by Paul, 01/13/2009, 9:42 AM

In the early 1990s I had a disturbing conversation with Nathan Myhrvold, then Microsoft’s chief futurist. Myhrvold was talking about how online technology would “disintermediate” commerce. When it comes to media, the term by its very definition suggests the breakdown of mass media. Newspapers, Myhrvold surmised, would be one of disintermediation’s biggest casualties.

What Myhrvold meant by disintermediation was the removal of gatekeeping functionality, or middle men, between purveyor and consumer. The interactivity of online meant users could select for themselves what to read. They didn’t need reporters and editors deciding what was important for them. A company or official didn’t need newspapers either; they could reach their constituents or customers directly (e.g. MyObama and iGoogle). Most of all, readers had no need for a physical product delivered to their doorstep.

Myhrvold, one of the smartest guys at what was then one of the smartest companies, made it sound as if the death of newspapers was right around the corner. But change is always further off than one initially imagines. It’s also true that change, when it happens, seems to do so all at once. The forces leading to a change, ignored for so long, are forgotten; we’re left feeling blind-sided even if we saw it coming and warned of it for years. This helps explain why someone like Seattle Times publisher Frank Blethen could say with perfect honesty that he was “shocked” by the P-I’s announcement of sale and probably shutdown. Sure he was shocked. We all were. But were we surprised? (Today Myhrvold hunts dinosaur bones and was featured in a recent New Yorker profile by Tipping Point author Malcolm Gladwell. He probably has forgotten all about disintermediation.)

For all Myhrvold’s foresight and my own trepidations over the years, I was shocked as well. As a lifelong journalist (I started at The Seattle Times in 1967), I hate to see the P-I go — not just for its own sake but for its implications for The Times, Seattle, and an informed society. The P-I is just the first shoe to drop. Even the most casual reading of any newspaper, containing page after page of adless or ad-shy layout, reveals an unsustainable business proposition. I’m very worried about The New York Times, which I still get delivered to my doorstep and prefer reading over breakfast with my wife. It’s a vital ritual for us; we have our best conversations reading the paper, a process that reaffirms why we love each other and how much our intellectual lives revolve around knowledge of the day. (Admittedly I also notice how we’re calling out to each other more and more from our laptops, “Hey, did you see this on HuffPo?”) I know that it’s costing The New York Times a whole lot more to get its paper to me than I’m paying for the privilege; I just heard the paper is considering going to three deliveries a week instead of daily.

Although I sensed Myhrvold was right, for years I figured newspapers could transition to online if they just did a few things right. Now I’m not sure anything would have worked. Not only are newspapers dying, the type of “news” they purvey — uninterpreted, blandly regurgitated, pre-spun information supplied and shaped by a stakeholder with the intent of policy manipulation — has lost its relevance as well. Just look where the growth in news is — Rachel Maddow, Keith Olbermann, Jon Stewart, Huffington Post — and you get the idea. Journalism today is a process of un-newsing the news.

Un-newsed news is far more diverse, granular and decentralized than anything a single newspaper could provide, offline or on. On any given day I get a lot of great journalism by way of mailing lists, blogs, RSS feeds, Google news, Twitter and other Web mechanisms. It’s true, a lot of it is derivative, originating with mass media. But a growing amount is not. Where two or three years ago there was hardly anything that could not be traced to a newspaper story or broadcast, today my “news” is at least 50 percent created from what might be termed uncredentialed journalists doing original reporting and commentary. This material contains self-tailored content which would never make a newspaper’s pages: neighborhood issues, progressive politics, technology, bicycling, animal rights. Far too insidery or niche for newspapers, it nonetheless qualifies as journalism in the sense it is topical, informative, and seeks to change the status quo or right a wrong. It’s my news, obtained my way.

