“Losing the Rocky, it feels funny,” said KHOW 630 radio talk show host Craig Silverman, “and not in a good way.”
For the Rocky Mountain West, we no longer enjoy two papers slugging it out to report all the news that’s ‘fit to print’. That’s like watching a boxing match, but one of the boxers walked out of the ring. In this case, both papers, like a Pony Express rider, spurred each other toward excellence.
Everyone benefited from outstanding journalism, investigative pieces, local news, sports, national and world news. We enjoyed reading about our local high schools and colleges. We enjoyed our sons and daughters winning sports events or academic awards.
Tomorrow won’t seem quite right without the Rocky Mountain News lying in my driveway inside that blue plastic bag. Yes, the Denver Post continues, but I will miss Vince Carroll and his exceptional cadre of writers. They kept me on my toes and I prodded them to address my issues. Many of you wrote letters to the editor over the years.
A newspaper remains the pulse and the life blood of a community. Rocky’s demise means we all lost a bit of ourselves. Yes, we gnashed our teeth at the editorial page writers with whom we disagreed, but we cared and we jumped into the discussion.
The big question: why did the Rocky die? Who killed it? How did they kill it? Why did they kill it?
If you look around the country—the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, San Francisco Examiner, Dallas Morning News and several other papers teeter on the edge of extinction.
As a former teacher, I watched the United States devolve from a highly educated society in 1965 where 95 percent of high school kids graduated with a diploma to a country of 40 million functionally illiterate citizens and non-citizens. In cities like Denver, three years ago, 67 percent of high school kids flunked out or dropped out. Why? Denver Public Schools suffer 85 languages with students from 100 countries. I watched our English language sink into a polyglot of languages from immigrants that did not invest in becoming Americans. Why would someone from Iran, Iraq, Syria or Somalia be interested in reading the Rocky Mountain News? They boot up their computers or stick their ears into their cell phones to read or listen about news from their home countries. Mark Krikorian of www.cis.org called them “transnationals” that do not assimilate into America fully.
Across the nation, as reported by Brian Williams at NBC Nightly News last June, he reported that cities like Detroit, MI suffered a 76 percent flunk out rate from their high schools! How in the name of academic excellence can 76 out of 100 kids flunk out of high school? Answer: Detroit transformed into a foreign country with no cultural propensity for education. Legal and illegal immigrants swarm into that city from the Middle East and Mexico where education plays a minimal role in their cultures. The USA imports 200,000 immigrants from third world countries with scant educations every 30 days. No wonder less and less readership buys papers across the USA.
Out the next added 100 million Americans, in excess of 70 million will be third world immigrants. We may expect the deaths of more newspapers at new arrivals do not buy or read newspapers. Ironically, most of those aforementioned newspapers advocate for unlimited immigration, which, in the end, will bring about their own deaths.
For anyone that watches the comedian Jay Leno as he "Jay Walks" and asks simple questions to people on the streets of Los Angeles, we must wonder if anyone in American can spell his or her own name let alone name of the first president of our country. Does anyone read anymore?
Additionally, often, across the nation, citizens no longer trust the main stream media. With the advent of citizen ‘bloggers’ who write well and fulfill the ‘honesty’ aspect of reporting and editorials—a whole new journalistic dynamic evolved—whereby they told the ‘truth’ from the local perspective without ‘political correctness’ (lie or slant by omission) mandated by major newspapers. What a concept!
Thus, the Internet became more valuable and effective. Much like the ‘swarm effect’ that you see in the autumn as birds search for food, they ‘swarm’ toward food ‘niches’ that sustain them. Readers ‘swarm’ toward writers and groups that ‘speak’ to them while heeding their needs.
Essentially, men like John Temple didn’t address the actual problems facing Denver, Colorado. He never, repeat, never exposed the cascading consequences of mass illegal immigration. He overlooked the crime, corruption, drunken driving deaths, schools overrun, medical systems bankrupted and prisons overloaded. Temple failed to address what Coloradans suffered. In the end, he lost his butt while the paper lost its life.
In 2009, that same ‘political correctness’, much like cancer, spread until it killed its host. The death of any republic stems from the death of integrity for its citizens. In 1860, Mark Twain called such actions “silent assertion” which was the “shabbiest of all lies whereby the media obfuscated, ignored, suppressed, clouded or denied a social wrong or something going badly in our society.”
Fortunately, Internet writers fill the cavernous abyss missed by the main stream media by providing straight forward news pieces and op-eds. Readers flip on their computer with the world at their fingertips.
In the end, it’s all Darwinian! Either you serve or feed your social system or that system will feed you to the dogs!
Thus, the Rocky died and the rest of us write on! Yippee ki yea from Buffalo Bill, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid! As John Wayne said, “The morning sun rises over the eastern plains, promising a new day with a fresh start. It’s up to us to take whichever path that leads to the high road.”