Business, imitiationg life, imitating art.

In a scenario beyond even the cynicism of the final series (this optimism apart) of The Wire, the Washington Times confirmed today that it was cutting its entire sports section. This has been known for a while, but still…

Local rival the Washington Post has been very gracious. Clearly, the beat writers were competing with each other, but often ended up spending more time with their rival reporters than their own staff.The first comment on Dan Steinberg’s blog is a note of thanks from Harrison Goodman of the Times for his kindness.

Set up in 1982, in contrast to what was seen as the Post’s “liberal bias” (like most US papers, liberal applies only to its groovy stance on social issues – economically, they’re all to the right of Genghis Khan), the Times was an odd bird. It was, seriously, founded by the leader of the Moonies to combat communism (!) and some of their editorials read like absolute satire. It would be churlish to deny the right-wing a share of the media in Washington DC but, let’s just say, now sport has been cut, I won’t be reading their paper any more. It strikes me as strange that, in times of newspaper decline, that anyone would cut the most consistent attraction to its readership.

To make it worse, the Times Redskins reporters were absolutely excellent. All Washington fans owe David Elfin for persistently and eloquently harrassing the Hall of Fame voters into finally allowing ‘Skins legend Art Monk be honoured. Leaving aside the idiocy of having to make a case for Monk for a second, the applause from the thousands of fans who travelled up to hear his (admittedly, rubbish) speech was probably the high point of the recent, crappy, decade for ‘Skins fans.

Elfin and the likes of Ryan O’Halloran will doubtless find employment, given their body of work and I hope the rest of the staffers fo too. I certainly won’t read the Washington Times ever again (how’s that for capitalism and consumerism in action Rev. Moon?).


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