The flip to un-news has contributed worlds more to newspapers’ decline than, say, Craigslist (the favorite news executives’ whipping post). The news I get from newspapers, especially local, has to do mostly with crime, sports and weather events. It is aimed at some lowest common denominator that probably no longer exists. It’s an approach that worked when news was what newspapers said it was, end of story. In the limitless smorgasbord of the Web, the reader gets to define news.

The prevailing theory for years was that newspapers could simply adjust to the changing dynamic and segue online with barely a hiccup. The cliched metaphor was to compare the newspaper business to railroads. If railroads had realized they were in the transportation business, they would have gotten into airlines. Ah, if only business were that simple. I think more of the typewriter, which tried everything it could to stay relevant with the advent of the personal computer. Remember electric typewriters with little LCD screens? Technology, not lack of enterprise, did in typewriters. By the time a business realizes it is toast, it’s too late.

In the late 1990s, The Times’ executive editor Mike Fancher famously said that if anyone was going to cannibalize The Times, it would be The Times. This was about the time myself and others began warning about Craigslist. Last summer I asked another Times executive (who was complaining about Craigslist) what happened to self-cannibalization. The response: What were we supposed to do? Refuse the money (from classifieds)?

If newspapers are to become airlines instead of railroads, what exactly should they be doing? It’s entirely unclear. The business model for newspapers is to provide content based on a geographically defined constituency. Seattle readers will read a Seattle newspaper because they identify with their home town. Unfortunately, geography translates poorly to the Web. Instead, Web users identify by affinity: Hobbies, ideology, culture. News is information governed by mutual interest, not where someone lives. Sports fans are a prime example. Their interest in a sport, say football, can gravitate on the Web to any team. The team where they grew up, or went to college, or just happen to serendipitously like. The “home team” is a subset of their life experience with the sport.

In an affinity group, news is organic, a default of social interaction. There is no lowest common denominator. The newspapers of the Web are Facebook and MySpace and YouTube and Twitter — and, of course, blogs. (HuffPo, a primarily political site, calls itself the newspaper of the Web.) You can argue, in fact, that the Internet itself is the newspaper of today.

Then there’s the problem of news as a business on the Web. Implicit in disintermediation is a lot of revenue just plain disappearing. (Myhrvold’s most famous prediction was that long distance phone calls, a huge phone company revenue source, would essentially become free.) Facebook et al don’t make their money from news aggregation but from social interaction. Blogs don’t make much money at all (compared to newspapers’ historical margins).

As for who does make money from news on the Web, I’ve long argued that fabulously wealthy Google, which makes money off search derived in great part from newspaper content, should share revenues with content providers. How uncapitalist of me. But it seems that if newspapers and magazines and books go away, Google won’t have content worth searching. The same holds true for other original content Google crawls, even blogs. The company that makes the most money off content produces no content of its own. Google’s motto is Do No Evil; I wish it were Don’t Be Greedy.

Raising this issue some time back in a televised forum, I got hooted down by the panel (including Dan Gillmor, the original newspaper blogger) who suggested that any attempt by newspapers to extract revenue from Google would violate antitrust laws, because newspapers are a monopoly. Even if that were true then, it’s ludicrous today. Monopolies don’t lose millions of dollars each month ($14 million for the P-I last year) or put themselves up for sale. Meanwhile, what company these days does come to mind re the M word? If you don’t know the answer, try a Google search.

One might say newspapers should see themselves as not in the news business but in the content business. Except that content online is not really much of a business (for anyone but Google). Until that changes, newspapers are doomed to be the trains and typewriters of the digital age.

40 Responses to “The Un-news”

1. headlesslucy spews:

How far the mighty have fallen.

2. ivan spews:

Great post, Paul, but I wonder how you could have missed including Myhrvold’s most famous metaphor. He concluded that daily newspapers would become “road kill on the information highway.”

In the 34th Legislative District, we’re getting most of our community news from the wonderful West Seattle Blog and its sister site, White Center Now. I am told that Burien Blog is on the horizon, and it’s only a matter of time till Vashon has a full-time news blog.

