Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!" I read the news today, oh boy. About a lucky man who made the grade...
Actually this is the first morning that I haven't read the news in any form. Mr. Johnson canceled both the Philadelphia Inquirer and the New York Times. The only paper we're getting now is the Philadelphia Daily News, which is terrific for sports but a little thin otherwise.
Yesterday Mr. Johnson brought home the circulation numbers for all the local newspapers, from the biggie, the Inquirer, to the regional dailies that serve the suburbs. Every newspaper has lost circulation. But the biggest loser is the Philadelphia Inquirer.
About three years ago, the Philadelphia Inquirer and the Philadelphia Daily News were bought by a group led by a local man named Brian Tierney. Mr. Tierney promised the staffs of both papers that he wouldn't interfere with the editorial decisions of the papers. Then he slashed 150 Inquirer employees from the payroll.
Mr. Tierney, a devout Roman Catholic who had made a portion of his fortune working for the Philadelphia Archdiocese, did not keep his promise. He hired Rick Santorum for a bi-monthly column ($3400 a month for two columns). Yes, this is the same Rick Santorum who lost his last Senate election by a landslide, earning about 10 percent of Philadelphia's votes.
Santorum, favorite moron of "The Gods Are Bored," has used his bully pulpit in the Inquirer to berate liberals (of course), to berate Roe v. Wade and call for it to be overturned (of course), to skewer Barack Obama (who won Philly by about 89 percent of the vote), and to question global warming, and to tout Roman Catholic family values.
The Inquirer already had two conservative columnists, the repulsive Kevin Ferris, whose work is about 50 percent unreadable, and Jonathan Last, whose name says it all.
But this week Mr. Tierney got the final fist to the gut. Keith Olbermann named the Inquirer one of the "worst persons in the world" for hiring torture proponent John Yoo to write columns. Turns out Tierney and Yoo were college chums.
Oh, did I mention that the Philadelphia Inquirer and the Philadelphia Daily News are in bankruptcy? Tierney owns both.
We at "The Gods Are Bored" support fair and balanced reporting and opinion pages. We do not mind reading the likes of Rick Santorum occasionally. But what kind of decision-making goes into hiring conservative -- even controversial -- columnists in a market that is at least 75 percent liberal, probably higher among newspaper readers? What do we get next? Lavish coverage of the Dallas Cowboys?
I miss my newspaper! But I stand with Mr. Johnson on this. It was possible to buy the Inquirer with Rick Santorum in it. Not possible with Yoo. Sorry. Not possible.
Funny thing is, the creditors seeking satisfaction from Mr. Tierney will probably demand that one of the newspapers close down. Which one do you think it will be ... the one alienating its readers by hiring Bush era goons, or the one that everyone turns to for sex advice and in-depth sports coverage?
You know who ought to be let go? Brian Tierney, right-wing moron par excellence. I don't know how the man can even walk. He's shot himself in the foot so many times it must be down to a stump.