then we should deal with the sources of the problem…not start a proxy war that Russia and China might fund opposition.
        This happened in Vietnam and our country got into a very long conflict with over 60,000 Americans Dead.
        We do not need that in our backyard by anymeans.
        Maybe pressure on Russia and China with a new election in Venezuela could help?
        Lastly, anti interventionist is not unpatriotic in my opinion since some of our best Patriots never even left the homeland, Etan Allen is always first in my mind.
        Have a good night!

      • Steve-O,
        I just got to reading the NY Times story that you shared in the link.
        Funny how you bash my Telesur media source (from Caracas) and then give me another story written by someone in Caracas as well?
        “Ms. Duarte is a Caracas-based writer and editor.”
        (That was your source)
        I guess only Venezuela writers supported by the NYT are valid?
        Either way this situation in Latin America has way more to do with Russian oil investments and arms sales than it does civil rights.
        The “opposition” is causing the violence to police and peaceful protesters, many say it was the same in the 2002 coup attempt.
        As for the oil…
        Well this is what “Globalism” has done to our planet.
        “Russia began expanding its energy investment in Venezuela after the global economic crisis. Flush with cash, Russia’s leading energy firms – Gazprom, Rosneft, Lukoil, TNK-BP and Surgutneftegaz – formed a National Oil Consortium to consolidate their separate efforts to exploit Venezuela’s fields in October 2008. Within five years, however, Rosneft remained the sole investor, having bought the stakes of its privately held partners, who had decided to sell out for reasons ranging from “uncertainties” created by Venezuela’s business climate to dry holes.”

      • Steve,

        There is a massive difference between a state sponsored media report and that from a private citizen, especially when that state is a socialist dictatorship.

        You must have missed the news when Chavez seized oil companies property from Exxon Mobil, ConocoPhillips, Chevron, BP, Norway’s Statoil, and France’s Total among others.

  2. Ah, the devil is ALWAYS in the details. Medred writes:

    “A September poll by Gallup and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation concluded that nine in 10 Republicans now distrust the media”.

    From the same report:

    “Americans appear to differentiate the trustworthiness of news organizations — 67% say they trust only some news media organizations, but not others.”

    Imagine that. I can dig Medred’s monkey about his fav monkey but the facts are in – GET OVER IT. There is bloody little indepence anywhere with anything now and maybe since the first spoken word. Wishing and wanting for anything that is past is a fool’s game. I wish I could have my rotary-dial phone back! Ha, ha…

    If anyone is believes any friable ephemeral ‘media’ to be meaningful, carry on. Except books.

  3. Did the commentors miss the meat of this article? It touched on a lot of information. Especially important is timing of mainstream media financial struggle/ consolidation at same moment as a very aggressive sneaky campaign ( Newsgaurd =news control ) to push readers and advertisers away from alternative news sources. This accomplished at least 3 things thanks to Microsoft/ bigtech . It helps put control of information stream / propaganda dissemination back into hands of big news corporations (the news corps saw their loss of public mind control)news corps have been integrated into the Uber rich peoples hands with big tech and big banking. This control of information stifles truth/knowledge dissemination and allows status qua to continue = more wars and various lies to continue. Knowledge is power and thus if Uber rich control information they in effect stay as kings and control knowledge. Newsgauard is massive threat to indipendent media and full information transfer . Thus a threat to free thinking free press and democracy. Irregardless of left or right . 2nd thing it does is raise profits for big news companies. Who are barely more accurate on reporting articles than small news who often dig into the dirty facts of problems. Example-respected Reuters basically ignores local news and has a policy to pretty much keep its hands clean. Thus just distracting the public from things at home and never really getting into the meat of the issues. Some folks claim it’s accurate source but I’m always shocked by its biased uniformed often grade school writing. Independent media is imperative to our future. Less we slowly drift towards China . The 3 rd thing newsgaurd does is sneakily train people to trust the upper echelons and not use their own brains for analytical thought. To we really need someone else to tell us what to trust ??? This is all incredibly dangerous with the propensity for big techs monitoring programs they happily share with governments and bend so easily for China . Combined with a distinctly different law enforcement methods for elites/ heavy monied as compared to a standard citizen. Anyone who doesn’t see the distinctive connections isn’t understanding the ramifications of the combined efforts. Wether it’s pur or not matters little at this point. The effect is similar. Death is Death irregardless if it was accidental or purposeful as far as long term repercussions. This article shares very important information to our times .

