2.10.2009

Goodbye Boston Globe

I have been a daily subscriber to the Boston Globe for many years. It is delivered to my home around 5 o'clock each morning, and is thus an integral part of my morning routine: up at 5:30am, let dogs out, get paper off the front porch, make coffee and some eggs, read paper front to back.

I continued my subscription despite the paper's strong leftward lean because I valued the local, national and world news (however slanted), the opinion page, the coverage of the local sports teams, and lately because I could count on the paper to be a nearly endless source of blog material.

But I just can't stomach it any longer.

Since Obama won the presidency, the din of leftist self-congratulation grew louder, and by the inauguration it was overwhelming. Undisguised praise for the stimulus bill and urgent calls for climate change action spilled off the opinion pages and into the "real" news. Not that this didn't happen regularly before, but now every page of the paper--from the international news to the entertainment section--was dripping with a cynical smugness that said "just look what we can do now that we're in power!" The only part of the paper that escaped it was the sports section.

Last week, I called Globe customer service and happily canceled my subscription.

In the interest of full disclosure, this decision was also a financial one, as I'm trimming expenses in all phases of my life. But I would have once considered getting the Boston Globe every morning to be a worthwhile expenditure that I would have made sure to budget for. Now it is simply too much of a stinking pile of propaganda for me to waste my money.

I'm not sure what my new morning routine will be. Will I cozy up to the laptop with my cup of french roast and read the feeds from the Wall Street Journal? Perhaps I'll use the time to take a bite out of my reading list. But one thing's for sure: no more Boston Globe.

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

I stopped newspaper subscriptions a long time ago. I'm surprised it has lasted this long. Egon, in the movie, "Ghostbusters" predicted print would be dead over 20 years ago.

What I do now is simply log all the Objectivist and free-market websites on my Google Reader, among a few other news/policy sites that I happen to like, and check that every morning. I'm sure your local newspaper has a website. And if not, I wouldn't doubt that you could access it through the boston globe website.

The only periodicals I purchase now are The Objective Standard (which I may simply get an online subscription) and Mental Floss.

Mrs. C. August said...

But, now what will I use to cover the table when the kids want to paint or do glitter glue??? I think your decision was rather *selfish* :)

C. August said...

Anon, you're right that I can read most of the Globe online, and I probably will check it occasionally, but there is so little of value there that I'll concentrate on the few news outlets I actually like.

Most of my news I get online, but I spend so much time in front of a computer that the morning print edition was a nice respite. That's why I think I'll probably start reading a book in the morning.

C. August said...

MCA, that's a good point that I hadn't considered. But remember that we still get the evening paper from our town, which should be more than enough as long as we don't throw them awa... I mean recycle them.

Mrs. C. August said...

Oooh! MCA! I like that! It's like I'm a Beastie Boy!

LB said...

You can subscribe to receive a daily Globe headlines newsletter (I think this link ought to take you to where you can sign up): http://www.boston.com/bostonglobe/email_headlines

That's what I do and it makes me less queasy knowing that I'm not paying for it, although I am probably contributing to its bottom line somehow. For that, I try to fight against the extreme leftists by posting rational comments for individual rights at least 4 times a week.

It's actually a fun/good exercise to try to make your point pithy, interesting, and without resorting to name-calling. I think I'm getting much better at it.

I also find my local weekly paper is enough to cover my secondary newspaper needs.

Anonymous said...

We have canceled our local paper a number of times. For some reason, they keep delivering it. They once called us to renew and I told them that they were still delivering it and I didn't want the paper any longer.

When they stopped having a reporter for my favorite sports team, the paper lost all value to me.

I find that I can't even read the news recently. It is completely void of substantive news or thoughtful analysis. The good news - I have made a large dent in a number of history books I have been wanting to read. I even had time to tear into some Bastiat recently. Always good stuff - and pretty timely for fighting against socialists in 1850 or 2009.

Burgess Laughlin said...

This might be an excellent time to try an experiment: forego all dedicated news sources for awhile. No radio, TV, newspapers (paper or online), or magazines.

See what happens.

After doing that for two months (while I was a student in a local university, at the age of 57), I discovered:
1. My blood pressure dropped.
2. I had more time to think and read more demanding works.
3. My mind wasn't cluttered with the "chatter" of semi-information about faraway, short-term events I couldn't affect.
4. Most interestingly to me as a lifelong student of intellectual history was discovering these facts:
4a. "News" is (supposed) information that someone wants to tell me for reasons of their own.
4b. When acquaintances, asked me--"Did you hear the news about x?"--I could ask them simple questions (Exactly what happened, who was involved, what was the cause, how was it resolved?), and most of the time these transmission-belts of "news" did not understand what they were conveying. They could not even recount the simplest facts. They were emoting. That shows how uncritical many news receivers are.
4c. I could generally (not always) more efficiently find out what I needed to know by simply asking people I knew who had expertise in a particular field (a tax accountant, a physician, etc.). This is a positive act of seeking the news rather than being bombarded by it.

There was more. It was a very valuable experiment. Now I do survey the news daily, but I remind myself of what my particular purpose is and that mutes the disgust I often felt before. An example purpose is: Is there anything in the news today that would indicate that my lifetime investment strategy is not the right one? (The answer is almost always "no," but I like to test the strategy with each new "crisis").

Congratulations to you for changing your life to fit your values. Most people just drift. You aren't. Yours is a "designer life," so to speak. That is rare.

Mike N said...

I cancelled my subscriptions to the Detroit papers some time ago. Now if I want one I'll buy it at the stand. I haven't got my news from TV in several years. 99% of my news comes from the web.

We must remember that not all of those mindless twits that ran around in the 60s and 70s shouting free love, peace and 'I'd rather be red than dead' didn't all move into politics and academe. Many became media reporters, editors and publishers. And now they relish the idea of an omnipotent government able to force their nihilistic whims on the selfish American people. I think some editors would jump at the chance to annoint an American furher.

Kyle Haight said...

I cancelled my newspaper subscription in 2003 when I bought my house and moved. I found I didn't miss it, so I never resubscribed. Recently, when my goldfish died, I had to fight down the temptation to call the paper and ask them if they could sign me up for one day because I needed fishwrap.

I second Burgess' observations about the benefits of not immersing oneself in the concrete details of the news on a daily basis.