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Name: Ed Waldo
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I am a fictional construct originally conceived as a pen name for articles in the Los Angeles FREE PRESS at the 2000 Democratic Convention. The plume relating to the nom in question rests in the left hand of Hart Williams, about whom, the less said, the better. Officially "SMEARED" by the Howie Rich Gang . GIT'CHER ZUG SWAG HERE!

Tuesday, May 8, 2007


On April 28th, I cross-posted a piece entitled "Making Waves In The Kiddie Pool," which was about the stifling of dissent in America, and the long-term reasons, perhaps, for the astonishing passivity of Americans in the face of what can only be described as creeping fascism.

I tried to deal with what I considered some of the root causes, including a passive print media.

On "The Democratic Daily," one Richard Karpel, the "Executive Director" of the "Association of Alternative Weekly Newspapers" took offense at a section wherein I noted a local example of the manner in which the entirely advertising-driven "alternative" newspaper mysteriously shaded its muckraking in a manner that didn't threaten its advertising base.

Mr. Karpel has since unleashed a torrent of insult, "withering" sarcasm and imbecilic arguments designed to "prove" that alternative newsweeklies are the greatest journalistic force for good since Moses inscribed the Ten Commandments in stone.

And you know what?

I am under no compulsion to answer civilly, when the comments are fundamentally barbaric.

Karpel, it turns out, has been a lobbyist out of Washington, D.C. since the mid-80s, first putting in nine years for the Video Software Dealers' Association, and then, since 1995, in his current position as the Executive Director of AAN. He evidently has several "Google" alerts set, and responds whenever his masters' tabloid throwaways are mentioned in any sort of disparaging manner.

I could reply in many ways, but I think "Shove it up your ass, Karpel!" is most appropriate.


Well, first off, it seems apparent that he didn't actually READ what I wrote, beyond his narrow bailiwick, and in a manner that belies his claim of a JD from the "Chicago-Kent College of Law." He cherry picked what he was interested in and threw the rest of the essay in the garbage. (Er ... that's sure civil!) To wit:

Richard Karpel Says:
April 30th, 2007 at 7:44 am

Alternative newspapers "don’t write anything that that would make waves or drive off advertisers." What in the world are you talking about? It’s clear to me from your description that you don’t actually read any alternative newspapers. But that doesn’t stop you from slandering them, does it?
"Slander," it should be noted, is spoken, while "libel" is written, and as a lawyer, Mr. Karpel OUGHT to know the difference. He doesn't. Instead, unstable in his chosen field, he attacks, ad hominem, in the field for which he's NOT qualified by degree nor education: writing.

Evidently, these "alternative" newsweeklies have no actual writers to defend their sullied honor. Of course, "alternative newsweeklies" weren't the point, nor even a significant point in my essay, and being dragged into a pissing match about them is already a fundamental insult of my thought and work in composing the essay in question.

I invite the reader to view the exchange, and note what a spoiled, insulting prick this rude barbarian actually is. I might even answer his charges, except that with a barbarian, the niceties of debate, rationality, and civil discourse are abandoned in favor of the sneer, the insult and the barbarian's yawp.

No reason to pick through the offal for the rational objections contained therein.

Karpel serves his masters, the numero uno of which would be the "Executive Editor" of the NEW TIMES group who merged their newspapers with the VILLAGE VOICE's group in 2005 to form "VILLAGE VOICE MEDIA , Inc.":

Alternative newspapers to merge
Dan Fost, Chronicle Staff Writer
Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Times Media, the Phoenix company that owns the SF Weekly and East Bay Express, is acquiring Village Voice Media of New York, one of the country's oldest publishers of alternative newspapers ....

The merged company will take the name Village Voice Media, and will be run by New Times' chief executive Jim Larkin and executive editor Michael Lacy. Village Voice Chief Executive Officer David Schneiderman will be president of Village Voice Digital.

The company will have revenue of $180 million, and with a combined circulation of 1.8 million, it will account for nearly a quarter of the alternative newsweekly industry's total circulation of 7.6 million, the Associated Press said ... In 2003, the Justice Department stopped the two companies from completing a deal that it said violated antitrust law. The companies had agreed to stop competing in Cleveland and Los Angeles, where they each had papers.

The Village Voice's No-Alternative News: Corporate Takeover
By Howard Kurtz
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, October 24, 2005; Page C01

... Despite their liberal, anti-establishment pedigree, alternative weeklies such as New Times and Village Voice long ago became big business. They are free and stuffed with music and arts coverage, they rake in piles of cash from entertainment ads and personal classifieds. Village Voice Media is owned by a consortium of investment banks that beat out New Times five years ago...
Or how about Democracy NOW!:

Thursday, April 13th, 2006
Village Voice Shakeup: Top Investigative Journalist Fired, Prize-Winning Writers Resign Following Merger with New Times Media
Or, even:

Hans Eisenbeis

But the alt weeklies have for twenty years coasted on the usefulness of their listings and their sex advertisments.
I considered going into the whole manner in which this new media group has decided that it, and it alone, owns the term "VOICE" and has aggressively harassed any newspaper in the US that has the word "VOICE" in the title.

... One can mourn the days when the Voice represented the values and practices of local, progressive, independent publishing, but they aren’t coming back. As a paranoid, expansionist empire with far-flung investments, Village Voice Media will continue to view any paper that pops up in the U.S. as a possible competitor. This is true even when the threat of real competition (or "confusion in the marketplace") is comical, as in the case of the well-intentioned yet amateurish Beachwood Voice and Voice Media’s west-coast mothership LA Weekly.

While America’s original alternative newspaper has grown into something of a straw bogeyman, it isn’t one that should unduly frighten other "voices" in America’s publishing wilderness. The lesson of the Cape Cod Voice is that papers can successfully tell thuggish Voice lawyers to go screw themselves and live to brag about it. When papers using the word "voice" in their titles have punched the Village Voice Media shark on its nose, it has swam away more than once ....
And I considered then noting that with a quarter of all alternative newsweekly readers, and an ad sales department that covers a significant ADDITIONAL chunk, Mr. Karpel's organization and his paycheck is, in essence, beholden first and foremost to VVM, Inc., and noting the raft of nastiness unleashed by Michael Lacy as "Executive Editor."

But I think I'll just quote Lacy and leave it be:

As a journalist, if you don’t get up in the morning and say ‘fuck you’ to someone, why even do it?
—Michael Lacey, in NEW YORK MAGAZINE
I guess that's the journalistic model that Mr. Karpel follows. But it ain't civil, and it ain't discourse. So it ain't gonna be replied to, except in kind. (This is the mistake the Democrats have made with the Republican screamers, please note: you can't expect a barbarian to understand manners; the best you can do is whop them upside the head with a rhetorical baseball bat.)

Mr. Karpel is invited to print out his commentary, roll it into a tight cylinder of pages, and insert it where the sun don't shine.



John said...

I agree with this.

May 9, 2007 1:15 AM  

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