A couple of years ago I had an interesting e-mail exchange with Dave Boardman at the Times, in which I said I get all my local news from the blogs. Boardman, in effect, asked me how I could say that after having spent a working lifetime in newspaper journalism. I replied that my ability to gather information had outstripped his newspaper’s ability to provide it.

What I said was true then and it is true today. I am more concerned with whether journalism survives than whether newspapers survive.

3. Roger Rabbit spews:

Paul, as a long-time journalist, you certainly understand that what Maddow et al. do isn’t “journalism,” and while it serves the useful function of countering rightwing propaganda, it’s not a substitute for news gathering and reporting.

My gut instincts tell me that newspapers have been around for so long there must be a fundamental demand for news out there, and what’s needed is not redefining “journalism” but recasting the business model that delivers it. No, I don’t know how to do that, but my gut says that if demand for the product is still there — and I believe it is — then there’s a way to deliver it.

Certainly, the need to advertise things people want to sell still exists, but the advertising market has diversified and become more competitive. Newspapers don’t enjoy the monopoly on certain types of advertising they once did. That’s where most of their troubles are coming from. So, they either have to find new ways to compete for advertising dollars, or new revenue sources. This much seems obvious.

I just don’t think the industry should give up on newspapers. Even TV “news” isn’t a substitute for newspapers. There really isn’t anything in sight that can replace newspapers. In a word, newspapers aren’t obsolete, only their advertising monopoly is.

Yes, I know circulations aren’t what they used to be, either, but that’s not because of the emergence of more efficient news media. Newspapers aren’t dying from competition from TV or the internet. The competition for the public’s attention span is coming from video games, longer work hours (for the same or less pay, of course), and other demands on the public’s energy for reading news.

We’re a less literate and less intellectual society now, in part because of the corrosive effect that 4 decades of Republicanism, starting with Nixon, have had on American values. Yeah, that’s right, I’m blaming conservatives for a less engaged public and a whole generation of Americans who don’t read, don’t care, and can’t even spell their own fucking names! After all, these are the people who have spent uncounted billions and unceasing efforts to replace science with dogma in our schools. When someone tries that hard to teach kids to be ignoramuses, we shouldn’t be surprised that a whole generation has grown up to be ignoramuses.

4. YLB spews:

Long time no see Paul.. Save the trees I say. Hell save all the oil burnt moving that paper around.

Let’s proceed to the brave new world with a little sadness but without fear.

Let’s make the web work for journalism.

5. Roger Rabbit spews:

(@3 continued) Of course, ultimately, the quality of journalism and whether we have journalism at all depends on journalists themselves. During the Bush years, too many journalists were cowardly, and abrogated the most important function of journalism, which is its winnowing function of separating wheat from chaff, truth from bullshit. I simply do not accept “he said, she said” reporting as journalism. That’s only slightly more dependable than propaganda. Journalism itself is sick, although I believe that sickness is independent of the sickness of the business model, and needs its own cure. That cure must come from the practitioners of journalism, because it can’t come from anywhere else.

6. Geov spews:

Welcome back, Paul! Great post.

7. Roger Rabbit spews:

@2 What newspaper readers increasingly see is not only thinner editions and fewer column inches, but more reprints from wire services and other sources. That’s a result of stripped-down newsrooms. Yeah, newsrooms are expensive, but if wire service news is all a newspaper has, there’s little reason to read the paper, because you can read the same stories hours sooner on the internet. When a newspaper has no newsroom, it’s no longer a newspaper, but merely a printing shop.

The Puget Sound region has half the state’s population, or roughly 3 million people. The U.S. has 1 lawyer for every 300 people. If Seattle, the center of the Puget Sound news market, supported 300 full-time print journalists that would be 1 print journalist for every 30,000 people. You’ll never convince me that there’s no economic model that can support 1/100th as many print journalists as the number of lawyers we have. There’s a way to do this, all it takes is for someone to figure it out.

