Saturday, August 22, 2009

Open thread (updated)

OK, what's on your mind?

Update: here's an idea from a reader:

Enter your nominations for the worst publisher and worst editor at a McClatchy newspaper, and tell us why they deserve such an honor.

Great idea... enter nominations in comments.



Anonymous said...

Oh, oh, The Debt Czar President is caught RED handed.
Your Tax Dollars to Sell
Obama's Health Care Plan

EXCLUSIVE: White House confirms to FOX News that it used taxpayer dollars to hire private communications company to distribute mass e-mails — including unsolicited spamming to help sell Obama's health plan…

Anonymous said...

The top radical socialists that have taken over the DNC, would see no reason to mix with the great unwashed people of the USA. Anything the rabble says is ignorant. Only the elites know what is good for the country, and in the majority, they couldn’t care less what anyone else thinks, even some of their own more moderate members.
-Top Dems Taking Pass on Health Care Town Halls-
[snip]... But while rank-and-file members are facing the tough questions, party leaders have remained largely absent from the in-person town hall discussions.
Since recess began at the beginning of August, none of the top party leaders in the House and Senate -- as well as the five committee chairmen from relevant committees -- have faced the public at traditional public town hall meetings.

Anonymous said...

...The top radical socialists that have taken over the DNC...

ROFL! Completely delusional, courtesy of far-right talk radio and a closed mind. No wonder you lost the election.

Anonymous said...

OBAMA will set a record for being the President who became a "lame duck" at the earliest point in any presidency.

Anonymous said...

Obamacare-Point and Counterpoint
By Frank S. Rosenbloom, M.D.

Obama’s point: Nearly 50 million Americans are without health care.

Counterpoint: Nearly 13 million Americans are without health [insurance.] No one in the United States is without health care. Government regulations prohibit patients from being turned away from hospitals, which must provide medical care to anyone. The huge number that the Obama administration has used is highly inflated.
@ American Thinker

Anonymous said...

Enter your nominations for the worst publisher and worst editor at a McClatchy newspaper, and tell us why they deserve such an honor.

Anonymous said...

Obama's health care plan is dead. The Dems are dead if they rush it through next month. Right now they're running scared and they know they won't have a majority after next year's elections. They have blown a golden opportunity and given conservatives a gold-plated opportunity.

Anonymous said...

England and Lloyds bank "Jizya" (a tax muslims impose on non-muslims) equivalent.

An overdraft? That'll be £200 at Lloyds TSB (but only £15 if you're a Muslim) (Daily Mail)

Many Lloyds TSB customers are being hit with charges of up to £200 a month if they go into the red - while Muslims who use the bank are only being charged £15.

The part-nationalised bank has been accused of religious discrimination over the disparity between overdraft charges on its standard current account and its Islamic account.

The Islamic account was set up by the high street bank to attract Muslim customers by allowing them to keep faithful to their religion.

Sharia law does not permit the payment of interest so the 'typical' Islamic account at Lloyds TSB has been set up without an overdraft facility.

The bank says this is a management fee, not a payment of interest, so does not contradict Sharia law.

Anonymous said...

Iranian Boy Who Defied Tehran Hardliners Tells of Prison Rape Ordeal (The Times) [Definitely not the New York Times, they only care when it suits their DNC masters]

The 15-year-old boy sits weeping in a safehouse in central Iran, broken in body and spirit. Reza will not go outside — he is terrified of being left alone. He says he wants to end his life and it is not hard to understand why: for daring to wear the green wristband of Iran’s opposition he was locked up for 20 days, beaten, raped repeatedly and subjected to the Abu Ghraib-style sexual humiliations and abuse for which the Iranian regime denounced the United States.

“My life is over. I don’t think I can ever recover,” he said, as he recounted his experiences to The Times — on condition that his identity not be revealed. A doctor who is treating him, at great risk to herself, confirmed that he is suicidal, and bears the appalling injuries consistent with his story. The family is desperate, and is exploring ways of fleeing Iran.

Reza is living proof of the charges levelled by Mehdi Karoubi, one of the opposition’s leaders, that prison officials are systematically raping both male and female detainees to break their wills. The regime has accused Mr Karoubi of helping Iran’s enemies by spreading lies and has threatened to arrest him.

Anonymous said...