  4. Americans live under the illusion that media is Liberal in America, just as they follow the mantra that the Democrats are on the left.
    Neither has been the case since McGovern ran for president many years ago.
    Today neither the projected “liberals” in Congress or the Mainstream media wish to touch the true issues facing our nation like a general budget in which 55 percent of our money goes to military spending and defense contracts or the fact that lobbyists control votes in Congress through super pac support.
    The lack of trust in our media and hence the lack of financial support from readers further suggests that millions of Americans are turning to news sources outside of the U.S. to gather information.
    Some online examples include Al Jazeera, Russia Today and TeleSUR in Latin America.
    Media “start ups” like The Intercept choose places like Brazil as their headquarters to further distance themselves from America policies.
    FB and Google have become arms of censorship for the government and Bezos and his new Amazon Cloud are now the country’s largest “defense” contracts?
    As the Imperialist mentality in America looses steam to new “greener” ways of society around the Globe these old media companies will go the direction of many antiquated systems and be replaced by younger bolder reporters who use “guerrilla” tactics to cover foreign affairs.
    Venezuela is a prime example of all of this occurring right now.
    Some of the only reporting on the streets in Caracas comes from RT and TeleSUR sponsored journalism….
    Yet American politicians take to Twitter to counter these reports although none of them care to travel to Venezuela to engage in Diplomacy…not even those on the perceived “left” like Bernie Sanders?
    Controlled Dissident in America is established…no real investigation into truth or the ongoing “War on Terror” which has cost the American homeland TRILLIONS of dollars in the last 18 years.

    • Steve, the media is biased and liberal. Worse actually.. Only a Democrat can get away with either dressing as a klansman or actually being one. Yet, they call everybody else racists (to include the media in general). Pathetic!

      • Bryan,
        What is pathetic is your Utopian Political Spectrum that consists of only the D’s and R’s…both of which are controlled by the “puppet masters” of Wall Street, Big Pharma and “Defense”.
        Why is it that the Green Party which is the 4th largest party in the country and the only political party that spans the globe, is not even allowed to participate in our National Presidential Debates?
        “Police arrested Green Party Presidential candidate Jill Stein and her running mate, Cheri Honkala, after they tried to enter the site of tonight’s presidential debate at Hofstra University.”
        You and the far right stay stuck in 1960’s civil rights issues like (homophobia, racism and abortion issues) when the rest of us have not even thought about those past hypocrisies for many years.
        I find it strange that Russia Today has more stories on Libertarian and Green Party candidates than any of your perceived “liberal” news sources in the U.S.?
        FYI…the blinders go way beyond just Democrats and Republicans these days.

      • You’re 1/2 right. All media is biased. Not all media is liberal. Up there with the worst offenders are the right wing junk that’s trolled out as news but is really just op ed stories to keep senior citizens glued to the tube while they get their medicine advertisements… Quit being racist! ;>)


      • Steve, you are kidding right (You and the far right stay stuck in 1960’s civil rights issues like (homophobia, racism and abortion issues)?
        The Democrat Party of Racism kills 40% of the black babies, 70% in NYC, and you call it “Right-Wing”. Please do not put me in that party of Democrat, baby killing, vile, racists.

    • Now there’s some perspective, Steve thinks the media is right-wing apparently…how far out there on the left are you Steve? You think aljazeera and Russian news sources are unbiased? You think that socialist dictators are middle of the road? Look no further than the freshman class in the House of Representatives to see the left, calling for 90% income taxes and blaming Jews for everything…that’s the left and those are Democrats. Obviously they aren’t far enough left for some like Steve who prefer their government run by the string hand of a socialist dictator who subjects his people to extreme poverty and starvation.

