Friday, 9/6/13, Public Square


by | September 6, 2013 · 6:00 am

16 responses to “Friday, 9/6/13, Public Square

  1. Here at our house the mighty television is delivered because we pay AT&T U-Verse an arm and a leg for 300 channels of nothing on. Back at the end of June when the wind storm left us without power for five days was the last time we spent any meaningful time with our neighbors. We’re very busy paying deference to the mighty television.

    • As are most. Even if the television doesn’t get 300 channels of “nothing on”, there is the computer and Netflix, Hulu, et al. DVDs provide another escape for those desiring it.

    • Bob White

      Me, too! I’ve “about” given-up on commercial T.V.; even MSNBC which I tho’t was pretty good in the days of Keith Olbermann (sp) and Cenk Yuger, back when Rachael was just getting started. But it is terrible, today. I have returned to PBS and the VCR-Player. I still watch Late-Nite and like Bill Maher and Steven Colbert. And I hate… absolutely detest …. all the commercials. Let’s all support PBS, no commercials except at the beginning.

  2. We do have something BIG to be thankful for! John McCain wasn’t elected POTUS! He would never have waited or slowed down even to catch a second breath let alone to involve congress critters in the decisions.

    Map: All The Countries John McCain Has Wanted to Attack

  3. Back before we were connected to everything going on in the world and the 24-hour “news” channels interpretation of each event, did the same things happen we just didn’t know about it instantly and maybe never?

  4. I think you are right, fnord, about things happening and we never knew them. Not only because there were so few choices on TV, but also because TV had standards, both written and unwritten. We never learned about JFK’s many women, FDR’s wheelchair, J. Edgar Hoover’s sexual orientation, etc. etc. The network (and print) news sources self deleted those kinds of things as unnecessary. Think any of those things would escape scrutiny today?

    With only a short time period devoted to news each day, the networks just didn’t have shelf space for all the stories. There were some in-depth specials, and some serious talk shows and interviewers like Edward R. Murrow, but all in all,the news only had a short slot so only the stories deemed important were given time.

    I’m not a fan of censorship in any form. However, I am a fan of critical viewing, listening, and reading. Without censorship, it’s up to us to filter and shift all the sound bites and decide, as best we can, what the truth might be and WE get to assign importance.

    Unfortunately, with the dumbing down of America, and our collective willingness to chase bright and shiny objects rather than look for facts, information and the truth, the bright and shiny objects always win.

    And that’s not good for anyone….

  5. Technology and consolidation also played a huge role in the decline of local news. I remember when Hays and Great Bend produced their own local news shows at least twice a day and maybe three times a day. Were these productions laughably unprofessional? By today’s standards, yes. But Hays carried the local news and word from the surrounding communities.

    Now? We’re at the mercy of Wichita. ALL our “local” news comes from Wichita, with western Kansas an afterthought only if there is a grisly murder or accident or some equally unsavory and shocking event. The daily news is no longer local. We don’t have enough viewers, or eyeballs on the screen, to justify anyone paying any more attention to us.

    “Local” TV stations, like Hays, Great Bend, and Colby, are little more than repeater stations for Wichita. Farther northeast, the news comes from Kansas City and Topeka. You’ll never see the local choir from here singing Christmas carols on the local station. But I remember when that was a very big deal and when “our kids” were on, everyone stopped what they were doing and watched.

    Now? We’ll watch their funerals after a mass shooting. But that’s about it. So long local news. It’s even worse with the demise of local newspapers. All quaint relics of a past when community actually meant something other than ratings.

  6. One more thing…

    Fnord, with my Sat TV, I get THOUSANDS of worthless channels. And still I surf, looking for something worth watching. No wonder I almost always land on old westerns and reruns of long gone shows. It’s the only TV worth watching after I’ve heard the same spin on the news from every damn network except FUX. Even I won’t go there in my search for programming.

  7. pp, apropos, perhaps, of your comment on the lack of local news coverage, is the situation in Wellington. The “Wellington Daily News”, once a daily (6 days/week) newspaper now is a weekly; same name. Comes out on Wednesday, in reliance (I suspect) on the Dillons weekly ad. I am told that to get local news, is the way to go. The Daily News has a web site that appears to be updated infrequently.
    While I no longer live in Wellington, I call it “home” as I graduated from high school there. It pains me to see the above happen, but given the shrinking population base and not favorable demographics, I suppose it was inevitable. On the bright side, our 45th class reunion is 1 month off. It appears a very large number will be present, and a good time for most seems at hand (the born one time too many crew will likely not have as good a time, but that’s their problem).

  8. I hope you have a great experience with your class reunion, 617. I know you’ve been working on it and having fun already. Keep having fun!