Nomination: Charlotte Observer
Pubisher: Ann Caulkins
Editor: Rick Thames

Reason: For their complete lack of interest in holding local government accountable. They have turned the Charlotte Observer into merely a government rag that cheerleads the latest government scheme to transfer tax dollars to special interests in downtown Charlotte.

Anonymous said...

I just read "Third Floor Empty at Sac Bee" thread and there are several nominations for the same bad Sac Bee manager/managers. Sounds like we already have a winner/winners???

Anonymous said...

Mark Zieman is the worst publisher. He has turned the Red Star into a total joke. The best people are gone, and the dregs stay on to pollute KC. Zieman and Rhonda Lokeman have dragged the Star down into the gutter.

Anonymous said...

I have to agree with Zieman being the worst publisher. I've only seen the Star's degradation first hand for the past 4 years, but that place started publishing straight trash immediately after his appointment.

I suspect rather than being a completely dishonest dirt bag socialist, it is more of a case that he is weak and simply allowed his friends to take control of what is published with little to no responsible supervision.

Of course, anyone would have to wonder about the mental stability of a man that would actually marry the likes of Rhonda Lokeman. That just defies all logic. Love may be blind, but loving Rhonda Lokeman would require deaf, dumb and numb too.

Anonymous said...

Nomination: Sacramento Bee
Publisher: Cheryl Dell
Editor: Melanie Sills

These bozos published names and salaries of all state employees but refused to publish their own salaries. Then they asked people to send in pictures of their neighbors who water on the wrong days of the week and printed pictures of the water-wasters.

Anonymous said...

7:38 PM Sorry dude but with all due respect, Zieman did the very same thing with posting all the state salaries.

He didn't encourage anyone to snitch for watering, but he did allow his reporters to publish the name, address and photo of a Star critic, along with a photo of his house as an invitation to do him or his family harm.

We will not even get into their attempts to create racial divide, unchecked slander or total disregard for any of the standards set by the Society of Professional Journalists.

Anonymous said...

Zieman rose to power because he was the project editor for a series that ended up winning a Pulitzer. He plotted and calculated which topic would be a likely prize winner for a midwestern paper like the Star (Agriculture), and he studied the prize applications of previous winners. Then the two reporters he chose wrote the series he outlined. Lo and behold--his team pulled it off, and the paper won the Pulitzer. Soon after, Editor Art Brisbane (himself newly promoted from metro columnist in an out-of-left-field choice by the publisher) elevated Zieman to managing editor, then editor when Brisbane became publisher, then eventually publisher after Brisbane moved up in Knight Ridder. Brisbane, who came back to the Star after failing to set the world on fire at the Washington Post, thought the Star would soon be rolling in Pulitzers like his rivals at the Post because Zieman had found the secret formula. Of course it's been 18 or 19 years and we're all still waiting for the next Pulitzer under Zieman's reign, or any other indication that he has the managerial or leadership skills that justify his lofty position. Before the Pulitzer, Zieman was arrogant and obnoxious with no justification. After the paper won the Pulitzer, he had some justification for being arrogant and obnoxious. Now, as the paper sinks under his watch, he remains arrogant and obnoxious, but instead of being a rising hot shot, is just kind of pathetic. So he gets my vote.

Anonymous said...

Worst of the bunch: Fort Worth Star-Telegram publisher Gary Wortel and editor Jim Witt.

In less than 2 years on the job, "Hatchet Man" Wortel has cut hundreds of jobs, cut pay, cut benefits, sold buildings and employee parking lots, closed two local bureaus and the state bureau in Austin, which once was among the best in Texas, and eliminated the Opinion, Travel, and Arts sections while cutting most of the national/foreign news section, and doubling the price of the paper. Before he did all this the paper was already generating about $50 million a year profit for McClatchy. And then he sets aside two days a month where he is available to meet with employees individually who want to suggest additional ways to cut costs (lmao). To top it off, he can't even write e-mail. His secretary does it for him (sent on behalf of Gary Wortel).
You may remember editor Jim "Oops" Witt, who accidentally sent out a memo to the entire editorial department that was meant for Hatchet Man. In it he argued why the most junior sports columnist should not be laid off while bad-mouthing a columnist who has more seniority and is a superior reporter/writer.
Both Hatchet Man and Oops have virtually no contact with the rank and file workers in the newsroom. They have managed to turn a once-great paper for one of the largest cities in the country into an advertiser wrapped with briefs fit for a small town.
Heckuva job, Worty and Witty.
McClatchy's VP of news will be very proud of you when he visits this week. Hell, you should take up a collection from your fellow suits to give him more money that he can take back with him to Sacramento.
Bankruptcy court is the only way to get rid of this ship of fools who are destroying whatt's left of a once-great paper. Employee morale has already been destroyed; new ownership/management can restore it.

