Printed newspapers amount to nothing if they don’t reach their readers

In the newspaper business, it all comes down to one little kid on a bicyle (these days, actually, it’s more likely to be his grandpa or grandma). Unfortunately, newspaper execs are so exhausted after putting their ailing OM products to bed, that trafficking copies once they leave the building too often appears to be beyond their abilities. Too bad and so sad. Yet another nail in the coffin.

Shoe circa 1982_____________________
This Shoe cartoon is from around 1982.

When being a newsboy wasn’t kid’s play: From Time, 1931

Newsboys numbered 570,000: From Time, 1934

Newsboys no more: From Time, Feb 2011

Lara Logan

Those of us back in the US, covering whatever we cover, do so almost always under the cover of law. We may loose our jobs, or have an advertiser pull his run, but our lives are safe and we will work — safely — another day.

Our prayers are with Lara Logan — and with the hundreds other journalists injured, imprisoned and killed doing the job of bringing the world to us.

Will this baby rape his girlfriend? An anti-violence crusader says it’s never too early to intervene.

This video — designed to counter a purported anti-women slant in some Super Bowl commercials — has ignited a storm and reportedly sparked death threats against its creator in Dubuque, Iowa—

Although every baby boy is precious and beautiful, some will become misogynistswomen beaters, rapists, killers.

“Violence is a learned behavior, people are not born to be violent,” says Josh Jasper, president and CEO of Riverview Center, the anti-violence advocacy group responsible for the video. “What we see [in media] are messages that are degrading and abusive toward women and children.”

Jasper hoped that parents would start a conversation with their children, that while watching the Super Bowl with their children they would criticize messages that are hurtful, such as, “When you saw that GoDaddy ad and you saw those ladies taking off their clothes, you need to know as your father that this isn’t okay, this is not okay how we treat women.”

With that conditioning, hopefully boys will grow up as portrayed in this second video (instead of as depicted above)—

Many of the comments about the first commercial, posted on YouTube and Facebook, were so hostile that Jasper contact Dubuque police.

“One of the 800 comments I’ve received in the last 24 hours is that I’m a Nazi sympathizer and I should be taken out and shot,” Jasper was quoted by WQAD. “I’ve been accused of hating all men, that all men are rapists, that I think babies are rapists.”

Why such a strong reaction?

“There are a lot of men who have a deep-seated hatred toward women,” Jasper said. “I bet I’ve received 150 messages in the last 24 hours that say it’s okay to rape women. If we’re going to end the violence, we have to start with them.”

Here’s Jasper’s first commercial, posted a couple of years ago — it’s certainly pointed, but slower-paced and less incendiary;

As for this year’s Super Bowl commercial, Jasper said, “There are a lot of survivors out there … who are now feeling empowered because people are talking about the issue. That’s exactly why I created the commercial and that’s exactly why the commercial will stay.”

In a blog post on Valentine’s Day, Jasper concluded:

Although a great deal of violence is committed by men, the vast majority of men are NOT violent. The problem is that not enough men are challenging the norm, speaking out against men that are not healthy role models for others.

My thanks to @MichaelLibbie for bringing this story to my attention.

Gersh eats dog food

What can I say? He’s pushing for another award.

For Brooklyn Paper editor Gersh Kuntzman and Courier-Life editor Vince DiMiceli (seated behind Gersh in the video) the news is born to be hyped. Here’s the Gersh-flavored promo copy that accompanies today’s weekly roundup at BrooklynPaper.com:

The Brooklyn Paper — a garden of earthly delights

Think about what we do for you — we send reporters into movie theaters in hopes that they get bitten by bedbugs; we have columnists who eat dog food; we break news stories like convicts break rocks in the big yard; we fill the pages of our weekly print edition with spirited copy and pictures that will brighten your water-cooler conversations; we report so you can decide. And what do we ask in return? Just click the headline above and start downloading our full print edition — and keep hustlin’, Brooklyn!
Yeah, that’s right. Keep hustlin’ everyone.
• • •
UPDATE 2/18: Gersh disciple Ben Muessig wrote about Gersh’s latest adventure this morning on AOL — “Eating Dog Food: The Future of Journalism?”

An internationally-flavored ‘Redemption Song,’ on the 66th anniversary of Bob Marley’s birth

“We’ll free the people with music”—Bob Marley

30 years after his passing, Bob Marley lives on through Playing for Change. Voices from around the world joined recently to create this version of his “Redemption Song”

Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery;
None but ourselves can free our minds.…

How long shall they kill our prophets,
While we stand aside and look?

Some say it’s just a part of it:
We’ve got to fulfill the book.

Won’t you help me sing
Another song of freedom—
It’s all I ever had:
Redemption song.

_______________________________

This link will take you back to circa 1979: an acoustic performance of “Redemption Song” by Bob Marley—

_______________________________

“Stand By Me,” also filmed around the world by Playing for Change, has been viewed more than 28 million times since November 2008—

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Post updated 2/9/2011 to correct year of Marley’s death, and to add more links.

Bill O’Reilly to President Obama: “Does it disturb you that so many people hate you?”

Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly was relatively civil [by O’Reilly standards] to President Obama during his live 15-minute pre-game one-on-one. But O’Reilly can’t help himself — he was repetitively argumentative, stepping on the President’s responses in what was as much a debate as it was an interview.

SuperBowl commercials: Best [Chrysler’s hymn to Detroit] and Worst [Groupon’s tasteless humor]

My personal favorite: American industry, American workers, and the power of a great American city, by Chrysler

Groupon easily wins for the worst ad. Unless you agree that saving $15 at a Tibetan restaurant in Chicago is the equal of the cultural annihilation and genocide that’s been underway in Tibet, you might even call it creepy. What will they think of next — equating the Holocaust with one of the Second Avenue Deli’s incomparable hot pastrami sandwiches? All this proves is that having a company valued at $6-billion doesn’t mean you have a dime’s worth of common sense or an ounce of sensitivity.

Twitter exploded last night with instant revilement over Groupon’s commercials. This morning, there were plenty of angry posts by bloggers and newspaper writers. Time asks: “Did they merely push the envelope, or did they cross a line?” The NY Times wondered “whether the start-up has burned through a lot of good will.” Groupon’s hometown newspaper, the Chicago Tribune, said the company “cheapened itself” when it “trivialized the oppression of the people of Tibet.”

Meanwhile, the Chinese — oppressors of Tibet — were also not happy about the spot (but, obviously, for other reasons).

In addition to the Tibet spot, Groupon prepared two other commercials:

In a bid to illustrate that it understands that the problems of Tibet, the Brazilian rainforest, and high seas whaling are indeed serious, Groupon created a web page that invites viewers to contribute money to aid these causes. But even here, Groupon is on slippery ground. Under Cuba Gooding Jr’s video about whaling, there’s a “urgent message” and a “donate” button in which viewers are urged to donate $15 to Greenpeace — and get a $15 Groupon credit in exchange: “Your essentially free donation will go to help end commercial whaling.” Greenpeace is hardly a universally admired advocate. Meanwhile, no kickbacks are offered for contributions to Tibet, the rainforest, or building schools “in some of the world’s poorest villages” (the schools video was not yet up).

The attitude conveyed by last night’s commercials might have been predictable — it’s reflected in this commercial that was prepared by Groupon when it was just getting started, in early 2009 [WARNING: the following video may not be suitable for young children] :

You’ll find all of the SuperBowl commercials through a link at YouTube.