    I suspect there will be many daily newspapers that go weekly or semi-weekly or some such in the next few years. The size of the Hays Daily each day makes me wonder how long they can hang on as a daily, and their publisher, Harris, only publishes dailies. They also publish the Salina Journal which is also smaller and smaller.

    I wonder if Harris will drop or try to sell these marginal dailies before publishing non-daily papers. Good luck with that. Newspapers are for sale all over the state with no takers at any price. And publishers are not reasonable in price. Most are baby boomers looking to cash out for their retirement, and most do not have another generation of family willing to take over the business.

    There is a reason Warren Buffett is big on small newspapers. There is untapped business potential in consolidating some of these weeklies with no buyers and owners ready to retire. Someone can squeeze in between a dying weekly and a dying regional daily and make some money. But once again, I’m a lone voice in the industry.

    One of the “trickle down” things that happens when these regional dailies, like Salina and Hays, get desperate is that they get more aggressive in poaching advertisers from the surrounding weeklies. Their argument is that they offer wider coverage than the weeklies, but they neglect to point out the increased cost. Savvy business owners need to evaluate whether the extra cost is really worth it. I mean, will someone from Ellsworth really go to Abilene to buy a car? Or will they just stop in Salina and go no farther?

    Radio in central and western Kansas is also getting more aggressive in poaching advertising. Eagle is also offering websites like and The Hays Daily put a paywall on their website, so now I just go to Hays Post. I get all the regional news I need for no charge. I think newspaper paywalls are a bad thing, but I’m a lone voice in the industry. I think if a newspaper website is used properly, it can drive revenue to the newspaper, but restricting viewership does NOTHING to generate revenue. It’s punitive, not productive.

  9. I have a theory….

    When the world went to 24/7 television coverage – there are a lot of channels that need to fill up their air time – so they fill it with the cheapest-to-make crappola……

    And don’t we get a boatload of that S.H.I.T. every time we try to find something informative to watch?

    Corporatism + unbridled consumerism = today’s current society of Give Me- Give Me- Give Me…….

  10. Our choices, whether it’s a few channels or a thousand, give us what they give us. Most of us go searching for more, searching for what the news isn’t full of.

    Robert Reich —

    While attention is focused on Syria, food stamps for the nation’s poor are about to be cut. So are funds for low-income housing. And although jobs are slowly returning, the median wage continues to drop, adjusted for inflation. At the same time, both income and wealth continue to become more concentrated at the very top. A single income of one of the ten richest Americans could buy housing for every homeless person in the United States for an entire year. (Based on a typical day last winter, when over 633,000 people were homeless, and the typical monthly rental cost of a unit with single room occupancy of $558 per month.) The 400 richest Americans have more wealth than the bottom 150 million put together. But we are not talking about any of this. We are not debating about what’s happening to our nation. We are not raising the minimum wage or reforming our tax code or fixing our schools or getting big money out of politics. We are paralyzed at home, and now turning our attention to a potential quagmire abroad. This is the great tragedy of our time.

  11. The Startling Size of US Military Operations in Africa
    The Pentagon’s Africa Command will tell you there’s one military base on the entire continent. Don’t believe them.

    • With every marker on that map – which corporations are there getting their hands on the natural resources of that country?

      My – oh my – I wonder, what will these corporatists do with all those poor and starving people in that country?

      What am I thinking? They will still be able to take their pictures and use them on certain televangelists television shows and raise quite a bit of money off the suffering of others.

      May the real GOD have mercy on their wretched souls.

      Oh, HELL, never mind the damn mercy – I hope they all roast in HELL.

  12. A Heartsick Syrian-American Woman Offers John McCain A Serious Solution Besides Bombing

    This is a solution we haven’t heard much about. Also, it just me or does McCain give her the verbal equivalent of a pat on the head when she’s done?

    • Excuse me, but when did this woman say that Assad was NOT a bad man?

      McCain smirked and laughed while this woman was speaking about her family and the history of Syrians.

      HOW DARE this old white fart smirk and laugh….

      IMHO – this woman hit the nail right on the head when she said the US should make Saudi Arabia and Iran STOP supporting both sides of this Syrian mess.

      But…..did you notice McCain’s face when the woman said he could stop Saudi Arabia…….yeah, that told the entire story, didn’t it?

      One last thing…….McCain KNOWS Syria better than this woman who has family living there for generations?

      McCain met with the Syrian rebels……of which we do not really know who they are – do we?

      This entire Syrian mess needs to be put back on those players in the Middle East game who have pulled the strings for years – Saudi Arabia.

      I wonder how many of the hijackers will be of Saudi Arabia on the next planes being flown into a world trade center somewhere?