Didn’t get your daily newspaper this morning? Did the absence of sports news and the continuing adventures of Dagwood and Blondie seriously affect your morning routine? Well, the folks over at the Courier-Journal’s pressroom had a little fire in the wee hours of Thursday morning that caused the papers to be delayed for more than 105,000 subscribers.
An electronic edition of the Courier was made available on the evil internet, and the publishers assure us that Friday's edition of the paper will be delivered at its normal time. Some may find this use of the electronic media a bit ironic, since the last time this happened—back in May of 2010—the C-J’s publisher Arnold Garson (now retired) had just fired off a scathing diatribe in criticism of the threat of internet journalism.
Arnie’s speech is worth reading. He starts off with a little paraphrase of a famous quotation from Mark Twain, to the effect that the “… reports you have been hearing about the pending death of the newspaper industry are dead wrong.” He admits that newspaper circulation is continuing in its death spiral, but finds consolation in the fact that the Courier-Journal’s circulation only declined 8.4 percent from the previous year: one of the few patients on the death ward who’s disease is almost in remission.
He then gets a little snarky: “For those who think that start-up local news websites and blogs can replace newspapers, here are some things you may wish to think about: Who would perform the expensive oversight function that guards our democracy against tyranny without newspapers to fill that role?” The C-J’s circulation might be down, but its ego is in fine shape. We used to laugh at the Chicago Trib when it put on its logo: “World’s Greatest Newspaper.” Look for the C-J to start bragging: “We Guard Our Democracy Against Tyranny.”
Please. We could write a book about the state and local scandals which have escaped the notice of our once-great newspaper. But we can think of no liberty-quashing state or local power grab that didn’t command the full support of the leftists at the C-J. They were foursquare in favor of criminalizing indoor smoking, imposing juvenile curfews, and giving increased power to state social workers to take kids away from their parents. The last time we can recall the C-J striking a blow against tyranny was when the Louisville Metro Council passed a law restricting the little green plastic bags of advertisements their minions attempted—often with little success—to throw onto our front porches. If the Courier-Journal is the only thing standing between the citizens of Louisville and a police state, then God help us.