The Pulp Ain't For Kiddies

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That's the movie rating from the website linked above, which says The Daily Pulp deserves the rating for the following reasons:

This rating was determined based on the presence of the following words:

crack (3x) cocaine (2x) pissed (1x) rates such things.

"Crack" "Cocaine" and "Pissed." Hell shit, I'm sure I've used the word fuck on here an assload of times.

(Thanks to TMZ.com for the idea).

After the jump: DeGroot Rants Again!

John DeGroot's latest involves some pointed questions for the top journo at the Sun-Sentinel:

As promised, I will slam no more the shrinking staff at the Sun-Sentinel, South Florida’s Incredible Shrinking newspaper.

However, as for the tight-sphinctered editors they work for….

As a newsman for four decades plus, I have long felt “journalism ethics” was an oxymoron ranking right up there with “military intelligence” and “criminal justice.”

True, I’ve sat in a gathering of editors who – with all the gravity of Talmudic scholars – spent hours weighing the ethical dark side of free press room hot dogs for sportswriters.

And more recently, we’ve had a flurry of soul-searching over journalists who’ve contributed to candidates and causes.

The theory, of course, is that an “ethical” journalist must strive – like Caesar’s wife Pompeia – to be above reproach.

Which, in reality, is a pile of steaming horse apples.

Unless you toss the Golden Rule.

Because most journalists are dedicated to doing unto others --- provided others are unable to do it to them.

Consider the current hot bottom issue of more transparency in government and business – for which the print media has been righteously howling.

Like transparency is a good thing because the public has a right to know, the media cry.

But not when it comes to transparency and the media.

For example:

Let’s take two publicly held corporations: One a newspaper. The other a utility.

Both have tremendous impact on the lives of every day people.

Hence, according to the unwritten Code of Journalism, the CEO of a utility company should be willing to reveal his annual salary, fringe benefits, stock options, expense account and so on.

However, and again according to the unwritten code of Journalism, the CEO or Executive of a publicly-held newspaper is in no way required to reveal jack shit or nickel one concerning his/her personal wealth.

It’s just how it is.

Because they, by God and the First Amendment, are ENTITLED!

Take Howard Greenberg, the newly named Publisher of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel and Earl Maucker, the newspaper’s executive editor. Given their status, both men wield tremendous power over the daily flow of vital information to millions of local residents.

So.

As Butch Cassidy asked, “Who are these guys?”

Google either one and you’re likely to find less personal information about the two Broward print media bosses than the current head of the CIA’s clandestine operations in Venezuela.

Once more, try sending a personal email to either one.

Forget about any internet help contacting this Howard from Broward.

And as for Earl?

Every other week, Earl authors a column on the Sunday Op Ed page where he answers carefully screened questions from readers.

So here are ten questions that will see a Naked Girlie Bar on every block in Baghdad before Earl answers even one with journalistic honestly.

1. What’s your bottom line profit at the Sun-Sentinel? Today? Ten years ago?
2. How much do you earn* a year? Ten years ago? *Including your annual bonus And stock options.
3. How many reporters work for your newspaper? Ten years ago?
4. How much does a reporter with ten years experience earn a year?
5. What’s the average cost of a full page ad in your newspaper? Ten years ago?
6. How many trees does it take to print seven days’ worth of Sun-Sentinels?
7. Sun-Sentinel employees are given Tribune stock in lieu of a funded retirement plan. Given the dramatic decline in the value of Tribune stock, how secure is the current pension program for your employees?
8. How large was your local news hole in section B twenty years ago? Ten years ago? Today? (Compare the number of “hard” news stories today versus then.)
9. Please explain the impact of the recent flood of immigrants on your newspaper’s declining circulation?
10. How do you explain the recent 10 percent decline in your newspaper’s readership?

All fair questions for a man with Earl’s power and position.

And certainly matters of reasonable transparency.

And there’s the pity.

And also the craven hypocrisy.

Especially for a journalist the national magazine Editor & Publisher recently named Editor of the Year – which makes him among the best of the best in American journalism.

Which speaks volumes about the values of one of the nation’s oldest media trade publications -- which Editor & Publisher supposedly is.

As my latest Pulp Rant, this was sparked by a recent column semi-written by the Sun-Sentinel’s Executive Editor Earl Maucker who proclaimed, “Yes, officials do owe the public answers.

Now what frosted my weenie was how Earl ended his righteous Op Ed flag-waver about the need for transparency with a stunning hypothetical case:

“Imagine you have a brake job and you get a bill of say, $900. You ask the mechanic for an explanation and he says ‘no comment,’ or is unavailable for answers.

“Would you stand for that?” Earl concluded in a stunning burst of rhetorical theater.

Which is how and why I’m ending my Blog Rant ala Earl at his sanctimonious best.

Imagine you’ve been buying a local newspaper for years and, while the cost of your subscription has continued to climb, the content and local news coverage has gone – well – down the Old Dumper. In short, while your newspaper is costing you and its advertisers more, you’re both getting shamefully less for your money. So you ask the executive editor of your newspaper for an explanation and he says…..

Bupkis.

Would you stand for that?

Which brings me back to yet another dramatic rhetorical question Earl posed in his recent self-righteous column about the willful lack of transparency on the part of Broward’s leadership.

“Where did this sense of entitlement begin?” Earl asked – excluding, of course, himself.


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