Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Democratic Roundup

I did a little roundup of possible GOP VP candidates a few weeks ago. In the spirit of bipartisanism, (and easy articles), here’s a rundown of possible Dem picks.

Senator Hillary Clinton (NY)

Pros: Ran highly competitive presidential campaign, and controls hundreds of delegates in the national convention. She’s also competitive in demographics that Obama struggles with (poor white people who might just be a teensy bit racist). Also, she’d bring Bill Clinton back into the limelight, which would guarantee that SNL will be funny again for at least 4 more years.

Cons: Kinda hard to run on change when you’re bringing the old president back…who has kind of tragically gone from “endearing Democratic party statesman”, to “whiny little baby”. Also, tens of thousands of Democrats voted against her for a reason.

Gov. Bill Richardson (NM)

Pros: Initial winner of the highly coveted Matt Brown Endorsement, Bill is a popular executive of a critical swing state. He has foreign policy experience, energy experience, legislative experience, executive experience, baseball experience, and now, beard-growing experience. He’ll also shatter the glass ceiling for “Hispanic people with very gringo names”, which has been keeping me down for years.

Cons: He’s not a great campaigner. Plus, he’s probably way overqualified for a cushy job like Vice President.

Former Senator John Edwards (North Carolina)

Pros: He’s positive, photogenic, and popular with the base. Edwards would play right into the campaign theme of “changing Washington”, because Edwards and Obama combined would have less Washington experience than one of those Midwestern tourists who stands on the wrong side of the Metro escalator.

Cons: Wasn’t exactly a helpful addition to John Kerry’s ticket. Edwards has done the whole run for president, run for vice president thing. I’m also on the record of threatening to shoot my TV if I hear John talk about his mill-working pappy one more time. We get it John. You couldn’t go to Yale like all the other senators.

Senator Evan Bayh (Indiana)

Pros: He’s a popular, young Midwestern guy that could actually put Indiana in play, which would totally stick it to the Republicans. He was also a staunch Hillary supporter, which may help heal some old wounds. Bayh was also a popular former Gov of Indiana.

Cons: Anybody remember the last time somebody picked a young, photogenic senator from Indiana to be their running mate?

Senator Joe Biden (Delaware)

Pros: Brings experience and strong foreign policy credibility to a ticket that currently lacks both. Biden would also do wonders in helping American children with their geography, by spurring them to look a map to find out just where the hell Delaware is. Biden also emits enough hot hair to completely solve our nation’s energy crisis.

Cons: Biden solving the energy crisis by blabbering does mean that we’re going to have to listen to a lot of Joe Biden. It might not be worth it.

Government Bureaucrat and Amateur Journalist Matt Brown (Ohio)

Pros: Would complete a demographic dream team. Nominating a democratic Mormon could cause tens of other Mormons to break away from decades of tradition and vote democratic as well. Matt also has the credibility to talk about issues that Ohioans really care about…football, highway construction, and more football (were you expecting foreign policy?)

Cons: Amending the constitution to make this happen may be a little more “change” than people are ready for.

Gov Kathleen Sebelius (Kansas)

Pros: Popular leader of a very red state, which shows that she’s bipartisan. She can bring a lot of the demographic positives of Hillary Clinton, without the scary baggage. Also, her dad was a Democratic Gov. of Ohio…so that’s cool.

Cons: Likely can’t deliver Kansas, and she’s old. Hillary-supports might throw an epic temper tantrum if there is a female VP not married to Bill Clinton as well. That will make bad television.

Rock Star Bruce Springsteen (New Jersey)

Pros: Completely negates the biggest fear about Obama…that he somehow isn’t “American”. It doesn’t get more American than Thunder Road and the E St Band! Springsteen’s flavor of “heartland rock” is popular with all generations, and all over the country. Do you want to attract a crowd of 40,000 to a campaign rally in Ohio? Now you can! People will actually watch C-Span and CNN! Plus, what do you think is going to go farther to repair America’s image in the world…some old dude from Virginia, or a Bruce Springsteen European tour?

