Peacocks In A Graveyard

    BobLee
    January16/ 2000

    ….. Part Two of BobLee’s exclusive interview with media martyr FloydTurbo.   Part One, available on the BLS home page, drew a large response from BLSays readers.    Many remarked that The N&O “threw FloydTurbo in Uncle Remus’ briar patch”.  To which Floyd replied “Zip-A-Dee Doo Dah Zip-A-Dee A” .

    BL:  Our first segment attracted plenty of attention.  The two most asked questions by our readers are:

    (1)    Who the heck is Floyd Collins ?
    (2)    Has FloydTurbo’s life changed since being banned from The N&O ?

    (1) Floyd Collins was a Kentucky spelunker (cave explorer) who died in a cave in the 1920s.   Attempts to rescue Collins attracted worldwide attention ….. later eclipsed by “Little Jessica in the well” in Midland TX in the 1990s.   Such media over-kill developed public awareness of how incredibly lame the media in general has become. ….. an arrogant industry that excels at insulting its customers.

    (2) ……  FT, as the first high profile casualty of Free Speech in The Hope & Change Era, has your life changed in any way ?

    FT:  I have 20 minutes a day to do something else.  That’s all the time I spent.   LogIn … take a shot …. then get on spending productive time with family and friends.  That newspaper “writers” spend all day producing their screeds is laughable.

    NOTE:  For those of you not in the N&O market area, substitute the name of your local paper.  This is an epidemic not an isolated case.

    BL:   Do you “hate” The N&O or anyone associated with it ?

    FT:  Whoa …. Certainly not.  “Hate” ….. naaaa …. like “HATE George Bush, HATE Christians, HATE Jesse Helms” ??  I reserve “hate” for Calcutta call centers.  Everyone hates those.

    BL:  Is there anyone you “like” down there?

    FT:  Sure.  5 or 6 I’ll be glad to name.  Many good ones were “let go” over the past few years as the Old Reliable got leaner and a whole lot meaner.

    The Editor – John Drescher – is a very decent guy who claims he is an independent (wink wink).  His neighbors and long time friends guffawed when I told them he said that.  I like John. ….. Dan Barkin the on-line editor was my executioner in the Braveheart scenario.   Also very decent guy (who wanted the job Drescher got).  It wouldn’t have mattered since Queen Latifah rules The N&O. ….. Orage Quarles the Publisher, the “bag man”, ships ever-dwindling receipts to Sacramento while keeping creditors at bay and juggling 100s of employees’ job lives.

    ….. Ruth Sheehan, the Fem/Lib columnist, is only allowed to write on 2-3 ultra-liberal agenda issues.  A caring wife and mother, I see Ruth being very relieved when her number finally comes up.  Two other guys – Dan Kane and Joe Neff are crackerjack old-school reporters.  They do what newspapers were created to do; reporting on evil-doers regardless of politics.   And, of course, I have my “Deep Throats”.

    BL:  We all have a few of those.   What about the prancing peacocks?

    FT:   Naming them would give them prestige among their own kind.  They know who they are and so do all their co-workers.  Many of whom I’ve heard from over the past few days.

     Ever wonder what happened to those dweebs in high school that never grew pubic hair?  Beady-eyed little nargets who dressed in toilet stalls and carried asthma inhalers.  These “Ted Baxters and Cliff Clavens with word processors” populate op/ed departments in half-empty newsrooms across this country.  Ever met one?  The “wizards” behind the bylines are sniffly little weasels with ferret eyes and soft hands.

    Ideological opinions are one thing.   Fearing / denying public scrutiny of those opinions is another.   The N&O op/ed department are cowards.  Of course, cowards are God’s creatures too ….. as are piss ants and garter snakes.

    In Part One I mentioned “the old days” of the newspaper under the Daniels’ ownership.  The N&O was once a great place to work.   Frank Jr had a sense of humor and legitimate leadership skills.  Yes, he was a yellow-dog democrat.  His strong opinions kept him in assorted public feuds but, love’em / hate’em there was a grudging respect for “the damn N&O”.   Those days are long gone.

     Where crusty ink-stained wretches once hammered out meaningful stories and the newsroom crackled with a sense of purpose and relevance; EEOC compliance and The Vagina Monologues have replaced the AP Stylebook. Corporate purges ran off the loyal N&O lifers who had any pride in the product.  Replaced by androgynous ideologues with no life experiences, no integrity and abject contempt for their ever-dwindling subscribers.  Again, a scenario oft-repeated across America.

    Through this journo-graveyard of empty workstations now strut these pompous peacocks.  Self-righteous angry activists who are the butt of water cooler jokes.  Laughing at Queen Latifah and the op/ed peacocks is the only fun part of the day down there.  The News & Observer is “Dunder-Mifflin’s Raleigh branch” with Micheals and Dwights primping and preening while profits plunge.  Many more people will be laid off, but not the ones who should be.

    BL:  Did the N&O have “the right” to ban you Floyd ?

    FT:  ABSOLUTELY.  Expressing my opinion via their comment section was a privilege that I no longer have.  Never a “right”.  I had fun proving my point – The N&O can dish out slander and predictably partisan criticism, but they can’t take it.  That comes as no surprise to anyone.

    BL:  What’s next for THE FIRST Free Speech Casualty of The Hope & Change Era?

    FT:  The John Locke folks want to name an award after me .  Mary Katherine Ham sent me a box of peanut brittle.  Rick Martinez thinks I would make a good ad sales guy for WPTF.  Holden and Pattie Thorp need a yard man on alternate Tuesdays.  Wake County Public Schools has ordered me shot on sight if I set foot on any of their campuses.   The honors just keep rolling in.

    BL:  Mary Katherine sent you peanut brittle, huh.  ….. There might be something here at BobLeeWorldWideLtd. for a fella of your talents.   We have some fun stuff in the hopper.

    FT:  You know how to reach me.  ….. BobLee, you’re not as big as I thought you’d be.

    BL:  I get that a lot.   Buddies & Babes – FloydTurbo …. MediaMartyr.

    >>><<<

     

      After “Murray Slaughter” left WJM,
    what profession did he pursue ?

    >>><<<

        BobLee had a great time this week w/ The Sertoma Club in Derm.  Lots of laffs with a roomfull of fine fellas.  Caught up with former UNC Baseballer Eddie “Peanut” Hill.  Prince Albert and Bucky Blue Devil also dropped in.

    That last column on “mourning overload” received heavy reader response all in agreement.  One too many memorial tributes and solemn becomes silly.   There is A LOT of silly in America these days.

    BobLee

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