The “News” of the Day. . .

I am not a journalist.

I don’t gather the facts, condense them into a cogent story, and report on the issues that effect our lives – and I certainly don’t have the refined palate for discerning which carefully crafted editorial opinions will play to the masses – because, fortunately, my daily bread doesn’t depend on my ability to sell newspapers.

At best, I’m a dilettante commentator – a dull theorist who opines on the news and newsmakers of the day.

A critic, who, as Teddy Roosevelt said, points out where the strongman stumbled, or how the doer of deeds could have done them better – an incessant blowhard with internet access and an opinion about everything.

But, at the end of the day, I get my news, and the fodder for these screeds, the same places you do – and many of my friends and neighbors are getting increasingly suspicious of the plausibly deniable lack of local news in The Daytona Beach News-Journal during this election cycle.

Oh, there’s a smattering of area stories to nibble on – but nothing of substance.

On Saturday, I opened my copy of the Palm Beach Post/Daytona Beach News-Journal and was treated to all the homogenized “news” that is fit to print in this foul year 2020 – a dreary amalgam of coronavirus coverage that positions essentially the same story over-and-over again in a slightly different light.

Repetitive front page gloom-and-doom stories about COVID-19 which continue to expose the ineptitude at all levels of government, an inconsistent tally of “new” infection numbers that even the Florida Department of Health now admits are sketchy, and more maudlin hand-wringing over reopening schools, etc., etc., etc.

When I turned to what passes for the “editorial” page, I was met with some Pam Beach Post horseshit about the Orwellian benefits of rewriting the events of the past to controlling the narrative of history, complete with quotes by some uber-woke “progressive consultant” (whatever the hell that is) advocating the removal of historical statuary and monuments because, to turn a phrase, progressives seem “Ever eager to exploit a cultural rift” in their violent push for “social change” – which is beginning to look a whole lot like anarchy to me.

Now, I don’t know about you, but I can name numerous important issues that are having a detrimental impact on the lives and livelihoods of Halifax area residents – stories that deserve more than a passing glance by our newspaper of record.

Instead, The Daytona Beach News-Journal chooses to fill its pages with redundant gibberish about the importance of wearing a mask, washing your hands, and practicing social distancing – coupled with editor Pat Rice’ ominous lecture lamenting the fact face coverings have become part of a “culture war” – a divisive battle the ownership of his newspaper has encouraged for months.

On Sunday, we learned (through a piece originating from the Minneapolis Star Tribune?) that 3M has investigated thousands of reports of N95 mask fraud and counterfeiting, were bored to tears by the impacts of coronavirus on rural Oregonians, and yawned at an editorial cartoon taking the governor of Georgia to task for banning mask mandates.

Then, we were treated to a Community Voices piece by a medical doctor that began, “…wear a mask and encourage others to do the same. Who knew that wearing a mask could become such a divisive issue,” and ended with “Please, wear a mask, wash your hands and maintain social distancing.”

Got it.  Thanks, Doc. . .

Is there anyone in the known universe who does not know the benefit of wearing a mask at this point in the pandemic?

And is there anyone who does not question why infection rates continue to soar in the face of government mask mandates and closures?

I’m asking.

Yet, with what appears (at least to me) to be near 100% mask compliance in local stores and indoor gathering places – we are still being harangued, 24/7, by media outlets flogging the importance of wearing masks – while some local politicians who are running for reelection continue to squeeze even more publicity out of unenforceable mask mandates by adding fines.

In turn, the News-Journal continues its incessant editorial push for stronger, crueler, more onerous and severe sanctions for the insignificant number of the New Monarchy’s subjects who will not be forced to cover their face by the diktat of some overwrought city council. . .

Whatever.

There was a time in this country (about four short months ago) when people could still be trusted to do the right thing, for the right reason, if they were given credible information by recognized public health experts without being beaten into submission by the tag team of nanny state proponents and the progressive media.