8. Roger Rabbit spews:

Washington has over 30,000 lawyers, and 20,000 of them live and work in the Seattle metro area, so don’t anyone tell me this community can’t support a few hundred full-time journalists.

9. ArtFart spews:

4 There are a lot of costs associated with the operation and maintenance of the Internet that most people don’t take into account. Someone recently estimated that every time someone does a search on Google, it consumes enough electricity to boil a kettle of water. Don’t think so? Go feel the top of a small fast-ethernet hub when it’s handling heavy traffic. It takes amps to drive the transmission-line characteristics of twisted-pair cable. Now, extrapolate from the few cat-5 wires running around your house to what it looks like in a big data center. It’s not entirely clear who’s paying for all that, but at present it sure as hell ain’t bloggers like Goldy…or for that matter Arianna Huffington.

10. Mark Centz spews:

It should be remembered that a dying newspaper is nothing new. I’m not quite old enough to remember the Seattle Star, but I remember the death of the New York World-Herald-Tribune, which was itself the feeble remainder of 3 once-great newspapers. “Lowest common denominator” was itself the killer of the previous business model of serving a particular constituency of a given place. And as Ivan so correctly spewed, location still matters when we read our news, and often better than newspapers were to. Slog has been one place that has served as a great place to follow breaking news events on Cap Hill in the past few years, and Seattlest and Seattle Metblogs have a daily survey of the neighborhood blogs which have been a better source of what’s going on around town than anything I’ve seen in the Times or P.I. But the point is well taken that content providers are getting the shaft by the aggregators. In the past, the downtrodden would for associations or unions and demand their fair share from the central oppressors. How could such a thing be done online, and how would Google (or Big M$) respond? There’s entertainment value for your dollar right there.

11. Roger Rabbit spews:

@9 Shouldn’t we be capturing that heat and using it to heat buildings, generate electricity, or something else useful?

12. Roger Rabbit spews:

@10 After Google kills off the content providers by pirating their work product it’ll have to either provide content itself or die for lack of anything to “google” for.

13. Roger Rabbit spews:

I produce no content! Why should I, when I don’t get paid for it? (Of course, not getting paid for it is a key objective; see below.) If you google “Roger Rabbit Horsesass,” you come up with next to nothing. Maybe 1 or 2 hits. Why? Because I make nothing anyone wants, and therefore Google can’t steal from me, because it’s not worth stealing! In fact, you can’t even pay thieves to haul it away. As a fat lazy rabbit spewing propaganda, I’m nothing but a black hole for server amps. The most efficient use of my opinions is a power outage. My business model is to produce no taxable income, because this would raise the tax rate on income I don’t work for, such as stock dividends. Why should anyone work or produce anything when earned income is taxed 3 times as much as income you get by owning stuff?

14. Roger Rabbit spews:

@13 Hey, I never claimed to be a journalist.

15. guyg spews:

The sector of print media that is thriving are the small local weekly papers. They cover local sports, obits, local happenings, etc.

I think print media will become a wednesday/sunday thing. Ads for local sales, Wednesday local news/obits/sports/weddings etc., Sunday will be news analysis/columns and financial reports. People will go to blogs for analysis/breaking news, and a few national/regional electronic media for national news and analysis. Classified ads will be on craigslist-like things.

We’ll have a weekly paper and paperback books until such time as folks want to read their i-phone around the breakfast table, curl up in a chair with it on a rainy afternoon, and look at it on the john.

It’s a symptom of how disconnected most of us feel to America, and how polarized everyone has become since Murdoch replaced Hearst as the media mogul, and since the right-wing decided the media was the problem for exposing them as crooks and cross dressers.

16. Roger Rabbit spews:

@15 America survived Hearst and it’ll survive Murdoch, too. (But not without some losses and perhaps another recreational war or two.)

