|The Buffalo News Editorial Board Meets to Discuss its New Format|
In 1984 George Orwell foresees a totalitarian regime who seeks, among other things, to reduce the number of words in the dictionary. "Newspeak" is state governed language designed to stupefy, control and inhibit the populace from engaging in any kind of thought that might run contrary to party doctrine.
"It's a beautiful thing the destruction of words," says a convert and party loyalist.
The Buffalo News has recently reworked their online format they say to stay current -- and likely, though they don't exactly admit it, it's also desperate attempt to boost home subscriptions and stop the arterial geyser of cash flow they've been watching circle their financial drain.
Well. o.k. I guess a girl has to pay her way and all so I can't blame them for charging people to read the News online if they don't subscribe at home. Where it gets Orwellian though, at least in my book, is the way they've done away with the reader comments section. From what I could tell there were a fair number of readers whose entire rasion d' etre was commenting in The News. I confess to my own penchant for engaging political and educational foes alike on many occasions. It was a little bit of an outlet for honing one's rhetorical skills while taking live fire from the enemy camp. And no fewer than ten people remarked how much they enjoyed reading my duels with those of diametrically opposed positions.
But alas, in opening this Pandora's comment box as they did The News also left themselves open to live fire and there never seemed to be any shortage of contumely heaped on them deservedly or not. (O.k. let's say safely the majority of it was deserved.) Liberals hate them for their anti union posturing and Conservatives hate them because other conservatives said they were a liberal newspaper.
The News henceforth, unless I am missing something, will partake of that beautiful thing, the destruction of language in their new format. Opening up their airwaves to critics it appears was a little more egalitarianism than this paper could handle. So Rod Watson will continue his One Black Man's Think Tank and Mary Pasciak will continue to quote the people from Buffalo ReformEd (the local charter advocacy group) while Bob McCarthy will continue to write his endorsements, errrr I mean political articles and that murder of dizzying intellects from the News Editorial Board will persist in their anti union screeds and their pro charter school, pro Andrew Cuomo epicstles with nobody to say them nay.
My predication is readers will vote with their wallets and any proles still employed at the News who are within spitting distance of a buyout better take it before they get retired prematurely.