See? Sometimes we know what we’re talking about. As we often say to our children, sometimes you should give us the benefit of the doubt.
Case in point: Rupert “Darth Vader” Murdoch clearly set an agenda and caused Google to be on the defensive at a newspaper industry conference. The AP is renewing their whining about web sites, including Google, who they say use bits of their content without paying for it. Of course, Google does pay the AP, but they don’t pay other newspapers. Apparently lots of print publications want to start charging for their web sites — the term is “pay wall” — now that the economy is suckier than it used to be. Free advice, fellas: you can’t change your business plan based on which way the economic winds happen to be blowing. “Free when things are good, not-free when things are bad” isn’t going to fly with consumers. And as for the New York Times saying that they may ask for “donations” from readers? Are they kidding?
What I never understood is why the Times and other big print outlets didn’t simply make their web sites free only for print subscribers. That way you could charge more for the paper since you’ve actually added something of value. The Times tried this at one point but it didn’t really work. You still have to “register” to read some articles, although I think that’s less and less true. I feel strongly that the Times could solve a lot of their problems simply by doing a better job of monetizing the content they already have by, you know, putting ads around it. To my eyes there are a lot of places to shove advertising at NYTimes.com and it wouldn’t take away from the overall reading experience. Ah, whatever. My children never listen to me, I doubt the New York Frickin’ Times is going to.
In sports news, the UConn’s women’s basketball team went undefeated, winning a national championship. Again. People don’t seem to care about this. If it were a men’s team, it’d be front page news. Are women’s sports that bad? I doubt it. We just don’t care about female sporting events the way we do men’s. Except for gymnastics, and that’s only at the Olympics. Oh, and beach volleyball. Former President Bush really liked beach volleyball.
Somehow I missed this last week but it’s worth mentioning even though it’s a few days old. Alaska Republicans, including Sarah “Caribou Barbie” Palin, want a do-over of their most recent Senate elections. This is because Ted Stevens lost. They say he lost because of “the improper influence of the corrupt Department of Justice.” Nevermind that it was a REPUBLICAN DOJ that tried and convicted Stevens, and a DEMOCRATIC DOJ that overturned the ruling. That only matters because you know that Palin and the other Repugs don’t want to admit that. But the real problem is the notion that somehow the election was “unfair” because of the Stevens trial. The fact is that by most accounts, Ted was probably guilty as charged, but the trial was poorly handled. (I’m simplifying for the sake of brevity, and the fact that I don’t really know enough of the details to explain them. Indulge me, please.) As someone writes over at DailyKos, “somehow, this is all grounds for overturning a perfectly legitimate election. Because the Republican lost, ya see! And that’s no fair!” That’s really what this is about — any way to make a stab at power again.
Speaking of elections, Al Franken won, according to a Minnesota court. But Norm Coleman’s lawyer says they plan to appeal the ruling. Can you imagine the screaming if a Democrat tried this? Oh, wait. That happened already. And there was lots of screaming. It’s really like we live in a banana republic sometimes, with all these election shenanigans.
And to end on a non-political note: Happy Passover! Here’s some holiday-themed music from Jewish hardcore band Electric Menorah.
Too serious today. Sorry. Except for that last item. That one was lighthearted.