Cons: There are absolutely no cons with this idea. This is the best idea I’ve ever had.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Homesick on the 4th of July

According to Mapquest, I’m about 2002.4 miles to the Granville Street Fair. Unless Doc Brown shows up with his DeLorean, it looks like its going to be impossible for me to go this year, and I have to admit, it really bums me out.

The 4th of July is, no joke, my favorite holiday. It doesn’t have any of the stress associated with Christmas or Valentines Day, its right in the middle of the summer, so we’re most likely to have nice weather. Most importantly though, we take a day off to celebrate America by having barbecues with friends, listening to live music, and blowing stuff up. What could be better than that?

And growing up, nobody did the 4th of July better than little ol’ Granville. For one week, the major question of the Granvillian teenager, what are we going to do to tonight?, was solved. We are going to go downtown, we are going to hang out with our friends, and we are going to eat fried things. The fair didn’t lose much importance after I moved out of Granville to go to school either, as it allowed me to reconnect with all the people I missed over the school year. Plus, seeing Broadway lit up with the lights of the carnival rides and games looked like a scene straight out of a Norman Rockwell painting…you don’t get any more small-town Americana than that.

There are two events in our celebration that I’m going to miss the most. One is the Firecracker Five. I ran my first race the summer after my senior year in high school. I thought I was in pretty good shape for that first race, but I remember eating quite a bit of humble pie, as I was passed by 11 year olds and 60 year olds alike. Despite my poor showing, I enjoyed the experience, and vowed to run again the next year to do better. No matter how poorly you do, there is still quite a sense of accomplishment after you complete the morning ordeal. I thoroughly enjoyed having the following convocation with my peers that entire day:

Me “So, what did you do this morning?”

Friend “uh, I slept in.”

Me “Oh, that’s nice. I ran a 5 mile race.” (flexes a little)

As long as my friend hadn’t actually competed in a triathlon or cured cancer or something, I could feel smug for day.

In November of 2006, I had a fairly traumatic knee injury. Damage was done to soft tissue in both of my knees, and I walked with a limp for a few months. As I underwent painful physical therapy that winter, I was encouraged to set some kind of performance related goal (I want to not walk like Dr.House by April, for example). My goal was to run in the Firecracker 5 that July, which turned out to be pretty ambitious. It wasn’t easy, but that July, there I was, getting my butt kicked on Pearl St, with two athletic knee braces on. My time wasn’t anything to write home about that year, but I never felt prouder crossing that finish line. Not only is a the race a fun competitive exercise, but to me, its also a symbol of conquering adversity.

The other thing I’m really going to miss (even more than deep fried Oreos), is the live music, both as a performer, and as a fan. One of my first formative memories as a musician came at my first street fair as a Granvillian, when I was in 8th grade. I came to see some of my classmates, who had formed the band “Sons of Liberty”, play one of the early timeslots. Sure, the crowd consisted mostly of middle schoolers and immediate family of the performers, but my classmates were up on a real stage, with real lights, playing (mostly) real rock music! The idea that such an event could be accessible to my peers meant that it could be an attainable goal for me as well.

And it was, and for many of my other fellow young musicians. You’d hope to get your start playing one of the early afternoon slots, and if you were good, or brought in lots of people, you might make the big time, and headline one of the nights. I played in a ton of smaller bands in high school, but making that stage was always the top goal. Licking County kind of has a dearth of legit performing opportunities for young people (actually, make that everybody), which only enhanced the glow of those summer lights.

Last year, I finally got that opportunity with Aces High, and I have to admit, it was everything I had hoped it would be. The lights were bright, and there were people filling every bleacher seat, and then some. Some were folks I had never met before, but many more were old familiar faces, which is a great comfort when you’ve been bounced around as much as I have. We’ve had the opportunity to perform at perhaps some more prestigious events, but personally, I’ve never enjoyed playing anywhere more than in front of my hometown friends at the Granville Street Fair. Plus, last year, Granville music legend John Krumm played with us. How cool is that? I humbly submit it is very cool.