I hope our “local” newspaper will come to the conclusion that this obsessive-compulsive repetition will eventually cease to be persuasive – the argument, even for important public health practices, becomes weaker as people become less receptive, less critical, and simply ignore the message altogether.

Again, I’m not a newspaper editor, but perhaps its time The Daytona Beach News-Journal realizes that there are equally important stories here in our own backyard that need their journalistic attention during a local election.

Now is the time for probative questions – and a demand for hard answers – by those seeking to retain their high office.

And I don’t mean some half-ass “virtual debate” where candidates regurgitate canned answers to questions like, “What’s your favorite color?”

In my view, this laser focus on masking, and obviously redundant filler from outside USA Today affiliates, gives the impression of a strategic diversion from the core civic issues that continue to plague Volusia County governments during a time when incumbent politicians should be explaining themselves.

7 thoughts on “The “News” of the Day. . .

  1. Anecdotal evidence is unreliable. You see “nearly 100%” mask compliance in stores; I was in a DeLand gas station yesterday and was the only customer, of about 10 in the store, to be wearing a facial covering. That included a woman with 2 very young children in line behind me, directing the kids to run down one aisle or another to complete her shopping tasks for her while she held her place. The cashier was inexperienced, and I walked out after 5 minutes without getting closer to the register. Covidiots abound out there. That’s why we are a hot spot.

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  2. Not sure what local stores & indoor gathering places you are referring to, but the ones I frequent are not even close to 100% compliance.

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  3. I’m so happy you addressed our lack of a “local” newspaper. It’s a joke. They’ve fired or retired OUR local reporters and editors. My gosh, they can’t even get their spelling correct! I don’t know about the rest of you, but if I wanted to read USA Today, the Palm Beach Post, the Gainesville Sun I’d buy them! Bunch of cheap bastards.

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  4. Welcome to Gannett corporate world. I predicted this in previous comments. Reporters and photographers are expensive. Reprinting press releases and using stuff from other newspapers is way cheaper. There will be an even bigger barrage of Trump is bad stuff. Guns are bad. Cops are bad. Jails are bad and expensive. Statues are bad. Income taxes are good. Illegal aliens are good. Felons are misunderstood and mail in voting is good. Ballot fraud is unheard of. Finally, the editorial endorsing Joe Biden will come out. It will be written by people who know better, but have to endorse the plagiarist Chinese sellout Ukranian blackmailer because he’s a Democrat.

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  5. Thank you for this article, I was a faithful daily Journal reader for years since I moved here in 99. But it isn’t worth purchasing anymore. I used to love the local section especially because I got to know what was going on in all the different sections of town. I never enjoyed reading USA today because it’s so one-sided and the stories are not interesting and now that’s exactly what the News journal is. The only thing interesting in the USA today is the state by state list of events and we don’t even get that kind of information about all of us in the Daytona paper.

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  6. Right on Barker.Lived in West Palm Beach for 8 years and for the last 4 years in Ormond Beach.I know Gannett is taking 220 local newspapers into the ground after the Gatehouse merger.Transparency is gone in both papers with the cost of subscription are stupid as you no longer see any newspapers on peoples driveways.Circulation in 2019 for the Post 39.000.for theJournal 29.000 and both going down.Post has always been a Dem rag and supported all losers in 2016.Journal is just boring with a few reporters and a three sentence story of a car crash on 95 and will update but the update is the next day with 2 day old news.I give Pat Rice 2 more years before the shut down.PS learned about Derrick Henrys past 4 years ago and tried a follow up on the Journal and no hard investigation as he got a free pass .Local cable from Orlando give better news like Fox 35 and Click Orlando

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  7. It is extremely disappointing how the News Journal has become just another version of USA Today. Page after page, section after section of liberal articles and viewpoints written predominately by nationally syndicated writers. Opinion pieces consistently laying blame or expressing shock at conservatives no matter the topic.
    I buy a newspaper to read about current events. Not to be inundated with one-sided opinion pieces.
    I miss the old format in which local news, written by local journalists, dominated the paper and national news was delegated to a few pages. A direct opposite of the format we see today.

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