Wednesday, June 6, 2012
Being lovers of print journalism we couldn’t help but applaud from the sidelines Monday when our kindred in New Orleans rallied on behalf of the The Times-Picayune and its beleaguered staff. In response to the newspaper’s parent company announcing The T-P would go from being a daily newspaper to a Wednesday-Friday-Sunday publication schedule — and likely lay off a third of its newsroom staff in the process — a “coordinated cancellation” discussion on how to effectively pull subscriptions and advertising from the newspaper to “send a message” to Advance Publications was among the activities at a “Save The Picayune” rally at Rock-N-Bowl in Mid-City. Parcel to this local push-back for print, billionaire investor Warren Buffet announced days before that his Berkshire Hathaway investment group was purchasing 63 newspapers from Media General for $142 million to keep the newspapers afloat. And Buffet indicated the company may be looking to buy more.
Flummoxed by all those damn tourists clogging our festivals, choking our roads and scarfing down our cuisine, state lawmakers took a novel approach to depopulating Louisiana of those pesky outsiders and their exotic, non-Confederate currency: eviscerate arts/culture funding. The final version of House Bill 1, the state budget for the next fiscal year that went to Gov. Bobby Voucher’s desk this week, contains a Senate amendment that reduces — yet again — state support for Decentralized Arts Funding and Statewide Arts Grants, two linchpin mechanisms for underwriting Louisiana’s cultural economy. The funding for DAF and SAG, which combined was as high as $5 million annually back in 2009 (AKA, the good ole days when Louisiana had both a budget surplus and common sense), has now been whittled down to under $2 million after the Legislature shaved off another third, or about $500,000. Because culture is for pansies. The result of these short-sighted cuts: less access to arts/culture in poor, rural communities; fewer festivals, fewer tourists, fewer tourism-generated tax revenue.
Talk about cutting to the chase. Rather than confiscating America’s guns, divorcing the righteous from their religious freedoms and hauling their church-going, 2nd Amendment-worshipping asses before FEMA-camp death panels, just kill them. This is evidently the fantastical, hallucinatory new thread in the frayed-at-the-edges tapestry of Wingnut America. Look no further than advertising purchased recently in The Daily Advertiser wherein a “Letter to Louisiana and America” asks the foreboding question, “Will Obama and the Democrats Shoot Christians and Catholics?” Our guess is, no, they won’t shoot the Christians and the Catholics; they will spike their Hamburger Helper with small, untraceable doses of gay, precipitating a deadly, pinpoint lightning strike by the Lord Almighty. The ad was purchased by a local rep for Save Our Republic, a group that wants to save America from free-spending socialist-fascists who wear white before Memorial Day. The left-leaning Think Progress picked up the story and called Advertiser Publisher Karen Lincoln (pictured) out on it. Lincoln’s response: “We look at all of the ads, and the decision is made by each market. This ad did meet our standards. The decision to run it was approved.” Anything for a buck.
in case you missed it