Thursday, August 08, 2013

John Walsh – MASS DNC Chair – Leaves to Chair Patrick PAC – No Hint of Bay State Replacement – Ground Troops and Retail Politics – An Opportunity for the RNC and MASS GOP to Lose

The Bay State in 2013 Markey-Gomez Election - not entirely a blue state - image: Daily Kos

A somewhat interesting piece appeared in the Boston Globe – an opinion column by Joan Vennochi, who suggests the sun and moon rises over John Walsh – the title “John Walsh’s rhapsody in blue” speaks to the Walsh victories, Deval Patrick’s campaign for Governor and use by those methods (“yes we can”) by the Obama Campaign in 08, the win of Elizabeth Warren, et al. Since Mr. Walsh is going to head the outgoing Governor, Deval Patrick’s Federal PAC, one can anticipate that Walsh is heading to DC in short order.

Patrick has continued to claim he is not running for President (that mantle will go to either Hillary Clinton, or the Professor (yes, Elizabeth Warren), but they need strong Progressives on the national level to make sure that happens – who will be up for the DNC Chair? – Patrick? It’s a possibility.

What of Massachusetts? There is no clue as to who will replace Walsh, who was brought into the State DNC Specifically to run the State Party, according to Blue Mass Group and there are no replacements in mind. One had better hope, if one is a Democrat, that Walsh’s Replacement is of the same cut of cloth, not necessarily in Venocchi’s description of the Bible According to John Walsh, where Democrats actively campaign for higher taxes, but the retail, door knocking, aggressive, get out the vote style of Massachusetts Democrat Campaigns that have been the staple as long as time remembers.

That has been the downfall of opposition parties, the MASS GOP and the National GOP – who place a focus on fundraising rather than the mechanics of winning a race. The lack of poll-watcher, drivers, and door knockers on the ground in certain states and precincts of import has been like watching fish in a barrel for decades. The campaign of a Republican in Massachusetts, can’t be won without the hard work of disgruntled Democrats (See Scott Brown) – One needs those union members behind them (regardless of whether or not on the face of things – they support the Democrat candidate). That and the use of similar tactics would be the only way to level the playing field in Massachusetts, and elect a Republican to the White House in 2016. Of course, on that note, they may want to insure that the candidate is acceptable to that group of 20 million or so evangelicals who may or may not vote for a Catholic or a Mormon, or a suggestion from a prominent church leader that allowing Barrack Obama to win, and destroy the nation, would somehow gain more converts and destroy the Democrats) and, sit out a race entirely (See 2008 and 2012).

Miracles do happen, and depending upon who is sitting in the Mass DNC Chair, should they have the level of confidence, and the ability to be a 1950’-1960’s retail, ground troop, smart guy with a lot of pull, then nothing will change. If that person is a moonbat and somewhat competent, then there is a huge opening that is the RNC’s to lose. The fact that the national Party ignores the Bay State and gives it up for “lost” before a race begins, is one of the pivotal mistakes the National Party makes. Upending the Bays State would have a ripple effect throughout the country, especially as concerns increased morale, and decreased morale, depending upon which party is winning or losing.

It should prove interesting, however predictable, as the status quo, regardless of competence in the Chair seat, will most likely, the same remain.

Tuesday, August 06, 2013

Washington Post – Sold! –Libertarian Leaning Amazon’s Bezos Grabs Post for $250 Million – Which Paper of Record Is Next?

The Washington Post - New directions - image from

According to the New York Times, today’s shocking news is the sale of the Washington Post by the Graham family to the Amazon Founder: Jeffrey P. Bezos – the announcement came abruptly yesterday.(New York Times). The question of politics came quickly on the heels of the sale – as in: Where does Jeffrey P. Bezos stand? – Apparently, depending upon how liberal or how conservative one is – squarely on the opposite side, a conundrum to be sure. The Atlantic suggests that personally and through an Amazon PAC, the new owner has stood squarely on the fence – and is a shade different that most Libertarians – leaning to the left(The Atlantic)

With what has become a common occurrence amongst the largest and most prestigious newspapers in the nation – loss of revenue, and sales – which end in the sale of the publication – at a grandly reduced rate, is not affecting the lower tier publications, especially the community newspaper? There may be a reason why community newspapers are enjoying somewhat stable circulation, or a rise in circulation in some cases – the news is local and politics rarely enter into the fray. – It is, again, the editorial located in every section of the publication one might subscribe, or most likely, had subscribed to (due to being of the opposite political bent from the newspaper – 50% of the nation), which sunk the nation’s papers in the last two decades. Something that does not occur in one’s weekly reporting, a change of pace.

Yes, the electronic age, and delivery has changed, and the average student can’t read, which makes the newspaper, or any book for that matter, a thing of uncertainty – yet, The Washington Post Sale, and the last week’s sale of the Boston Globe, should be less concerned about the new owners politics, and more concerned with the intent. One might hazard to guess, these savvy businessmen purchased these businesses to make a profit, and possibly out of nostalgia, rather than any motive to push a political message, one way or the other.

Perhaps the newspaper would be a grand bully pulpit to demand reading in the classroom at all levels, especially in the urban areas where graduation rates are dismal at best. Perhaps the paper could become an advocate for the people that purchase the paper, rather than the local, state or national politician the editorial board prefers to wine and dine. There is nothing like the feel of ink and paper, best bet is nostalgia and an attempt to save a once great American treasure – the Daily News.

Who’s next on the block? That’s a good question – the point being: if the Post and the Globe were sold in a heartbeat, at what appears to be a loss in both cases, why not the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times? Time will tell.

Image: Guardian UK

What can one do with old newspapers?

