Tag Archives: Washington Post

Washington Post? Boston Globe? Jim asked for my opinion. . .

A beau from my way-back machine (still a friend) asked in an email:

What you think of the sales of the Boston Globe and Washington Post for peanuts on the dollar?  How in the hell is Bezos going to make money with the WP? Does he get the rights to the very good Sousa March of the same name?

I’m unqualified when it comes to the Sousa question (there’s a March?), but we all know that Moe do so luv to offer her opinion (I do it for free, so grateful am I for the ‘ask’.)

Here’s how I see it:

It’s a changed world. Big metro dailies need to be reinvented and as for Bezos and The Post, I think he’s the guy to do it. WaPo and the Globe have been shrinking for years like so many others. They’ve lost classified, real estate, and car ads to online. The one thing that isn’t going to happen again is growth – in size, in advertising and eventually in circulation – although the Post and the NYT and WSJ continue to reign supreme in readership because they all excel in an internet proof-product – excellent substantive reporting.

So I think at least with the Post, the goal is to find a revenue stream to support that core product and not fiddle with it. Everything else has to be reinvented. And who better to do it than Bezos who literally invented how to actually make big money online. Since he’s an individual owner – which was the tradition at the Post – I trust him more than a corp looking for quarterly earnings. He’ll support it for quite a while probably.. Just like Murdock has to support the NY Post and the Moonies have to support the Washington Times (daily circulation 83,000 vs WaPo 1.4million).

Metro dailies are today’s horse and buggies. Not surprisingly though, small weekly or bi-weekly local papers are doing very well. Very very well, which is probably why Buffet just bought a bunch of ‘em.  Their operating cost are low – no need for out of town bureaus for instance. Or financing investigative reporting. As long as they cover city hall, births, deaths and school pageants, they’ve got it covered. Plus advertising is pretty cheap.

I don’t know much about the Globe except that again, this is a single owner – one already invested in the community. And also, I think that sale is an example of how the NY Times by selling it is sharpening its focus on protecting its flagship paper. They’ve been selling ‘Times Group’ papers for a while.

So I think Bezos can find a way to keep up readership while developing that reliable revenue stream with paid online access. The Times and WSJ are already doing that very successfully.  And MOST importantly, he’ll usher the paper into the age of the mobile device because he also understands the future.

And that’s what I think.

Why The Washington Times is a leading news source

Will the Rev. Sun Young Moon pull the plug on his hobby, or will the ‘venerable Washington Times continue its vigorous reporting for another day? (NOTE: Washington Times daily circulation about 83,000; Washington Post daily circulation about one million.)

This story from that paper yesterday leaped into the conservative blogsphere, where vigorous re-blogging was soon underway.

The pro-choice Obama White House requires pregnant visitors to count their unborn child as a person for tours of the executive mansion.

Okay. Family of three wants to tour the WH when they make their future planned visit to DC. Now if they reasonably expect that they will be a family of four by the time they arrive, and since everyone is required to be ticketed,  they are advised to apply for four tickets now and save any hassle when they get there. Let them know how many you will be.

Got it? White House policy is that everyone, no matter the age, is required to have a ticket. Four of you want to enter? That’ll be four tickets. Expecting twins before the date of the tour? Better order five tickets now. Like if you were going to Disney.

Idiots.

Ezra Klein haz da stuff!

So young, so smart

Klein, an early star of the blogsphere, now blogs at The Washington Post on ‘Economic and Domestic Policy – and lots of it!’. His blog, Wonkbook, is a daily  link-rich heads up on what’s happening in DC. I highly recommend subscribing.

By the way, I found The Washington Post website annoyingly difficult to navigate. The link from the daily email failed and at the site itself, finding Klein’s column wasn’t easy. Even the search function was a little wobbly.

So why do they get quoted all the time?

The amazing Washington Times. Treated by the larger media as the ‘other’ voice of DC – the assumption being (incorrect as it happens) that The Washington Post is the liberal voice so of course there must be a conservative voice. So sayeth the sayers, which is how we always get to hear from the stars at The Washington Times in the same breath as any mention of The Washington Post.

Anyone who’s been here more than 90 days know that I like to beat this particular horse over and over. And so, to be redundant – cuz I can – let’s take yet anotherr look at those circulation figures.

The Washington Post daily readership:  582,844 souls (as of September 2009,  according to the Audit Bureau of Circulations,)

The Washington Times daily readership: 37,000 souls. (On October 5, 2010 (page A2), the Times printed that their current circulation was 37,597, down from 49,907 a year earlier; which includes 8,844 free copies and 28,753 paid copies.)

I love that equivalency thing.

And by the way, the Unification Church (the Moonies) have spent almost $2billion – that’s TWO BILLION DOLLARS – keeping this rag afloat.

WaPo: Editors? Bah humbug.

Here’s a perfect example of the casual use of equivalency in today’s media. Chris Cilizza, a columnist at the Washington Post and a regular on MSNBC, writes about Saturday’s Beckapalooza. He says no one really knows how many attended, saying:

You do know it's all about me, don't you?

“Estimates on the size of the rally have varied widely. According to one commissioned by CBS News, 87,000 people attended the event. Former Alaska governor Sarah Palin (R), who also spoke at the event, told a reporter afterward that she thought more than 100,000 people had attended.  Beck said that the crowd was between 300,000 and 650,000, and Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.), speaking at her own event after the rally, said that no fewer than 1 million people had been in attendance’

From CBS in their own report: “The company AirPhotosLive.com based the attendance on aerial pictures it took over the rally, which stretched from in front of the Lincoln Memorial along the Reflecting Pool to the Washington Monument. . . .  AirPhotosLive.com gave its estimate a margin of error of 9,000, meaning between 78,000 and 96,000 people attended the rally. The photos used to make the estimate were taken at noon Saturday, which is when the company estimated was the rally’s high point.

So what we learned from Chris Cilizza this morning (and passed as perfectly good reporting by the Post’s ‘editors’) is this: crowd size guesses pulled from the a**es of the sponsors carry the same weight as  those arrived at by outside professionals hired by a news organization. Okay.

So, let’s just review. Estimates by Beck et al, as seen by Cilizza, worthy of reporting (at least they weren’t colluding – obviously), were:

Palin – 100,000

Beck – 300,000 – 650,000 (lottsa wiggle room in this one – either one thing or double that one thing. Somewhere in there.)

Bachman –  1 million by jeebus

Remember this?

In the Bush administration, and after 9/11, Admiral John Poindexter proposed a new level of surveillance inside the country. Deaf to the power of language apparently, he named the program Total Information Awareness. Most people recoiled. Press reports at the time said the program was not undertaken or it was begun but shut down or it was merged into other programs – press reports were garbled and ultimately not reliable. Wikipedia’s entry (link above) seems sound.

If the name of the program weren’t sufficiently frightening, the logo they developed is terrifying.

This morning, The Washington Post has released a very important study, compiled and reported over two years and in cooperation with Public Broadcasting’s Frontline program, of the size and state of the US Intelligence apparatus.

From the summary:

“After nine years of unprecedented spending and growth, the result is that the system put in place to keep the United States safe is so massive that its effectiveness is impossible to determine.”

They’ve created a separate and very interactive website is up and it includes a trailer for the Frontline documentary to be aired in October.

Top Secret America:– A Washington Post investigation –  A hidden world, growing beyond control

I think we are all obliged to read it. And then, I think we are all obliged to make noise. Although it may just be too late to undo what’s been done.

Let us hope it’s not too late to bring some troops home from the escalating war in Afghanistan. Today is the 284th day of our ninth year there.