      • Steve O,
        All news sources are biased to some extent…Yes, I feel corporate sponsored mainstream media is more towards the right politically….but the point is outside news sources are supplying Americans a second and third opinion on events around the world.
        Believing in political candidates like Ralph Nader and Jill Stein are a far cry away from thinking socialist dictators are the middle of the road.
        Even without winning the presidential election, Ralph Nader has done a great deal to improve consumer safety in America.
        There was a time when cars came without seatbelts in America.
        “That was before a young lawyer named Ralph Nader came along with a book, “Unsafe at Any Speed,” that would change the auto industry. It accused automakers of failing to make cars as safe as possible. Less than a year after the book was published, a balky Congress created the federal safety agency that became the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration — an agency whose stated mission is to save lives, prevent injuries and reduce crashes.”
        These type of grassroot activists are what made America Great…
        The same type of ambition is seen today with young reporters who work for foreign news outlets…

      • Steve-O, this explains a lot Steve’s eratic behavior – “I feel corporate sponsored mainstream media is more towards the right politically”. I mean, who in their right mind (excuse the pun) would believe such an insane comment?

      • Bryan,
        It seems the expression “cut from the same cloth” goes back a long way in America.
        1914, Julian Hawthorne, in The Subterranean Brotherhood: “These men are no more lost souls than we are—are, in fact, woven out of the same yarn and cut from the same cloth.”
        Sound familiar?

      • “Yes, I feel corporate sponsored mainstream media is more towards the right politically”

        That’s a hellofa thing to say and admit to Steve, thanks for your honesty. I suspect that puts you into the extreme left minority in this Country. The vast majority of Democrats and liberals think the media is either a little left or right in the middle. It also explains why you would think that I am an extreme rightwinger when I am a libertarian with socially moderate and fiscally conservative views.


      • Steve O,
        If you are a Libertarian you will understand how little media attention is given to any 3rd party candidate in the U.S.
        You can label me however you feel, but my interest in “Green Politics” comes from my fundamental belief that we all have a right to breathe clean air and drink safe water that is free from contamination…values that I believe are actually in everyone’s best interest.
        As for your comment:
        “The vast majority of Democrats and liberals think the media is either a little left or right in the middle.”
        Please show me your data that supports this opinion?
        Here are two comments on the very subject…

        Shawn Glisson wrote:
        “Nearly all U.S. media is owned by a billionaire or run by the millionaire CEO of a major corporation. How could they be left-wing liberal? They are all pro-corporate, pro Wall-Street mouthpieces hawking corporate advertising. The predominant commercial media will always put profits ahead of people and tow the pro-corporate line, which places all of them on the right. PBS, one of few non-commercial media outlets, is running scared from the right-wing Republicans in Congress, which still control a part of their budget, and must also appease their corporate sponsors.”

        Derrick Schoorl wrote:
        “As a Canadian, I`d argue that US media tends to be center/right, while Americans would disagree with this assessment. Sure, the New York Times, which I read every day, appears liberal to an American, but to myself, it’s more centrist than The Globe and Mail, which I also read daily. That said, there are no American equivalents to The Guardian or Toronto Star, both of which are to the left of any American newspaper.”
        You can read the link below and see more folks feel as I do as this is a very subjective topic.

      • Steve,

        Show my work, this isn’t the third grade, do your own work. Oh wait that isn’t the socialist way…

        Use whatever search engine you want and look up “media bias” they will all tell you the same the vast majority of Democrats and liberals think the media is either a little left or right in the middle.

        I don’t know who Shawn Glisson or Derrick Schoorl are, but I’m guessing they aren’t unbiased at all, in fact I would guess they are extreme leftists.

      • Steve O…
        First off, there are not ANY “homesteaders” in Alaska who believe in private property rights, self employment and the bill of rights who would be called “socialists” by ANY stretch of the Imagination.
        Your assertions have no grounds in reality.
        I am thinking you call yourself Libertarian, yet always pull the Red lever?
        Venezuela is not pure socialism by the way.
        Economists agree there is a mixed economy (private corporations throughout the country).
        And Maduro won a free election in 2018…this was observed by third party outside agencies.
        As for the corporate media biased on the right, there are tons of references to many people who agree with this.
        Jason Schrift wrote:
        “All the major ones are right-of-center. There are independent left-wing sources like telesur but they are few and far between. Capitalists favor right-wing media so it’s hard to find anything left-wing and when you do, people call it biased because they’re so used to right-wing bias, they think it’s neutral.”
        Daniel Albert wrote:
        “No media outlets are left-wing in the United States.
        All are owned by massive corporations and all are very, very, very profit-driven and capitalistic.
        Some are simply not partisan or nationalistic like Fox News. That’s the sole difference. Some members of the media have a preference, for someone center-right and less authoritarian, like Hillary Clinton. (I said “less”, not “not”)
        But not a single media outlet actually gives a shit about the left wing, because such a thing doesn’t exist in the United States to any significant degree. Everything is right of center.”
        Lastly if you are actually a Libertarian you too are in the far minority in the U.S.
        Only 4 percent of Americans voted for the Libertarian candidates in the last election, so you should be more sympathetic to minorities in America.

