Jesus Christ in a cubicle with a dog-eared copy of the Associated Press Stylebook in his shaking hands. I know child pornography is the issue here, but, but, but … I just can’t seem to get over the subterranean depths, the obnoxious levels of ineptitude, to which the mighty Philadelphia Inquirer has sunk.
The Philadelphia Inquirer, an alleged newspaper which has seen its share of ups and downs in 184 years of publishing, an institution which once piled up 17 Pulitzer Prizes in a 15-year span, sucks desiccated donkey balls. This I allege.
Once more, with feeling:
“A former Delaware County middle school principal has been charged with allegedly possessing child pornography, the U.S. Attorney’s office announced Tuesday.”
I’m sorry. You get the point which I’ve taken pains to belabor. A former middle school principal in the Philadelphia suburbs was charged with possession of child pornography Tuesday. What he wasn’t charged with was allegedly possessing child pornography. Newspapers, stung insensate by the devastating 1-2 combination of the Internet’s rise and the economy’s fall, are so petrified of stumbling into a venomous pit of libel attorneys they use the word “allegedly” like hookers use condoms.
Can I get an editor?
Oh, yeah. An editor. There’s no way the “kiddie porn” headline wasn’t written by some douchebag editor. Kiddie porn. How cute. I guess that’s what passes for edgy nowadays. I’m not a touchy-feely, politically correct type, either. I love the word “retard,” for instance. But kiddie porn. Jesus. Perhaps the web editor should’ve edited the story more carefully instead of dreaming up the kiddie porn headline.
Why do I hate the Inquirer? I can’t even count the ways. I suppose my own miserable standing as a failed journalist can’t help but fuel my antipathy. Caveat emptor, baby. Bitter? Me?
My mom still gets the paper, and I love my mom. And I appreciate her faithful support of a decaying industry and a newspaper that stinks like an abandoned morgue in a summer heat wave.
This is a paper that, even in an era wherein newspapers are on their collective knees and are spitting up blood on city streets, still has a paid daily circulation of more than 250,000 readers. And it sucks. It should be better, even by the woeful standards of the age.
Its sports section is peopled, for the most part (sincere apologies to those I’m about to slander), by a collection of misanthropic half-wits too angry to see through their own bile and too lazy to do much more than jerk off and compliment themselves on a job well done.
Yeah, I’m bitter. I know a superfluous “allegedly” hardly rises to the level of a mortal sin. It is, however, symbolic of the wretchedness which suffuses the Inquirer. I didn’t see any of the area’s smaller, less-glamorous and still wretched papers make the same mistake.
Like I said, I apologize to the hard-working, decent and talented rank-and-file members of the Inquirer staff. I’m sure they got a stable of able editors who never had a chance to excise allegedly. We’re living through the Internet age, and shit tends to get thrown up onto the web with little vetting. Nonetheless, I know the crack web producer at the News Tribune of Tacoma would’ve rejected that “allegedly” with the efficiency of Bill Russell erasing a Jerry West layup. But that son of a bitch is special.
If you want to read a succinct and hilarious sketch of the decline and fall of newspapers, check out this. My favorite part, better even than the expensed blow job, is the part about the myopic hippos. Awesome.
And, just as an aside, we’re all atwitter here at the family compound. Turns out the dickhead at the upper left, in addition to being a confessed collector of child pornography, was my sister’s asshole boss for seven years.
Yep, old Troy Czukoski, who has copped to being in possession of more than 150 photographs of adolescent boys engaging in explicit sexual activity, was a boy wonder principal who treated the teachers under him like so much dog shit.
And so we’ve reached the stage where superintendents, school board members and administrators from Phoenixville to Media are in full-court cover-their-ass mode. Don’t be surprised if more sordid details emerge about a principal who long about a year ago was abruptly shifted to a position out of harm’s way at one school district before he somehow landed a similar, high-paying job at another school district. Good on you, Rose Tree Media.
That’s a story for another time. Allegedly.
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