Aces High should be starting their set this year in a few hours, and I find myself roughly 2000 miles away here in Tempe Arizona, where I’ll be attending a different street fair. I’m sure there will be fireworks, and live music, and fried things. Some of those fried things may even taste better than what we have back home….but it won’t be the same.

Enjoy the festival this year everybody, and have a safe and happy 4th of July.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Boom de Yada

My friends, the world can be a dark and tragic place.

Our loved ones may get sick
and they may die
sometimes our hearts get broken
and then we cry
we see suffering and senseless wars
and wonder why
and we may forget the wonder
thats still right before our eyes


with deep apologies to our friends at the Discovery Channel( , and XKCD ( , might I suggest a hearty rendition of the boom de yada song? I'll start, and I think if you try writing your own, or even just *thinking* about writing your own, you're going to feel better about most things

I love quoting Anchorman
and Van Morrison's voice
I love good root beer
cause milk is a bad choice
I love the whole world
and all its randomness
boom de yada boom de yada
boom de yada boom de yada

I love America
From Alaska to DC
and I love Brazil
cause its the motherland to me
I love the whole world
except for Michigan
boom de yada boom de yada
boom de yada boom de yada

I love all my friends
and I love my family
even though I gotta wonder
sometimes why they put up with me
I love the whole world
even with its suffering
boom de yada boom de yada
boom de yada boom de yada

I don't know about you, but I feel a lot better about everything, even though my left arm is so sunburned right now I'm expecting to mutate into an X-man in the next few hours from all the UV radiation. If you feel so inclined, post your own boom de yada song. Or not.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Learning a new instrument

So, in addition to working stupid hours here in Arizona over these past few weeks, and trying to avoid getting so sunburned I melt like the Nazis after they opened the Ark of the Covenant, I’ve taken on another important project. I’ve been trying to decide on another instrument to learn.

Don’t get me wrong, the drums have been very good to me. I’ve been playing drums for over a decade now, and I’ve loved most every minute of it (not gonna lie…lugging all that gear was kind of a pain in the ass). However, my apartment just isn’t big enough for my kit, and my mom, whose house I had been using for storage, just moved to Wisconsin….so I had to sell my drumset.

So whats next? I’m certainly not prepared to give my rock star dreams and admit that my future is with ties, keyboards and cubicles, and not snappy fedoras, drumsticks and blues joints. After some research and soul searching, I’ve narrowed my choices to three instruments.

The first is the Piano. I actually took piano lessons before I learned the drums, as part of a deal with my mother to allow drums in the house. Of course, that was an awfully long time ago, so I don’t really remember anything useful, other than how to read music. I was kind of hoping that the learning curve wouldn’t be so steep, since I’ve already trained my hands to do two different things at the same time.

What’s really tempting about learning to play the keys, is that it would allow me to fulfill my ultimate musical fantasy. I’d find a way to sneak into the Salt Lake City Tabernacle (where this heee—uuuge organ is)….I’d sit down at the bench, and when everybody is expecting a hymn…I start playing Green Onions. Do you know how awesome that would be???? I think of doing this every time I see conference on TV.

Actually, wait. Now that I think about it, that may not be a good idea. No Mormon who plays the piano is safe from being asked to play every other Sunday. Best to learn another instrument I’m not allowed to play in church .

Another instrument I’ve been seriously considering is the Tenor Sax. I’ve had a crush on saxes for a while now. In fact, in High School, I checked out a Baritone Sax, hoping that I could teach myself a few riffs. Two weeks later, my friends got around to pointing out that I had been playing with the mouthpiece upside down. Clearly, there is a bit of a learning curve there that I wasn’t used to with the drums.

