So Unforgettable

December 8th, 2011 · No Comments · economy, tax policy

By Arthur Alpert


That’s the title of the great song Dinah Washington performed so thrillingly, but it’s also an inescapable comment on the Albuquerque Journal’s latest achievement in faux journalism.

For the second consecutive day, the Journal failed to mention the President’s major speech in Osawatomie, Kansas — a story which the Wall Street Journal led with and which made the front page of real newspapers nationally.

This is unforgettable in every way.

So I was wrong yesterday in predicting the Journal would follow precedent when its purpose is to negate a newsworthy event that contradicts its agenda.

• Step One – ignore the story for a day.

• Step Two – next day, publish what’s known in the trade as a “second-day story,” where the latest development (often a rebuttal the Journal appreciates) comes first.

Note the advantages of this approach. First, the rebuttal gets the headline, not the original story. Secondly, the obnoxious original event is obscured, hidden within the text, maybe back on page 14.

This time, however, the editors proved me wrong. They didn’t bury the speech. They ignored it. Again!

Unforgettable, that’s what that is.

In my defense, I was betrayed by the poverty of my imagination. Not in my wildest dreams could I conceive Journal management would so boldly place its agenda before what professional journalism dictates.

Mea culpa.

Now, with this episode past (except, perhaps, for echoes in future syndicated columns), may we turn to more thoughtful analyses of the state’s major newspaper?

Example: I’ve been meaning for a week now to point out the Journal never reported that a U.S. District Court judge threw out an SEC settlement with Citigroup, questioning whether a corporation should be able to get away with neither admitting nor denying guilt.

Questioning corporate privilege? Corporate-regulator intimacy? I’ve been itching to explore what’s behind the Journal’s neglect.

Also, the daily just ran a Robert Samuelson column blaming the European financial crisis on their “welfare” economies.

Now I recognize the First Amendment enables the passionately unintelligent, too, but – save for this Obama speech diversion – I would be pleading, again, for alternative viewpoints.

Imagine, for example, a thoughtful conservative stating the fact – Europe’s financial crisis, like ours, started with the banks’ criminal and incompetent acts, not welfare state costs. And Northern European social democracies, including Germany, are doing very well, thank you, while protecting their middle and lower classes.

You don’t read that in the Journal, where Samuelson and the Laissez-faire-ists (sounds like a rock act) take up all the space.

I could go on. I will, in fact, go on as soon as the Journal reverts to its standard faux journalism.

Abandoning what’s unforgettable, that is.

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