Big City Papers Continue Financial Freefall
AMERICANS ARE BECOMING BETTER informed —and much less misinformed—as huge, controlled newspapers collapse and the independent media—both print and broadcast—gets tuned up. This reflects a growing realization by the American people that the major media spoon-feeds them establishment pablum instead of real news.
It also has to do with greed. Whereas extremely successful corporations, like Toyota, run on 5 percent profit margins, the big media conglomerates insist on profit margins as high as 40 percent.
Rather than lower their unsustainable profit margins, the big papers lay off reporters, investigators and editors and demand the remaining employees work for less so that outlandish bonuses can continue to be paid to their executives. Some papers have considered getting rid of reporters altogether and picking up their news from Cable News Network (CNN), for instance. This disturbing trend could mean that in the future all mainstream newspapers will get their “news” from one, single source. Think the mainstream news is bad now? Just wait.
Presently, all three major Bilderberg-controlled newspapers are teetering on the brink: The Washington Post, New York Times and Los Angeles Times. All are losing big bucks and readers, and have been forced to diminish the number of pages in their papers and lay off ever larger numbers of employees.
The New York Times and Boston Globe are having a hissy fit because both are falling. The Times bought the Globe in 1993 for $1.1 billion and now threatens to shut it down because it is losing $1.5 million a week. But the Times is $1 billion in debt and owes $250 million to a Mexican financier at 14 percent interest.
The Times ordered the Globe to provide $20 million in concessions from its 13 labor unions by May 1 or risk foreclosure. “This is a populist nightmare for the Times,” Tim Graham of the Media Research Center told The Washington Times. “It’s always embarrassing when a newspaper that blows passionate kisses at labor unionism develops a financial fever, and suddenly it’s caught with its hands around the throat of its own unions.”
But the Post has a long history of liberal hypocrisy. For decades, it demonstrated its “liberalism” by championing labor unions—until it got too personal. In the 1970s, its pressmen protested a lapsed contract by chanting and banging on the presses after a Sunday night run. The Post announced that its presses were badly damaged and sent pages by helicopter to small daily newspapers for printing. It was dramatic, and sympathy for the Post and anger at the union reached fever pitch until the maverick Spotlight—shut down by corrupt courts in 2001—exposed the facts.
In those days of “hot metal” printing—before computers—all press rooms looked like they had been shelled by cannon fire after a run; ripped newsprint dangled as the page forms hung open. Spotlight’s investigation found the presses could be immediately repaired with a 35-cent gadget from a hardware store, something that has to be replaced infrequently whether or not union men chant. The Post was full of cute tricks, such as calling a hard-working employee’s wife and gently asking her to “talk to her husband about sleeping on the job.”
Nevertheless, this “champion of organized labor” got rid of its unions. America’s distrust of the mainstream media is reflected in a Rasmussen Reports poll of 1,000 citizens. Sixty-one percent of respondents were “confident” that “other news sources” would keep them informed. The American Society of Newspaper Editors dropped the word “newspaper” from its name. They are now the American Society of Editors.
The Tribune Co., owner of the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune and six other dailies, has filed for bankruptcy, as has Chicago Sun Times.
(Issue # 16 & 17, April 20 & 27, 2009)