The trouble is, because the Tenor (and Bari) Sax is such an awesome instrument, nobody wants to sell theirs, and I cannot afford a new one. I was all excited about getting one on ebay a few days ago, but some jerk doubled by bid with three seconds left, when I went to go to the bathroom. Unless somebody wants to write a large check to the Matt Brown Musician Fund, it would appear that plan C is the most feasible.

Plan C is the ol’ standby, the electric guitar. Sure, its almost cliché for me to try and learn the guitar in college, but the benefits are undeniable. Guitars are cheap, portable, and versatile. They aren’t impossible to learn, and nearly every musical group needs at least one. Plus, my roommate happens to be quite a good guitar player, and I bet I could convince him to teach me a few things.

However, two positives stick out above all the others. Firstly, guitars use notes. The importance of this cannot be understated. I’ve been playing the drums for a long time, which is all fine and dandy, but they’re atonal. I never developed music theory knowledge, or much of a sense of pitch (which explains why most drummers are awful singers, myself included). Playing a new instrument would hopefully allow me to gain some understanding of how everything fits together, so I could actually write a song or two.

There is also a rumor going around that girls like guitars. Again, drums are wonderful, but drummers don’t exactly have the best reputation. We’re categorized as meatheads, who are about as subtle as a punch in the face. We hide behind our immobile, monstrous instruments near the back of the stage, and pound on stuff atonally for three hours. I mean, can you imagine how ridiculous a drummer serenading somebody would be? Let me help you.

Girl: (opening window) What is that racket?

Me: (on drumset) I wrote you a love cadence!

Baby you’re so wonderful

You make my heart skip just a little

You’re more beautiful than a..

(ratatatatatatat) flam double paradiddle

See? THAT WOULD NEVER WORK. Drums are not romantic. Love Actually is not real life. In real life, the kid would have locked himself in his room, learned the drums, had a sweet solo in that concert at the end, and the chick would run off with the lead singer or something.

Holy crap, did I just make a reference to a chick flick? Dammit, I’m going to lose my Man License again. Quick-…Monster Trucks! Barbecue! Football! Manual Transmission!

Most of what I wrote there was tongue in cheek…but the point is, there is a whole lot of musical ground that’s unexplored for me. If any of you guys hear of any cheap guitars floating around, lemme know. I’ve got notes to learn.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Breakin down the GOP VP race

Well, my academic obligations are finished, my bags are mostly packed, and I have a few days to chill and relax before I head back to Ohio. I haven’t written in a while, and VP madness seems to be in full swing, so let me handicap the Republican VP choices for you (slow day at work again)

John Huntsman Jr, Gov. Utah.
Pros: Young (46), and quite popular Governor. Huntsman would also provide credibility on economic and domestic issues, something McCain had admitted he knows little about
Cons: Like McCain needs help winning Utah. Utah wouldn’t vote Democratic for a Obama/Joseph Smith ticket.

Bobby Jindal, Gov, Louisiana
Pros: 36-year-old wunderkind already has more domestic political experience than most elderly Washington insiders. Also, he’s the only minority (Indian-American) republican in the entire country, so GOP leadership would love to parade him around.
Cons: Jindal has been governor of a crappy state for like, 3 weeks. Also, remember when McCain lost South Carolina in 2000 because voters were convinced he had a black child? In 2008, they’re going to think he’s RUNNING with one.

Tim Pawlenty, Gov, Minnesota
Pros: Also young, hails from politically competitive upper Midwest, might help McCain steal a democratic state
Cons: Who?

Rob Portman, Former Budget Director, former Congressman, Ohio
Pros: Very competent, wide range of domestic and economic policy experience. Well liked by both parties in Ohio, and could deliver critical swing state.
Cons: Spent past 4 years working on selling Bush’s economic policies. He’s so radioactive right now; he has a tail and 4 eyeballs.

