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Member since: Thu Apr 29, 2010, 03:31 PM
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Journal Archives

Journalism’s Surrender (Andrew Sullivan)


I should end the year on an upbeat note, shouldn’t I? But Time Inc. ruined it. The surrender of journalism to advertizing and public relations – not alliance with, but surrender to – was the biggest media story of 2013 that the media almost didn’t cover at all. But it’s right there in black and white, if buried on the slowest news day of the year:

Time Inc. will abandon the traditional separation between its newsroom and business sides, a move that has caused angst among its journalists. Now, the newsroom staffs at Time Inc.’s magazines will report to the business executives. Such a structure, once verboten at journalistic institutions, is seen as necessary to create revenue opportunities and stem the tide of declining subscription and advertising sales.

Now remember this is not some desperate trade magazine; this is Time Fucking Inc. Journalists at Time will report directly to those on the business side (or is that now an anachronism?) seeking advertizing revenues and sponsored content contracts. That’s what the editors now are. And listen to the howls of outrage swirling around every other journalistic institution, read the columns decrying the end of independent journalism, witness the mass exits of outraged editors, observe the talking heads fulminate and readers rebel!

Actually, there was one resignation, and it was a deeply honorable one: Among those who expressed concern was Martha Nelson, the recently departed editor in chief. Before Mr. Ripp came aboard and brought on Mr. Pearlstine, the magazines’ editors all reported to Ms. Nelson, who was seen as a staunch defender of newsroom autonomy. Late last summer, Mr. Ripp invited Ms. Nelson to Nantucket to discuss his plans, according to several current and former Time Inc. executives. Troubled by the idea of reporting to the business side, she resigned. “When Joe suggested a new structure that required editors to report to the business heads, I wasn’t comfortable being part of it,” Ms. Nelson said. “You can’t take apart what you have promoted and built.”

By actual count, in 2013 I got 8,217 emails from Democratic/liberal candidates and organizations ...

... asking me to donate money.

Not one of them, not even one, promised to fight for what I consider the most basic of Democratic/liberal values ....

... Medicare for All

... Lifting the cap on Social Security, or applying FICA tax to anything besides payroll

... Living wage (no, $10 an hour is not a living wage)

... Higher taxes on capital gains and other high earners

... Reducing military spending

... Reining in the NSA

Of course there's still a few hours to go. Perhaps later today.

And we wonder why half the electorate doesn't bother to vote.

Minnesota Officials Complain That Drug Testing Welfare Recipients Is A Waste Of Time And Money

Typical Teabaggerism: Create a bogeyman, waste time and money, punish the innocent.


Minnesota counties are preparing to start randomly drug testing the individuals who receive welfare benefits, a new requirement that was passed as an amendment during the 2012 legislative session. But local officials are frustrated with the new policy, saying it’s largely a waste of time and money — and could actually end up costing taxpayers.

The drug-testing policy was touted as a method of saving taxpayer dollars, intended to lower the number of people who receive state benefits by excluding drug users. But county officials and anti-poverty advocates point out it’s based on the flawed assumption that a large portion of welfare beneficiaries are using illegal drugs. In reality, according to a recent analysis from the state’s Department of Health Services, welfare recipients are far less likely to have felony drug convictions than the general population.

And the law — which requires each country to conduct “random” drug tests among the small pool of people who receive government benefits and also have a prior felony drug conviction — will result in a web of complicated new regulations. It’s up to each county to figure out how to enforce it, so local officials are currently devising plans for notifying beneficiaries about the new law and asking them to come in for testing. Since the legislation didn’t include additional funding to carry out the drug testing, counties are taking on any extra costs themselves.


One of the biggest issues with Minnesota’s new law is that some people may end up getting cut off from their benefits not because they’re actually using drugs, but because they don’t have the right paperwork. Now, in order to keep receiving state assistance, the people who have previously been convicted of a drug felony must prove that they’re either participating in drug treatment, have successfully completed treatment, or have received a county assessment confirming they don’t treatment. But according to Kathleen Davis, a supervising attorney at Mid-Minnesota Legal Aid, many of these welfare recipients are homeless or in transitional housing. It may be too difficult for local officials to contact them in time, and they may not have all the required documents.

Bwahahahahaha. Wisconsin Transparency Force gives Scott Walker a pair of fireproof pants!

I'm sure Squatty will be bragging about how PolitiFlawed confirmed that he told the truth NINE times.


Got “Pants on Fire” problems? There’s a solution! W.T.F. gave it to Scott Walker.

A case in point is a tall tale about the people of La Crosse that Scott Walker printed in his book and repeated on television. I’ve had occasion to be very disappointed with Politifact, but my cheese hat is off to ‘em for a thorough job of researching this story and proving it officially FALSE.

Clearly our Governor has a troubled relationship with the truth and that’s a real problem. That’s why the group Wisconsin Transparency Force (W.T.F.) gave Scott Walker a very special gift December 23rd. This short video – 1 minute and 35 seconds – will show you how that went down.

Committee in Session

No wonder I can never get through

Thom Tillis shows how much he respects his constituents

Evolution of God

113th US Congress

Salvation for Dummies

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