17. ArtFart spews:

13 There may be something of an indication buried herein that the print/broadcast/”mainstream” media might have a better chance of survival if they did their jobs better. There’s no denying that the “blogosphere” and other online sources, with their inherent ability to reach pairs of eyes and ears regardless of geography, had a considerable influence on who’s going to be putting his hand on Lincoln’s Bible next week and promising to uphold, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States. This was accomplished by convincing each of us who voted for that man that he or she wasn’t alone in thinking that the folks in charge for the last eight years weren’t doing that for sour owl shit. The “traditional media” didn’t do a very good job of telling us that.

18. slingshot spews:

Does anyone know if this is strictly an American phenomenon? Or are newspapers the world over headed for the same fate?

I’d Google it myself, but after reading this post…….fuck the man!

19. Just an inocent goat spews:

I have had the newspaper delivered to my pen ever since I was a kid. But in 2000 I just got tired of the clutter from all the ads, supplements and sections I had little interest in. So I cancelled my subscription.

I started getting my news from the radio and internet, and haven’t missed getting a newspaper a single day. Admittedly, much of what I get from the internet comes form the web based newspaper sites and news agencies, but it is much easier to get only what I am looking for by sorting it with RSS, and other online aggregators. Additionally it is so much easier today to fact check an article with the internet, that I need not be lied to for long by the right wing nut cases that insist on fucking me everyday.

20. Paul Andrews spews:

Ah, it’s so great to be back in the spew-osphere…good points all. Interesting re the survival of small neighborhood papers. I’m visiting in Palo Alto CA which has 3(!) daily papers. Hard to believe they’re all making it, but they do have different approaches and are pretty good papers.

I’m not sure how newspapers are doing internationally, but my sense is they have a different value proposition. They tend to be partisan and focus on a specific constituency. They also rely less on advertising. So there’s lots of little papers with niche but loyal audiences. Still, I think this is true more of western nations than, say, Korea, Japan or China, where handhelds rule.

Ivan, well put as always re ability to gather vs. ability to provide. But the general sense I get from everyone is that good journalism is in demand and always will be; the main problem is paying for it.

21. notaboomer spews:

“i like to watch”

-chauncey gardener

22. manoftruth spews:

lets see, fisrt you’re “afraid” they’ll be no “gatekeeper”? oh, you mean no jewish control of the media? oh, is that antisemitic? who did you name? jon stewart, maddow, olberman. thats 3 for 3. and huffington is edited by someone who’s jewish. as i said before, i dont give a fuck if they were all irish, swedish or purple. i dont want all the same people running everything. by the way, the new york fucking times? no wonder there’s a divide in this country that will never heal.

23. ArtFart spews:

28 I was personally surprised some years back, when we went to visit my wife’s relatives and found that practically every Boston suburb had its own daily paper.

I believe that’s changed to a degree–for instance, the papers in Salem and Peabody have merged. Nonetheless, it may be that in other parts of the country, people don’t yet prefer to get all their news electronically.

24. Just an innocent goat spews:

@ 22 manoftruth, I could care less about your very obvious racism and antisemitism, I just want you to stop fucking me everyday. Sometimes three or four times a day!!

Can’t you just find another white racist to fuck? Why always with the barnyard animals? Why!?

25. Roger Rabbit spews:

Correction to 7: Make that 1 print journalist for every 10,000 people.

26. Roger Rabbit spews:

@17 Hell, I did a better job of telling us that than they did, which is quite an indictment of the MSM.

27. Roger Rabbit spews:

@22 The unhealable divide in this country comes from the fact you rightwingers, who have been wrong about everything, won’t get on your knees to beg for forgiveness.

28. Roger Maggot spews:

Just look where the growth in news is — Rachel Maddow, Keith Olbermann, Jon Stewart, Huffington Post …

Hope this is an old ink-stained hack’s approximation of sardonic irony.

Three weeks ago the effing Stranger told us that Luke Burbank is the future of news-talk.

I’ve seen the mad Maddow-Odormann-Huff’n’Puffington Comedy Central flushed Jon. I’ve heard the future of news-talk. And it all sucks, even worse than the P-I.