Mike Huckabee, Former Gov, Arkansas
Pros: He’s young, popular with Christian conservatives, and he charms the media. Plus, you tend to smile every time to say the word Huckabee. Try it. See? Its crazy.
Cons: Doesn’t believe in Evolution. Lead sneaking theological smears on Mitt Romney. Was in charge of one of the crappiest states in the union for a decade, in which in failed to get any less crappy. He may be charming, but he’s also batshit insane. Do you want Ned Flanders to be one misplaced McCain heartbeat from the launch codes?

Matt Brown, Very Low Level Government Employee, Ohio
Pros: Very young (21). One of the few possibilities with any minority street cred (Brazilian). Could help deliver critical swing state of Ohio. Popular with young voters. Knows how to work the google on the internet machine.
Cons: Constituently prohibited from taking office of Vice President. Foreign Policy experience consists of a trip to Brazil, and a week camping in Canada. Also, not a Republican.

Mitt Romney, Former Gov of Massachusetts.
Pros: Nationwide name recognition. Perfect Hair. Can speak credibly to Republican audiences on the economy. Only has one wife. Filthy Stinkin’ Rich. Maybe everybody forgot about all that Mormon stuff by now.
Cons: I swear, if Mitt is on the ticket, I’m going inactive until November.

Darth Vader - Galaxy Far Far Away
Pros: Very strong on terrorism and crime. Finds “lack of faith disturbing”. Can totally choke somebody on the Senate floor without actually touching them.
Cons: Dick Cheney already said he isn’t interested.

Semi Serious entry coming soon.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Fear and Loathing in Washington DC

One of my final academic obligations of this internship is to attend some sort of presentation or speech, and write a paper on it. The University had provided me with several speakers I could have written my paper on, but I procrastinated. Now, with less than three weeks to go, it became apparent that I needed to find something on my own.

Luckily for me, I hit paydirt yesterday, when I discovered that Congressional Quarterly (a news website that I compulsively check while at work) was hosting a forum on American’s Infrastructure Wednesday morning, which is when I *didn’t* have to be at work. It seemed perfect on a number of levels:
-It was held at Union Station, which happens to be right next door to both my office, and our classroom-
The keynote speaker was Senator Chuck Hagel (R-NE), who has taken over John McCain’s spot as The Democrat’s Favorite Republican, and featured a few other politicos that I had heard of-
It looked like it was going to be about some nitty gritty policy issues that actually interest me.

Sometimes, people ask me why I don’t have a girlfriend. You just read that I was kind of excited to go to a forum on congressional funding for highways and sewer systems. I’m pretty sure that’s a big part of the reason.

So I get up extra early on my day off, throw on my best suit, and head down the Metro towards the Union Station, for breakfast and mingling. I’ve had to do this “mingling” business a few times since I’ve been here in DC, and I have to admit, I don’t like it. I have 30 min of forced awkward conversations with people in industries that have nothing to do with me, in hope that one will take such a liking to me that they’ll give me a job. It is like a sick, professional version of speed dating. I swear, last time we did this, my fellow interns were ogling over Rob Portman’s business card like it was the phone number of the hottest girl in a bar.

Oh well. Free breakfast right? Can’t be all bad.

I sneak into a chair in the back, sandwiched between a puffy faced man from the Department of Transportation, and an AFL-CIO rep whose hair was so slicked back; he could have been Pat Rielly’s stunt double. Outside of a few, poor bottom-of-the-food-chain congressional aides, I was by far the only guy there under 40. This seems to happen to me all the time.

The Senator was the first to speak, after showing up a few min late, surrounded by posse of overachieving legislative assistants. He rambles on for around 40 minutes, speaking in big, broad themes and avoiding specific policy points like most of us avoid sexually transmitted diseases. He paused twice to make a terrible joke, which the audience felt obligated to laugh at, and then was whisked away to do more important senator things. I was disappointed, but I don’t think he’s one of the Senators famous for oratory masterpieces. He’s a war hero.

After Hagel leaves, the 8 person panel discussion begins. Did any of you guys ever play Simcity2000? Remember the transportation advisor? He used to whine and whine, and if you lowered his budget even one tiny percent, he’d flip out and start blowing up your roads. Do you know who I’m talking about? Please say yes.