      • Steve,

        For some reason you keep quoting people as if they are somebody that we should know who they are and that their opinions matter. Some random extreme leftwing guy who thinks the media is conservative does not make the media conservative.

        The elections in Venezuela were rigged and the third party observers renounced them as such. Maduro is a socialist tyrant.

        I don’t understand what you are saying about homesteaders, it makes no sense. You think people who came to Alaska to get their own property and make a life don’t believe in “private property rights, self employment and the bill of rights”?

      • Bryan,
        No offense, but listing a conservative group as your “meter stick” for how Liberal the media is does little to back up Steve-O’s comment:
        “The vast majority of Democrats and liberals think the media is either a little left or right in the middle.”
        You list The Media Research Center as a source: “The Media Research Center (MRC) is a politically conservative content analysis organization based in Reston, Virginia, founded in 1987 by L. Brent Bozell III. Its stated mission is to “expose and neutralize the propaganda arm of the Left: the national news media.”
        This only further proves my point on the illusion of a liberal media.
        I am not speaking of if the reporters vote Democrats or Republicans, but an analysis of the content in the media.
        Even Ron Paul who ran for the GOP nomination is too liberal for mainstream media.
        As a Libertarian he holds some views shared by Liberals throughout America:
        “Paul wants to…end the war on drugs, at the same time as condemning the invasion of Iraq and warning against threatening Iran.
        His support is solid, enthusiastic, but hard to see growing very broad. But to cast him as a fringe weirdo says far more about the biases and idiocy of the media and his political rivals than it does about Paul.”
        “Paul’s positions question the country’s very role in the world. He even calls America an “empire”. That is simply too much for the system to take. Far better to debate familiar topics like gay marriage, abortion rights, taxes and welfare cuts”
        Sound familiar?

      • Steve O,
        My comment was:
        “First off, there are not ANY “homesteaders” in Alaska who believe in private property rights, self employment and the bill of rights who would be called “socialists” by ANY stretch of the Imagination.”
        Meaning as a person who came to Alaska to build my own home, work as a small business owner and exercise my rights, I am a far cry away from the “socialist” you claim.
        I further wonder how your beliefs match with the National Libertarian platform?
        Ron Paul does not support this interventionist approach we are seeing currently in Venezuela.
        Whether or not Maduro is bad, does not give us the right to impose a new regime in a foreign state.
        How do you feel about the drawn out war in Afghanistan?
        “Ron Paul’s opposition to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan – is seen as unpatriotic and that is a cardinal sin. Whether Republican or Democrat, mentioning the idea that other nations around the world might have good cause to be annoyed at the US is a no-go area.”

      • Steve, I listed the Wash. Post as well. We will have to agree to disagree as to whether the media is Left or Right. Bit surprised, especially by someone that claims to be 3rd Party but, that is fine.

      • Steve, what you are witnessing is the 1960’s-80’s and the creep of Communism (China)/Socialism (Russia) in our backyard AGAIN.

        “Whether or not Maduro is bad, does not give us the right to impose a new regime in a foreign state.” Adolf Hitler, Stalin, Mugabe, Mao, Amin, Saddam, etc. ring a bell? Not only do we have a right to impose new regimes but, a morale obligation in a civilized society. Maduro and Chavez were 2 corrupt idiots. Well, not idiots, but criminals who have stolen billions from their people and ran their country into the toilet. And your fight is with Capitalism? Seeing anything wrong with this pretty simple picture?