29. GBS spews:

Frank Blethen saying he was “shocked” to learn the PI is/was in trouble is like George Bush saying the fundamentals of the economy are strong.

Both know they’re lying out of their ass.

Frank Blethen and the whole Blethen family have had a long running dispute with the PI and the JOA.

Fuck! Don’t you guys remember a few years back when the Blethen’s tried to unwind the JOA???

The only thing the PI does for it’s paper is supply content. The Seattle Times provides, circulation, advertising, printing, distribution and collection.

Jesus, when you contract out every bit of your publishing empire there’s no value added for your business to operate on when times are lean.

For years it’s been either the Times or the PI that has to go out of business, this is barely a one paper town.

Frank Blethen is breathing a sigh of relief — for now.

Given the near depression this country is in thanks to ass holes like Frank who vote for Reagan Republicans they stand a good chance of not making it to endorse another person for president of the United States.

Good riddance.

30. rhp6033 spews:

The original post was indeed insightful, but I couldn’t help but object to a couple of points.

First – as some others have noted, where is all the “original content?” I dare say the great majority of the “news” in the paper is simply a press release issued by somebody or other, or a news conference, perhaps edited and combined with some other “news” in some fashion, perhaps with the added “so-and-so couldn’t be reached for comment” added, to provide “objectivity”. And Google is supposed to pay for that??? Perhaps we should simply start reading the press releases ourselves, at least then we would know the real source of the “news”. (A Major Exception worth paying for: multi-series investigational journalism).

Secondly, I would think that the paper’s real fear is that rather than re-print wire-service copy as “news”, it might have to compete with the wire services on the internet. The need for local papers to re-print wire story news is already obsolete. By the time most consumers of national and international news read the story in the paper, it is already old news and has been supplanted by more current events.

Third, although newspapers love to blame Google for riding on their coattails, the fact is that Google SENDS viewers to their stories, where the newspaper can display all sorts of ads paid for by their loyal advertisers. To suggest that Google pay the newspapers for referring customers to them is patently ridiculous. Dinosaur newspaper publishers are trying to find ways through legislation or lawsuits to protect their monopoly position as the “gateway” to news for consumers within a specific geographic area, but that’s a losing game. Newspapers have refused to embrace and agressively pursue the different models of interactive on-line advertising which would pay for putting forth valuable content, and now they are paying the price.

But I have to ask – if keeping a newspaper solvent is such a difficult task, then why is the Everett Herald still publishing without any indication that it plans to close it’s doors anytime soon? It’s subject to the same economic and technology problems as the P.I., and has a lot less resources behind it than does the P.I. I don’t have the circulation figures, but I would be surprised if the Herald has more subscribers than the P.I.

31. manoftruth spews:

@22 The unhealable divide in this country comes from the fact you rightwingers, who have been wrong about everything, won’t get on your knees to beg for forgiveness.</em

roger, the mess we are in right now is mainly the result of triilions in bad mortgages. and the biggest player in that is barney frank. he pushed for community investment, he is the chairman of the bankng committee. now i know you dont believe what i do, that he knowingly crashed that market so his jewish freinds could reap fortunes. first, billions in broker fees, and now the bailout. so, for you, that leaves incompetance.

32. correctnotright spews:

@31: Get your facts straight woman of ignorance.

The biggest reason that the banking crisis occurred it the passage of two lwas in 1999 and 2000 that deregulated of the banks and the allowed banks and motrgage companies to hide bad mortgages by bundling them together and selling them off. The banking industry lobbied heavily for these laws that they helped to write and Phil Gramm was the major sponsor of both – putting one of the laws in the budget bil without debate – and forcing Clinton to sign it.

the 1999 legislation spearheaded by Gramm and signed into law by President Clinton — the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act — was partly to blame for the 2007 subprime mortgage crisis and 2008 global economic crisis.[8][9] The Act is most well known for repealing portions of the Glass-Steagall Act, which had regulated the financial services industry.