Ok. Well, imagine a panel of 7 of these guys, speaking to a crowd of about 200. The way the discussion was framed, the government was being awfully stupid to fund things like our military, education, justice department, etc etc, when sewer systems were in disrepair. If we don’t build more roads, dams, bridges, etc, CHINA WILL AND WE WILL LOSE TO COMMUNSITS. I was unaware that the “highway gap” was actually more important than the “Missile Gap”.

There was one poor, lonely dissenter on the panel. He was part of the American Taxpayers Union, which usually has a pretty knee jerk reaction against any form of government spending or taxation. Normally, groups like this to do not garner sympathy from me; but in this case, I had to make an exception. Here are some sample conversations.
Panelist 1 (Society for people who build highways)- I think we should spend 500 Billion next year on new highways and road related projects

Panelist 2 (Society for people who do things with dams)-that’s just as well, but we also need 100 Billion for dam related projects.

Lonely Dissenter- uh, do we even have that much money to spend? We’re in a war and a recession too….

Everybody else- Seriously. Do you want China to win?

Moderator- How can we pay for all these needed improvements?

Panelist 3 – I think we need to hike up the Gas tax by at least 20 cents. At least.

Panelist 4- I don’t think that’s nearly enough. We should increase it by 30 cents, and then add a quarter tax on bottled water!

Lonely Dissenter-Have you guys not watched CNN in the last two weeks? Working class people are getting screwed on gas prices. Do you think we’re going to vote for even higher gas prices?


Passionate Lobbyist for Construction Industry holding a bat-Lets wait for him outside.

Actually, this gas tax stuff got me thinking. The entire tenor of the discussion focused on educating voters on infrastructure issues, which later deteriorated into barely a codeword for “Voters are stupid, how do we get them to support our stuff?”. Panelists often tried to outdo each other with “lolz voters r dumb” stories. This was a room filled with wealthy think tank fellows, lobbyists, elected officials, and consultants. Some of these guys commute 80 miles round trip to work each day…a hike in the gasoline tax wasn’t going to affect them. It would affect folks back home in Newark, like a lot of the policies that these folks in the beltway cook up.

I’m not saying that the gas tax is bad, or that our nation doesn’t need drastic reinvestments. In fact, me and my roommates have ranted a lot about Hillary Clinton and her gas tax pandering (often with some profanity sprinkled in)….but I can’t shake the feeling that a lot of folks involved in the policy making process and discussion could use a little humility. Maybe not everybody understands the ins and outs of the air traffic control system, or how highways are constructed, but that doesn’t give an excuse to lampoon them, or worse, use political tricks to take advantage of them…just like we don’t want our mechanic to take advantage of us.

Ugh. Too much thinking at 8 AM on my day off

Friday, May 9, 2008

The future of Sports Journalism?

I saw a neat segment on Bob Costas’s sports show on HBO a few days ago. Costas was discussing how sports blogs were changing the way sports journalism worked. The reporters on the program, experienced professionals with credentials, and degrees from prestigious universities, lamented how the tone in the sports world had become more crass, profane, angry, and confrontational, and how the next generation of readers wasn’t going to appreciate their craft.

Bloggers on the program felt that newspaper columnists were just worried about the new influx of competition, and that one didn’t need to have a degree from Northwestern to write “the Indians should have pulled Carmona in the 8th”.

Athletes on the program worried that the now 24/7 news coverage of mundane activities make it impossible for them to function (an adult can’t go out and have a beverage without it appearing on the next day).

Clearly, these issues are not restricted to just sports journalism, but the way we cover the news in general. Is the proliferation of blogs a good thing for sports journalism (or journalism in general)? Can the interests of the traditional media and that of the blogsosphere be reconciled? Can we filter the crap? Lets find out.