Recycle (for those more “Green” individuals)

Old School

Clean Windows (Google for Recipes)

Liners (bird cages, kitty liter)


Monday, August 05, 2013

Boston Globe – Sold –NY Times Lost Big – Papers-Media Spar over Politics, LA Times Fears Conservative Buyer

As the newspaper industry has made adjustments over the past few decades, blaming, for the most part, the internet as its biggest nemesis, the net worth of newspapers, has declined, along with readership and the all-important advertiser. The logic is that due to the rise of the internet, fewer people are reading the paper – which in some small measure maybe true, however, one might look to the politics behind the paper to find the real reasoning behind the decline of the influence of print. (Not to mention the dismal reading abilities of anyone who’s gone through the public school system in this nation since the 1970’s, when overall global scores began to decline, making individuals incapable of reading the paper.)

The sale of the Boston Globe has come under some scrutiny as the individual who purchased the paper, John Henry, who has a heavy interest in the Boston Red Sox, and has, throughout his lifetime, given heavily to the DNC and Progressive candidates, which is causing a bit of angst as he donated millions to Democrats and only a thousand to a Republican(Red Mass Group). That said, the man under the microscope for the moment, made made zero donations to political groups in 2012, according to the Sunlight Foundation:

The Red Sox are another team with a large front office, boasting 14 partners with a stake in the team. The face of the ownership, John Henry, didn't donate anything -- but others more than made up for that. Larry Lucchino, the team's president and CEO, provided the bulk of the Democratic donations, including some for Obama, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., and Rep. Joe Kennedy III, D-Mass. Other partners skewed to the right, making hefty contributions to former Mass. Gov. Romney, former Sen. Scott Brown, R-Mass., House Majority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, among other Republicans. (Sunlight Foundation)

Therefore, one might conclude, the man is most likely the norm in Massachusetts, one who stands firmly on the fence when it comes to politics, the unenrolled voter. That’s a hypothesis of course, and the proof would be in the pudding, should the editorial bent of the paper become more balanced as to its backing of one party over the other.

The Globe itself, is reporting that three groups topped the bid offered by Henry:

John Gormally, a Springfield television station owner and publisher of BusinessWest magazine, said that after meeting the Times Co.’s final bid deadline on July 26, he heard nothing from the company until a week later, in the early hours of Saturday morning, when an e-mail around 3 a.m. from the investment bankers announced the sale to Henry.

“I was surprised. Our offer was considerably higher than Henry’s,” Gormally said, at the “upper range” of the $65 million to $80 million the Globe had previously reported for bids. He noted that the Times Co., as a public company, has a responsibility to shareholders to maximize value. “All the bidders expended considerable time, energy, money, and the process was not transparent at the end to the bidders,’’ Gormally said. Robert Loring, a Massachusetts native and founder of Revolution Capital, a West Coast investment company that owns the Tampa Tribune, also said his bid was larger than Henry’s, and included $80 million in cash.

Loring, too, said he was taken by surprise when he learned Henry had won, and was disappointed by how the bidding was handled.

“We felt we had a strong offer for the company and we had a strong offer for management. We felt we were the best buyer for the business,’’ Loring said. But, he added, “It’s the way it goes sometimes — you win some and you lose some.’’

Meanwhile, another bidder, John Lynch, chief executive of the U-T San Diego newspaper, told the Globe on Sunday his group was the “highest bidder,” but would not give the precise sum of the offer. In response to questions from the Globe, Lynch said in an e-mail, “It was clear they didn’t want to sell to us, or wanted to sell to Henry.’
(Boston Globe)

John Lynch, who owns the Union Tribune, is also seen as hostile in Los Angles, as the Times worries over its future :

The New York Times Co. sold the Boston Globe to John Henry, the owner of the Boston Red Sox, for a mere $70 million — the NYT paid more than a billion for the Globe and related assets in 1993. That's not the interesting part for Los Angeles, though it does suggest the prices are coming down for distressed newspaper companies. What caught my eye is that the losing bid for the Globe was posted by Doug Manchester, the owner who converted the San Diego Union-Tribune into a partisan Republican organ and who pronounced that his U-T would be boosterish, business friendly and anti-Obama. Manchester's group offered more money for the Globe and was willing to go higher, but the NYT company apparently didn't want to sell to them.

So now that Manchester's aspirations to buy a paper beyond San Diego are both confirmed and unrequited, he has to be considered a player for the Los Angeles Times. Buying the LA Times would seem to make more strategic sense vis-a-vis San Diego, if Manchester can afford it. From Boston media observer Dan Kennedy:
(Los Angeles Times)

The editorial stance is as good as the owners/and the editors they hire to run their papers, which is true of any business, but to make a business profitable, and not loose, oh billions, one might want to review why they are missing nearly fifty percent of their potential circulation. It may not be the internet – it may just be the overt political stance and fear of conservatives in publishing that would be the benchmark. The political standstill in DC, is clearly in the newsrooms, with fewer conservative voices in print media, one might wonder what the staff over at the LA Times is so concern about? The “right-wing” might actually save their jobs - or more to the point – an owner/publisher, who is smart enough to take politics out of the paper, with the exception of articles on politics, and stay clear of choosing sides (as they parse their phrases), This would see a return of the 50% of those who dropped the paper because (using some local Massachusetts colloquialisms) “it’s a communist rang, the mouthpiece of (name an elected official), etc.

It is doubtful however, that any publication would attempt to print without an editorial bent in any news piece, and as the majority of publishers, (and this also goes for broadcast), push one over the other, they will end up with the half-share, rather than the full share of audience one might have it one did straight reporting and left he editorial on the designated page.

So, if Henry is a screaming Democrat, or John Lynch, a right-wing Republican, does it matter, as little if nothing will be done to change the profile of the nations once-great, once trusted, source of information –the Daily News.

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