Gotta stay anonymous said...

Nomination: Merced Sun Star
Publisher: Hank (the weasel) VanDerveen
Reason. "Allegedly" being one of the main players in deconstructing the Modesto Bee production department. Shortly after the Modesto Bee production department was notified of the impending layoff, he became Publisher of the Merced paper. Hank just happened to be at some of the negotiation meetings, but no one could explain why because he worked in a different department. If it looks fishy and smells fishy it must be fishy!

Anonymous said...

The Obamanation world apology tour...or The Magical Mystery Tour...Or where's BarackO...

Still looking for those missing states?

How about some T-shirts commemorating his tour...

Get high with Barry Sotero!

John Altevogt said...

With all due respects to how bad Mark Zieman is, he is essentially Art Brisbane's lackey. hence my nomination goes to Art Brisbane (former) publisher and Mark Zieman editor.

It was Brisbane that turned The Star into a whore for Kansas City's corrupt establishment. It was Art Brisbane who promoted a local anti-evangelical hate group and made Kansas City the most hateful city in the country politically. It was Art Brisbane who gutted the formerly highly respected Wyandotte bureau into a bastion of happy chat PR for Carol Marinovich and her successors (now that they're owned by the KCMO establishment). It was during Art Brisbane's tenure as co-Chair of a local "charity" that it became a front group for leftist causes and had to can its ED for political involvement. Brisbane was little more than the lawn jockey/shine boy at the River Club using his paper's integrity as his entre into polite society. Like his namesake, he prattled socialism out of one side of his mouth while he kissed the ass of the establishment with the other side. Zieman was simply there as Brisbane's butt boy and stand-in after he left.

Anonymous said...

6:25: Was he still there when your column was cancelled? Or was that Zieman? And at that time, were you still the county Republican chairman in Wyandotte County?

Anonymous said...

Incompetent McClatchy managers are all pretty much cut from the same flawed cloth. In their small worlds and minds, they're doing a beautiful job and nothing shakes that belief. They were promoted because they told their superiors what they wanted to hear, not because these drones were brilliant innovators and respected leaders.
Positive change only comes when the CEO makes it happen. A power cleanse of these inept, cartoonish managers would revitalize McClatchy and its work force. Are you listening Gary?

John Altevogt said...

Not involved politically at the time I wrote my column. Brisbane was publisher and the column(s) that got me fired were about a corrupt Republican senator who chaired a committee that channeled money to the Foundation that employed both he and his wife.

The story was first uncovered by a Ralph Nader 50 states project, but they only got part of it. I followed up on their work. Ironically when I started asking for public records for how the money was spent (specifically for a column to be written for The Star) The Star's attorneys represented the Foundation in opposing the requests and in the lawsuit that I filed that followed.

Turns out that Brisbane was very closely aligned with both the Foundation (where he was an adviser) and the Senator's wife through her work.

My editor, Rich Hood, allowed me to write the column knowing full well the dangers to his own job in doing so. He later withheld The Star's endorsement of the Senator based in part on my research and was terminated after 29 years with The Star a short time later.

For those who want to ascribe my motivations to sour grapes, I was delighted when the column ended. had I not been canned, I would have had to resign since it was simply too much of a drag on my income. The year after I left my income went up $22K and I turned down both other opportunities to write and a radio show on Christian radio.

It was a wonderful opportunity, and I enjoyed working with the copy editors and Rich. No one in editorial was ever unkind to me. Indeed, Yael Abouhalkah gave me some information that gave my own research a real leg up in doing the final column. Steve Winn was an absolute professional and even Rhonda Lokeman gave me some helpful hints. (I don't recall any contact with either Laura Scott, or Barb Shelly, but I did have a couple of conversations with Lewis where I noticed the stunning reflection of light off the back of his skull when you looked in his eyes.)

When I started I promised myself I would write every column as if it was my last, and I was stunned that I lasted as long as I did. A real tribute to Rich Hood's integrity.

