Saturday, January 04, 2014

Controversy is more popular than fluff

I have noticed a sad fact of life: controversial topics in my CNJ columns get a much better response than weak and gentle topics.  And those are the ones the paper hesitates to publish.

When I write about not protecting cops from their rightful consequences, the newspaper is reluctant, but I get lots of comments and "likes" and "shares".  When I write something happy that steps on no evil-doer's toes, the column barely gets noticed.

There's a place for the fluff- simple, happy topics that almost no one could object to- but without the hard stuff- exposing those who are using coercion and theft to control what their neighbors do, especially those hiding behind a "government" position- a newspaper is missing its main purpose.  Newspapers should routinely oppose tyrants (and wanna-be tyrants) and nannies, and only occasionally, after exhausting every other possibility, speak well of them or support them in any way.

What happened to the days when newspapers were supposed to be "hard hitting"?  To have an edge that cut through the local "Good Ol' Boys Club" of puppeticians and those who pulled their strings?

I guess the need to keep advertisers happy- many of whom are connected to the corrupt local politicians and enforcers- has won out over uncomfortable truth in today's tight news market.

And that's a tragedy.

The independent internet is now filling that void, but a rogue local newspaper that stuck to uncompromising libertarian principles would be a nice thing to subscribe to, and to advertise in.



  1. You and I, Kent, have had a friendly "tiff" or two over "evolution" -- I do not consider human kind as any part or likeness of the animal kingdom for a number of sound reasons.

    Yet so many people resemble cattle.

    Ever notice when a particularly aggressive and innovative calf manages to work his way through the fence? He almost immediately ignores the tall and appetizing grass he has accessed, and "moo's" up and down the fence line, trying to get back into the pasture from which he escaped; fearful, longing to be with his Mom and his brothers and sisters.

    What you describe fits that image. It's cool nowadays to bill oneself as a "nonconformist" -- but actually being one is an other matter. Many talk of themselves as thinking "outside-the-box" -- but to actually be a critical thinker takes a level of courage not common in the hoi polloi.

    Like the calf mooing for his Mom, most only dream of leaving the herd. However, as you've pointed out, more and more are seeing through conventional wisdom and coming to recognize the fallacy of the status-quo; whereas the publishers and editors fear repercussions that could cost them if they stray too far from directed history.


  2. That proves my theory that people want to hear the truth. They want to be part of the debate. When I worked for the Clovis News Journal I was told over and over again that people did not want hard hitting articles, they wanted happy fluff. So that's what we wrote. Happy fluff. We protected certain interests and crucified others. We edited quotes that revealed truth. It's a total sham. I think it's time to start a real newspaper.