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  Breaking the Cycle
News Readers Must End Abusive Relationship

If a publication’s loathsomeness can be gauged by subtracting its quality from its profitability, the Buffalo News is quite possibly the most loathsome paper in the world. The paper’s unbridled malevolence toward the people of Western New York, however, escapes the notice of many by its clever and dedicated utilization of utter banality. But the News has a problem: their staff is replete with shitty writers, unable to consistently deliver truly skillful bullshit, the kind you can find in Time magazine, for instance. Cracks can be found in this adherence to blandness, gaps which expose the Buffalo News for what it truly is, a public relations firm dedicated to advancing the goals of a corrupt oligarchy of bankers, developers and politicians gorging at the public troth. As Buffalo’s condition grows more desperate and the News strains further to distract us from the vampires draining our necks, we believe these gaps are widening.

It therefore warms our hearts when we recognize the effect spreading to the News’ editorial pages. It seems as if reviled News journalistic charity case Mary Kunz Goldman herself might have penned last Sunday’s appalling solicitation for our local sleazy Tom Delay crony Tom Reynolds. The editorial, amusingly titled “More Help from Reynolds,” began with this profoundly dumb imagery: “Buffalo Niagara is approaching a fork in the road, with one fork leading to increased success and the other circling back to repeat an unproductive recent past.” That’s one forked up metaphor.

Other than being an obvious fantasy and an unintentionally surreal attempt at a shopworn cliché, this “road less traveled” crap is a tactic every miserable conman uses to keep his mark snowed. “Forget the past, the future is ours; just trust me this one last time and things will work out all right.” The News assumes its readers’ trust, despite abusing that trust whenever it suits their elitist agenda. Trust us, they say, while Reynolds’ associates are collapsing around him, Tom Reynolds is a good guy and he’ll come through for us. Forget the fact that he embodies everything wrong with the Republican leadership—its war in Iraq, impending attack on Iran, outsourcing of the local economy, the corruption of Congress embodied by Tom Delay and Jack Abramoff, tax cuts for the rich, etc.

The News pitch for, and by extension to, Reynolds is for the same handouts to their banker and developer pals that have ravaged this region for the last twenty years. The editorial was a simplistic appeal for the corrupt Congressional porker Reynolds to make sure he shares his corrupt Congressional booty with the local pigs the News favors. They mention the new Federal Courthouse three times, along with the waterfront and Bass Pro, devoting a total of one sentence to the actual people that inhabit this region. After a litany of desired handouts for business, they add, “Not to mention the perennial chant of jobs, jobs, jobs.” Yeah, not to mention because they rarely do. It’s not part of the agenda. You think that a Courthouse is going to create jobs? Yeah, two kinds of jobs, prisoner and prison guard.

On another level, the editorial was little more than a shameless call for the Reynolds to pad the News’ bank account. The message to Reynolds was the tacit threat that if he wants their endorsement again, he’ll have to work for it. After all, the mighty K Street Congressman might be in a tough race if challenger Jack Davis’ second shot at Reynolds can gain any traction in the local media. Politicians abhor a fair fight, and good old boy Tom doesn’t want that to happen. He wants to make sure any attention Davis gets will be the advertising he has to buy from the News.

The News makes a correct observation at the end of the piece, that Reynolds’ district is an abomination that they call “tortured and carved…to maximize his Republican supporters,” as if this just happened in a vacuum. The idea that the News was not complicit in this gerrymandering outrage is just another convenient historical rewrite. The News is never to blame. They were cheerleaders for NAFTA which took our jobs, they were cheerleaders for Giambra who bankrupted the county, they were cheerleaders for Adelphia who raided the public trust, and they were cheerleaders for a pointless war that killed and maimed out soldiers. The News is a shameless shill for the powerful, a tool of exploitation.

Trust in the News, or indeed any mainstream conglomerate-owned media outlet, is a concept that by now should be obsolete. It only works because we want to deny the truth. It is the same appeal that every abusive spouse gives to his broken and bleeding victim when trying to get more from the destroyed relationship. When the despicable bastard comes crawling back after yet another whipping there is only one rational response. This time will not be different. It is not ever going to get any different. The relationship needs to be over. –PF



Idiot Box by Matt Bors
Big Fat Whale by Brian McFadden
Perry Bible Fellowship by Nicholas Gurewitch
Bob the Angry Flower by Stephen Notely
Deep Fried by Jason Yungbluth

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