Gearino went to lunch the other day and met some folks who admitted a new respect for the News & Observer. They were business-people with Republican backgrounds, skeptical of government and bureaucrats -- not the kind of people you'd expect to emotional at the thought newspapers teetering on the brink.
But the folks said they were paying attention to the News & Observer and liked what they were reading.
At lunch the other day — yes, bloggers sometimes get dressed and go out into public — the subject of the ailing news business, and specifically the News & Observer, came up. The conversation was notable for who attended the lunch, and what they said.
Who attended: A couple of local businessmen, both of whom previously worked in Washington on the staffs of Republican senators from North Carolina. Strong believers in private enterprise, skeptical of government and bureaucrats. Inclined to think that newspapers are generally captive to a liberal mindset.
What they said (paraphrased and compressed): Hey, we’re pulling for the N&O.
Thanks to its coverage of former Gov. Mike Easley’s questionable deals involving real estate, cars and air flights — as well as wife Mary Easley’s high-paying gig at N.C. State University — the N&O is relevant to them again. It once went unread for days at a time. Now they’re paying new attention, reading the N&O avidly and cheering its affliction of the politically comfortable.
The N&O might be on to something.