Politics schmolitics

In Politics, The news biz on September 29, 2007 at 3:41 pm

I want to run coverage of the presidential election campaigns, but I can only rarely bring myself to put any of the crap that AP writes into my paper. I do not care about:

    Who’s ahead in the latest poll. Screw the horse-race, we’ll know a year from November.
    Infighting among campaigns. Of course they’re fighting; duh.
    Stenography of candidates’ scripted statements. When was the last time a candidate said something fascinating, witty or statesmanlike on the stump?

I want to give readers at least a semblance of info that will help them make a choice in the primaries and then in the election. (Call me an eternal optimist, but I’m willing to suspend the disbelief that our votes will actually be counted and honestly reported by Mr. Diebold.)

But there is precious little in the coverage that comes across the wires that fits that criterion. And let’s not kid ourselves about how much time and energy that I, a small-time, small-market newspaper editor, have to put into such a quest. I need hard-nosed looks at who’s paying for whose campaigns. I need subtle, revealing biographies. I get a steady stream of crap. And I won’t bore my readers with it.

I’m telling you, the Associated Press (not to mention all of us who enable it) is hastening the demise of the American newspaper.


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