Why It Really Would Be “Great” If the Star-Ledger Died

Newspapers at least have picked up on the flap over Rutgers Athletic Director Julie Hermann looking forward to the demise of New Jersey’s largest newspaper:

Hermann, who came to the school in May in the wake of the Mike Rice scandal, recently spoke of her disdain for the paper in a classroom full of journalism students.

“If they’re not writing headlines that are getting our attention, they’re not selling ads — and they die,” said Hermann, according to a student in the Media Ethics and Law class who posted her comments on Muckgers.com. “And the Ledger almost died in June, right?

When a student told her “they might die again next month,” Hermann responded “That would be great. I’m going to do all I can not to give them a headline to keep them alive.”

In response Steve Politi of the Star-Ledger, who once wished Hermann fired, came back with:

“Forget, for a minute, what you think about the newspaper. It doesn’t matter if you think its Rutgers’ coverage stinks, or its news coverage is biased, or if its columnists are too smug for their own good.  What matters is this: The Star-Ledger employs a lot of people. And if the Rutgers athletic director thinks it would be great if it closed down, then she relishes the idea of seeing those people lose their livelihood, their benefits and maybe more.”

Yes she does and so do I.

Extending Politi’s reasoning could not the same argument have been made for keeping alive once-thriving institutions like blacksmithing, haberdashery or, to take it to the grotesque extreme, Auschwitz?  They all employed a lot of people.  When a service is not needed, if it ever was, should not its practitioners move on to where they would serve a useful purpose rather than hang on for their own selfish benefit forcing society to subsidize them?

The Star-Ledger had layoffs back in 2009 and the real journalists among those kept at their craft in other forums, newjerseynewsroom and njspotlight, and those who followed them benefited.  Perhaps a livelihood based on covering Snooki and the Koch brothers to distraction while allowing corruption to flourish behind an opaque politician/lobbyist/advertiser filter should be lost.

4 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Anonymous on April 9, 2014 at 5:15 pm

    Auschwitz? Way over the top john. that is why the star ledger canned you as a blogger.


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