And your constant anti-semitism is getting boring. One stupid theory that blames Jewish bankers for all evil sounds a lot like Nazi Germany.

33. manoftruth spews:

so what was barney franks role then?

34. manoftruth spews:

by the way, speaking of boring, i’m gettting tired of turning on the tv and seeing the msm trashing sarah palin. so we all are getting pretty irate.

35. rhp6033 spews:

The media doesn’t have to bash Sarah Palin. All they have to do is point a microphone at her and switch the “on” button on the recorder. She does the rest herself.

36. manoftruth spews:

so tell me, what is the problem? is it she doesnt look like barbara streisand? she believes in christianity? she doesnt believe people should come here illegally and stand in front of me in line at the supermarket and not speak english and use food stamps while i have to cut coupons to feed my kids? tell me , oh brilliant one, if this country really crashes, how many americans do you think will put up with their kids going hungry as we take this shit from the new york/hollywood crowd?

37. rhp6033 spews:

Hmm, a lot of anger there, MOT. Seems you are blaming immigrants for a lot of your problems, and looking to Palin as your messia (small “m”) to save you and your world to the place you think you deserve. That’s a very situation, as Germany discovered in the last century. You might want to do some serious introspection.

By the way,
EVERY immigrant group into the U.S. has had the same complaints labelled against them, starting with the Scots-Irish, then the Irish, then the Germans, then the Southern Europeans (Italy, Greece, etc.), then the northern Europeans (Poland, etc.).

38. Blue John spews:

I have not seen the piece but depending on your point of view, it’s either trashing her or telling the truth about her.
Can you prove they are making things up?

39. manoftruth spews:

rhp, i think you totally missed what was trying to say, and maybe i didnt explain it well. if a person who is an immigrant gets fooodstamps, that means they came here unable to support themselves. first, that should not be the case, by any measure. our immigration policy should be that people who come here should be self sufficient. why should someone who has never paid taxes come here and expect my taxes to support them. of course the problem is, there are many people who believe people should come here and get public entitlements. whats worse, a lot are probably illegal, which means they’re not going to be giving anything back in taxes. now, i fully expect that you will probably disagree with that, thats unfortuante, because thats the divdide in our culture right now.
as for palin, i bring her up because, i forget who it was, called meantisemitic, i’m not supposed to notice that all the major players in this massive economic problem are jewish. anyhow, its always ok for the msm to ridicule her christian faith, and i’m supposed to shut up. whats sad is, if you work in the media, or in say education, its all very politically correct and you would assume that the world thinks along those lines. where i work, when we are in mixed company we go along to get along, but behind closed doors we express our disgust at the politically correct and the one sided (eg, msm can criticize palin and romneys christianity, but its antisemitic to complain that our politicians cater to israel) exchanges in popular culture. we are at a critical time, because we have 300 million people who are used to a standard of living and who wouldnt be willing to have it taken away , as it was in say, pre soviet union. think about how in that case, and most others in history, people were not used to the lifestyle we now enjoy, so not much was taken from them. even in countries like brazil, you have people living in mansions and eating cavier, and right down the street there are people living in shacks growing vegetables. i doubt in this country we will accept that divide. we are at an historic crossroad, and i’m not very optomistic.

40. wearerofshoes spews:

MOT and opposition,

I can’t say any of you are wrong. Palin got trashed, people of Jewish descent figure prominently in our news media, and there is a very worrisome disability of our press right now to publish or broadcast anything but the most blatant Israeli propaganda. And I say “Israeli”, not “Jewish”, on purpose. The two are not the same.

My question for MOT is, why aren’t you toeing the line of the evangelical political movement and throwing yourself behind the Israelis? Isn’t it vital that they have their own state, so that they can all suffer a horrible death and Jesus can come back? Or something like that.

I’m not very good at my Religious Beliefs 101, I didn’t pay really good attention in Sunday School–but read the whole Bible. Yes, I did that.