That final column gave me an insight into the inner workings of the metro area establishment and how it worked in maintaining and perpetuating its power. As a student of sociology and fan of C. Wright Mills, it was a fascinating experience that I wouldn't trade for anything and my thanks always to Rich Hood for giving me that opportunity.

Anonymous said...

6:40 AM You didn't expect that response, did you?

LOL you may now crawl back under your rock and examine your ass in detail. Do not forget to say thank you to Mr. Altevogt for handing it to you.

Anonymous said...

...the column(s) that got me fired were about a corrupt Republican senator who chaired a committee that channeled money to the Foundation that employed both he and his wife...

To summarize: You, a conservative Republican activist at a time when the conservatives were taking control of the state party away from the moderates, and not a full-time employee of the newspaper with a reporting track record known to the top editors, wrote a column making allegations of criminal (or at least unethical) activities. And the paper (a privately-owned, for-profit company) apparently decided that the column opened it to possible legal problems, and chose not to publish it. And then, based on its experience with you and your columns for more than a year or so, chose to drop your column.

John Altevogt said...

Wrong. They published it. Every word was vetted by my editor and verified. Unlike any other writer I included footnotes with my column indicating the source of the information. Not only was the column published, but my editor withheld the Star's endorsement of what had heretofore been a favorite son of The Star based on the work I had done on that column. The column was terminated the day it was published by the publisher.

You idiots just can't think that anyone else could possibly be right about something. Your narrow minded ignorance and bigotry is your weakness.

John Altevogt said...

Rich Hood was the real hero of this story. I didn't care about writing the column anymore. It had become a burden. But Hood knew far better than I how dirty Brisbane was and that my column could get us both fired. He knew and yet he published it. He also had the courage to follow up by refusing to endorse a corrupt candidate for political office. For that he paid with his job. 29 years down the drain, fired by a dirty publisher.

The joke is on Brisbane and The Star. Hood now has an excellent position with the EPA and Brisbane is a "consultant", or as working class folks call it, unemployed. The Star's editorial staff is an embarrassment to the community run by an affirmative action baby who was willing to do Brisbane's bidding.

Anonymous said...

12:07 PM Why don't you just give up. He's making you look like a fool.

Anonymous said...

...You idiots just can't think that anyone else could possibly be right about something. Your narrow minded ignorance and bigotry is your weakness...

John, with all due respect, that seems to be your attitude in at least half of your posts.

Anonymous said...

If you don't like what you read, please go to another blog. It's really quite simple.

John Altevogt said...

To go back to the original question for the day, some of you have described people who are lousy bosses, and I wouldn't dispute your facts, but my argument is that Brisbane and Zieman are not only bad bosses who damaged their papers, but they've reduced The Star to little more than a handmaiden to Kansas City's corrupt establishment (ranked in the Top Ten corrupt cities in the country by George Magazine). I think that trumps anyone else that's been mentioned hands down.

in addition, Zieman's mishandling of the downsizing has left The Star bloated at the top and scavenging at the bottom. They've fired the reporters that could have helped them do what a local paper does best, i.e. cover local news and maintained deadweight columnists like Yeal Abouhalkah, Mike Hendricks and Lewis Diuguid who have made The Star a national laughingstock with idiotic comments that socialism was a code word for black and what was Hendricks' moronic comment that got him in trouble? Anyhow, it was so embarrassing that they sent Mary Sanchez on to O"Reilly to defend him, adding insult to injury.

Anonymous said...

didn't Melanie Sill get a half-dozen or so votes on an earlier topic? she's got the east-west swing going with critics on both coasts. that should count for something. in the sick mcclatchy world that something is usually a raise and promotion.

Anonymous said...

didn't Melanie Sill get a half-dozen or so votes on an earlier topic? she's got the east-west swing going with critics on both coasts. that should count for something.

Yeah, she has completely trashed her charge on both coasts, but these people in KC have the numbers and the goods on the KC McClatchy goons.

It seems like the Star is handing them ammunition every single week and these guys record it for posterity.

How long were they railing on Rhonda Lokeman before they had video on her in the slammer?

That damn rag is embarrassed on national news damn near as much as the Traitor Times is these days.

Anonymous said...

After reading the comments, this California Worker Bee has to throw a vote for Brisbane and Zieman as Being Best Bottom Feeders.

I will say that the Sacto gang came in a close second.

Anonymous said...

Miami hardly ever gets any tough love. Must be one of the better managed McClatchy papers.