While on the can this morning I read through a local paper here River City -- not the local tentacle of Gannett, but a locally produced arts and entertainment rag. The contents ranged from a cover story of a local brewmaster.. which was not so much an article and more a Q&A advertorial... to some local music write-ups and some interesting splice of life pieces. There was no news, local or national, to speak of.
Granted, it's a focused publication put out by some passionate and dedicated folk with a specific audience in mind; and from what I can gather, it's not meant to face off with LEO, Louisville's free alternative weekly that is NOT, unlike Losantiville's one and only CityBeat, a wholly owned subsidiary of Village Voice Media.
The Arts don't get nearly enough attention nationwide. Locally, however -- and it doesn't matter what locality you happen to live in -- news doesn't get much attention, either. And in culture that is driven entirely by niche-focused marketing in every aspect from shoes to Presidential candidates, the news is yet one more thing that's tailor made for the savvy consumer.
But as I've written about before -- in various blogs and in newsprint -- one of the problems with media is that people say they want objective journalism, but they really want something else. They want a straight shooter, but with a slant they already agree with. They claim to want the facts, but only when those factoids reflect a reality they can live with rather than the one that exists.
This true whether you're trying to unseat a mayor and city clerk as part of a personal vendetta -- Nina Cooper, Bob Sisler, and Doris Bork, I'm talking about you -- or whether you're so focused on 2nd Amendment paranoia and the creeping specter of mis-categorized Socialism to notice that a so-called environmental President is about to rubber stamp a giant sludge pipeline that will stretch from Alberta, Canada and end in Texas.
We can't improve transportation infrastructure in this country -- thanks in large part to a GOP Congress that wouldn't pass the Jobs bill last year -- but we can build a pipeline that will be an environmental, economic, and military boondoggle for years to come.
But as as long as someone is making a quick buck and someone else is doing all the hard work, the system can limp on into perpetuity.
All that matters though is there will soon be a new Pontiff and Rand Paul will keep on trying to keep himself in the national spotlight rather than serving the people who, in spite of common sense, elect him to office.