      • Bryan,
        I do know that most of us on this site have WAY more in common than what separates us.
        I find it intriguing the small words that push us apart as a society.
        When you said:
        “Steve, what you are witnessing is the 1960’s-80’s and the creep of Communism (China)/Socialism (Russia) in our backyard AGAIN.”
        I agree…
        But ask yourself how this is being accomplished under the guise of a free market global (capitalist) economy?
        Like what if we allow China to build a pipeline in Alaska and then a conflict (like Venezuela) breaks out and China is NOT on our side?
        We are seeing this today in Latin America.
        Both China and Russia have invested heavily in the Petroleum industry in Venezuela.
        Why is this not in American media sources?
        How much attention was given to the 2 bombers that Russia flew to Venezuela in Dec?
        Were there Nukes on board?
        Many think the Cuban missile crisis was the closest to WW3 that we have come…
        I do not want more wars for our children.
        Diplomacy over Coup attempt is my first thought.
        We do not have the money or domestic support for another “Vietnam”.

      • Sreve, we are our worst enemy at times. Well, a lot of times. Our open society allows the likes of the Chinese, Islamists, or anybody else to take advantage of our laws, society, Bill of Rights, etc..

        As for a coup or war with Venezuela it wouldn’t last long. About as long as Panama if that. Besides, Maduro and his plane of riches are on their way out – litterally.

      • Steve-O,
        That is fine if you choose to not list your opinions on war and interventionist policies…
        I am just trying to understand your connection to the Libertarian Platform since the party’s core beliefs are:
        “a commitment to free-market principles, civil rights, personal freedom, non-interventionism, peace and free trade.”
        Maybe you do not agree with all of these principles?
        “Libertarians strongly oppose any government interference into their personal, family, and business decisions.”
        This last series of principles seems impossible to obtain, especially when owning property or business in America.
        I have met many Libertarians in Alaska and the spectrum varies from Joe Miller type Republicans all the way down to liberal minded folks…
        I feel ALL parties have knowledge and experience to share with the community.
        It seems one thing is sure that Libertarians should all value the rights and privilege of others to form their own political opinions based on experience and education.

      • Steve,

        What, if anything, in all of my comments here would make you think that I would be lying about being libertarian and having libertarian beliefs?

        The non-interventionist aspect is probably where I diverge the most from the Libertarian platform, it’s a great idea but pie in the sky thinking.

        I fail to see how being strongly opposed to “any government interference into their personal, family, and business decisions” is impossible to obtain in America. Of course I’m not a statist.

  5. Kind of says it all:
    “This raises a lot of issues, really,” Levin said. “How is it that the media didn’t even look at [Northam’s] medical yearbook? How’s that possible? They’re hunting down Kavanaugh’s high school yearbook. They’re taking any piece of information they can. They’re digging and digging and interview people, and so forth and so on. The Washington Post, which is the big newspaper in the DC metropolitan area, covering the city, Virginia and Maryland, and so forth – they endorsed Northam for governor. Do they take any responsibility for not doing a proper vetting?”

  6. Craig,
    I use to read your “outdoor columns”, while you were the outdoor editor, at ADN.
    Even though I disagreed, with many of your points of view, I still read your articles.
    You continued you career with the AD and I kept reading your articles. You are a good writer, Thank You for all the great info, outdoor tips and the overall Alaskan flavor, you gave me, for many years.
    Unfortunately, print news is consolidating faster, than you can blink your eye. Alaska is not news to the lower 48, any longer. Majority feel like AK, is a place to visit, where you can still find men in the rugged outdoors.
    The main stream media, is more concerned with Jeff Bezos’s love life.
    The lower 48, has always treated AK, as a place to make money, and nothing else is important.
    All corporate capitalism cares about, is what it is going to produce today.
    Social media is becoming the news source, of a growing population of our country. Now that is scary!

    • Solid take, James. I used to read Craig’s articles as well even though I didn’t always agree with them, I enjoyed the well written perspective. I think that you’re also right about news moving to social media – it has been for years. However, I don’t think that it’s the end of the world just yet. I think (hope) that some smart kids will figure out how to put out some solid reporting that isn’t rewarded by clicks. We definitely need to get away from the click bait crap that’s out there now.


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