Saturday, September 15, 2012

The Buffalo Newspeak Muzzles its Readers

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. 


  1. The News has taken all the fun out of reading it. When you just get spoon-fed what they want you to think, and there is no way to respond...that is frustrating, not fun.
    With the election coming up,this is a not the time to turn off the part of the paper that gives the readers a voice.
    What kind of communication business buys a web site producer's service that shuts off communication? Looks like great planning. They should have waited to install the new site until it was finished.
    Two more weeks and I'm cancelling. ( They said it would be "next month")...two more weeks to go.
    Thanks Sean for providing a place for allaying frustration. :)

  2. Yeah Peg I agree now there's no point whatsoever in reading their shite, At least when you could fling it back at them there was some sport to it, now they've taken an entire interactive and community bitch session and shut it down as if to say we'll do the talking while you all just shut up and pay up. And truth be told I had zero plans on paying them for the privilege of making their garbage readable. Thanks Peg for keeping the ball in play here when everyone else was listening to the crickets. You taking the time to say something makes me want to bother again for one more day. Always great hearing from you even if we can't take on Warren, Hiser and the other dim bulbs of the B-Lo Nooze:}

  3. I'm starting the Warren Wilke Fan club. Wanna join?

  4. I'll do it :) He has been on my "six" since last January... I think that there is something in the water out there.

  5. Yeah it's really a pleasure not to hear from the low info loonies truth be told.