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Thursday, January 07, 2010

Newspaper Resolves: You Need To Change

Editorializing from the loudest cheap seat in the house last week, the editorial staff of the Janesville Gazette rattled off a series of New Year's resolutions not for themselves to consider, but for everyone else to take up during the course of the new year.

This is a passage from their "2010, resolve to make a difference" editorial.
JG Editorial:
Be part of the solution instead of the problem. Instead of taking potshots, offer constructive criticism and, better yet, well-thought-out solutions for change...Stop looking down on certain segments of compassion...
...yada, yada, yada. No kidding, that was a Gazette editorial.

Apparently upset by a steady flow of relentlessly disturbing anti-union comments made by hateful and envious sociopaths (are there any other kind?) on articles featuring post-GM Janesville union workers, the editorial staff at the Janesville Gazette were, in an awkward yet sly sort of way, asking their low-wage conservative base to lay down their weapons.

This coming after the newspaper spent decades fueling animosity against organized labor, including a misguided and false outrage towards collective bargaining in the tax-payrolled public sector, pitting developers and business against individual taxpayers and homeowners, dividing the local body politic into conservative and liberal enemy camps, practicing a double-standard of journalism that is best described as covert class warfare, building up a false superiority complex based on religion, education and family values at the expense of others, keeping the locals deliberately misinformed and ill-informed with exaggerations, half-truths, omitted information, biased articles and condescending editorials and on an on - they are now asking YOU to show some compassion and let, well ... by-gones be by-gones.

This is a passage from Tuesday's editorial titled, "Bright spots shine on local economy.
JG Editorial:
To look back would be to see too many jobs lost. Likewise, to glance backward would be to see falling revenues at many companies that remain open and stagnant or declining wages and benefits for most workers still fortunate to have jobs.
Yeah. Why look back to see how we got here. Forget about all that..that...negativism. A message of negativism that could only be traced back to one local source. So you don't want to do that because you'll just open up old wounds. Instead, the newspaper wants to turn the page and start a new chapter. Just remember who's doing the writing.

Obviously, there's a lot of psychological engineering at work with the Gazette's recent rash of provocative editorials asking their readers for compassion with organized labor among others. The irony of course is, this is the newspaper's baby, or shall I say monster. They built this local mentality in their own image. Did they finally look in the mirror and vomit? Not likely. They're way too big to see their reflection.

I suppose with GM gone and a seemingly endless gloomy local economic forecast, the last thing they want is for anyone to communicate a reality-based or ungazetted view of Janesville. The Gazette has spent huge amounts of time and journalistic capital getting their anti-union message and political agenda carefully across. Their newsprint is tightly controlled, so they are not going to let this victory slip away with a few loose comments placed on their own Web Site. Remember, except for this humble blog and a few independent local thinkers, the local message is fully controlled by the Janesville Gazette and their affiliates.

Even though Woodman's employees recently decertified their union, the Gazette can't be too happy about Janesville teachers allying with the AFL-CIO. Expect that to be the next battlefield. Still, in the Gazette's view, their decades old "cleansing" campaign against unions and their war against living wages and decent benefits is nearly over. The newspaper and their political base are closing in on victory. They've won whatever it was they were fighting for against people who only wanted to earn wages and benefits decent enough to more than just survive on. With their "Resolve to make a difference" editorial, they're telling their faithful low-wage soldiers and their enemy combatants that, "the war is over," lay down your shields and drop your weapons. The Janesville area is cleansed and ready for business. See mom, no more evil unions. The Gazette is the welcoming committee and they want you to join. Let by-gones be by-gones.

So it is, the new marching orders from the Gazette are: Be a friendly ambassador, be positive. WE need to work together. But in order to do so, YOU need to get your act together!

Now that they gave you and I our New Year's resolutions, I can't wait to hear their own.

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