Is it inevitable that blogs and newspapers have an adversarial relationship? I’m something of a rarity, in that I’m a 21 year old who loves to read newspapers. One of the absolute highlights of living in Washington DC for me would be getting my Washington Post every weekday, sitting down with my tiny breakfast, and reading some of the best sportswriters (like my man Michael Wilbon), Washington beat writers, and columnists. Even when I’m back home, I make an effort to read the Columbus Dispatch or Newark Advocate when I can, even if they may pale in comparison to the mighty Post. Something about having the paper in my hand, instead of on my tiny monitor…

Most of my peers don’t do that. They get their news from the internet, like, or CNN, or the DrudgeReport, or any of the thousands of other small blogs, or what have you. Internet news is quicker and cheaper, and plays right into our short attention spans. We don’t have time for painstaking analysis or flowery prose. I need the facts, and maybe a clever one liner now, so I can get back to my super busy day. When it comes to spitting out information quickly, and to a large number of people, the internet is the best option.

That may be well and good, but what about the quality? Many point out (correctly, in my mind), that internet blog writers have no credentials, no editors, and little to any accountability. If people are unable to ascertain my identity, tracking me down for a libel suit would be expensive and difficult. Many writers take advantage of this, and dedicate their websites to content that might shock even the hardest radio shock jock. Perhaps most importantly though….a lot of blogs, be they sports, political, teenage livejournals…they’re just awful. They wouldn’t get a C from any self-respecting teacher at Granville High School.

Does this matter? I don’t have any formal press credentials, although I’ve taken journalism classes in college, and I’ve had my work published before. Because of this, I can’t get in to anybody’s locker room, or press box, or campaign bus. But does this mean that I can’t contribute? Certainly I don’t need courtside seats to see that Delonte West might be missing a defensive assignment, or that a particular political strategy may not be working.

Plus, there may be something to be said for having that freedom. I don’t have to be objective, or pretend that I’m not a part of the story. I’m a big Cleveland Cavaliers fan, and if I’m going to write about professional basketball, I’m going to write from that perspective. When I blog, I have the freedom to insert my own personal feelings, experiences and emotions into a story, something that flies against everything you were taught in print journalism 101. Does this mean that if a newspaper gave me a press pass and 10 bucks, and asked me to cover a football game, or a council meeting, that I wouldn’t do it? Of course not, I’d go in a heartbeat....I’m just saying that you can provide quality information without that. If you want to see what I mean, check out, and compare it with the Newark Advocate sports coverage. I think you might find some useful info at LCS too (although in the interests of full disclosure, I admit that I do contribute to that site).

To me, this means that smaller, nimbler, internet-based news sources, and larger, more conventional news sources, ideally, should work in concert with one another. I think the best blogs bring in both their own individual analysis, and the best of other sources. My absolute favorite sports blog is Henry Abbot’s TrueHoop, which you can read on In addition to writing his own stories, Abbot links to what sportswriters across the county are saying about basketball issues. Its great for the fan (like me), because I get a whole lot of different perspectives on issues, and I can get a chance to read stories that I might miss if I only read national sources. It’s great for the writers, because they get a chance to expand their audience. Popular political/news blogs, like the Drudge Report, and Tegan Goddard’s PoliticalWire, follow the same format.

Some newspapers are starting to incorporate blogs as well. The Newark Advocate (my hometown paper) has recently set up a function to allow readers to write blog entries, hosted on the newspaper website. Maybe this sort of thing can help papers without a lot of resources to greatly expand their news coverage. Maybe it can help launch writing of quality readers. Maybe it’s a waste of bandwidth. Who knows, but it’s an experiment that I approve of.

So hopefully the future of media isn’t all doom and gloom. Everybody knows, there is a ton of crap on the internet…but its also a meritocracy. The best (or funniest) writing usually finds itself an audience, and the worst stuff is doomed to hide in a tiny niche, or disappear, just like regular newspapers. Hopefully, all kinds of writers can see that there is a partnership between the two media formats will give us the best coverage, and the best information.