Update: Leading GOP fundraiser jokes about Obama being killed:
D.A. King, who is either the author or inspiration for some of the comments, is simply wrong about the "mortgages to illegal aliens." The comments are racist on their face, and devoid of facts. If you Google Zamarripa and mortgages, you find King's fable endlessly repeated on ultra-right-wing, extremist, hate websites.
It's worth mentioning that the racist comments below come from those who cower behind anonymity. For them, screen names are a modern-day version of a white sheet.
The truth is that anyone can get a mortgage in this country, if they financially qualify. There is no citizenship requirement for property ownership.
What Zamarripa's United Americas Bank -- which, by the way, is a bank that has passed all regulatory inspections -- did was to insure that all mortgage applicants could PROVE their income and could PROVE they paid taxes. Let me repeat that for the slow-witted: United insisted its customers PROVE their credit-worthiness AND that they PAID TAXES. That's a crime?
Meanwhile, many, many banks did neither, and especially in not insisting on proof of income contributed to the housing crisis and mortgage fraud scandals.
The tax ID number is for non-resident aliens, who may or may not be here illegally.
As for Zam supporting giving drivers licenses to illegal aliens, let's think about that. They're here, they drive. I'd much rather have people with licenses and insurance on the highways.
The real issue with some of the comments is that the writers are racist. Sorry, no way to be polite about it. There is no discernible difference between their sentiments and other "white nationalists" and "aryans" I've written about over the years. (See: http://atlanta.creativeloafing.com/gyrobase/Content?oid=oid%3A206566, or http://atlanta.creativeloafing.com/gyrobase/Content?oid=oid%3A142269 )
If Zam should run for mayor, having opponents such as D.A. King and his crowd would be a plus for the candidate.
Jay, not sure about your confusion. If any entity currently called a newspaper is going to survive, it will likely do so by totally migrating to the web in the not-too-distant future (with the possible exceptions of the national newspapers, whose print life may be a little longer). No one has figured out the financial magic bullet for that migration. I think all publications face huge hurdles. I believe CL has a better chance than some, and the basis of that belief is informed knowledge about the company's game plan. That's knowledge I have as a shareholder in the company, and it's proprietary. I'm not completely sure any print publication can survive the migration to online, CL included. But I think we're better positioned as an industry, compared to the dailies, and within the alternative industry, I think CL is ahead of the pack. Again, that's no guarantee, and like many in the company (especially among the editors) I don't think we're making the best decisions in terms of content. On the circulation, the weekly print distribution is about 120,000, and it varies based on marketing considerations. The monthly cume is about 800,000. Almost all of the circulation is inside the perimeter; thus the regional growth doesn't directly correlate with CL's circ. Yes, if you want to pay for a mail subscription, you can, but 99.99 percent of CL's distribution is free. Email me if you want to continue this.
On last two comments. Tuck isn't an ombudsman, which means (or should mean) in the context of newspapers that she has a contract that guarantees employment for a certain period so that she can report without fear or favor of her bosses. She isn't anything like that. Her job is spin.
Jay, don't get me wrong. I'm not at all confident any of the newspapers will survive. I think alternatives, including the Loaf, have deep institutional problems. Generally speaking, they were every bit as bad as dailies in seeing what was over the horizon.
Moreover, they have abandoned much of their heritage; they are no longer the voices of national dissent. Indeed, the largest group, Village Voice Media (whose name comes from the granddaddy of dissent) flees from any sign of national debate; sucking up to Bush is due, at least in part, to anti-trust problems VVM ran into with the Justice Department.
What I argue is that the Loaf and many other alternatives don't own the huge printing factories and fleets of trucks that the dailies do. It's the difference between renting and owning a house -- much easier to cancel a lease than sell a home.
Add to that two other points: The Loaf has long been engaged in the migration to the web. And, Media Audits and other similar research vehicles show a stable audience even for the Loaf's print product -- the one I described, young, educated, etc. The dailies claim of expanded readership, based on combining print and online readers, simply isn't honest.
If it was my call, I'd be pumping money into content, hiring more writers, while the dailies commit suicide. Unfortunately, the alternatives are in the same slash and burn mode as the dailies.
"Jay" makes a solid point. And I'm remiss in trying to portray too much of a difference between the alternative weeklies and the dailies. We're all suffering, and the cutbacks at the alts -- there will be more painful ones to come -- rival those of the dailies.
We're even more remiss in reporting on ourselves. We've been about the only real media critics in the nation for two decades. Our implied holier-than-thou attitude -- mine included -- is now getting a comeuppance.
Where we do differ is that we're far less tied to the antiquated newspaper factory. We can make the migration to wherever it is we're going with much less baggage.
On whether I'd suggest suing CL -- if as Jay says, we charged for the paper. We're off the hook on that one. We don't charge for the paper. And, according to Media Audits, we're still delivering the same large, well-educated, involved audience. The online audience is big and growing, and the base print audience is still intact; that is a difference from the dailies.
EWB, you're right. But CL's business model is far removed from the dailies. We do not own a huge factory. The content at which we excel -- especially events, arts, entertainment -- is precisely what's resonating with key digital savvy audiences. Put another way, we're much better positioned to shed the paper incarnation in favor of a digital publication. And we won't imitate the dailies in their effort to take the print product and merely stuff it onto a website. CL's plans are well under way in that regard.
That doesn't mean we aren't suffering as an industry or as a company. Nor does it mean we immediately comprehended the writing on the wall (or computer screen). But we are able to adapt much quicker than the dailies because we don't have the massive machine to support, nor are we locked into a model that has failed. Even print alternatives are still much more viable than print dailies.
Keep in mind that, yes, one day a week we kill trees and print a newspaper. The other six days are open to our innovation on the web.
It will be awhile before we can replace the print revenue. But we will. And the CL of the future will be something far different than the print CL today.
Mr. Darkhorse apparently doesn't realize that Bush has claimed the authority to deem anyone he chooses as an "enemy combatant." Someone -- a citizen -- who creates a civil disturbance could be "disappeared" indefinitely without charges under the Bush form of jurisprudence. As a number of legal scholars have noted, were MLK pursuing his dream today, he would fit the criteria of "enemy combatant" and the black churches supporting him could be shut down and their pastors jailed for supporting "terrorism." I don't for a moment believe Bush has arrogated unlimited powers to himself to fight terrorism overseas. The "enemy combatants" these people really fear are Americans who refuse to believe the lies.
BTW, it's not only Bush. The Clinton Justice Department had scores of people imprisoned indefinitely with no charges under the guise of "secret evidence." That such a abomination to our Constitution was allowed is testimony to the complacency in this nation. All or almost all of the "secret evidence" detainees who managed to get before federal judges, which Janet Reno fought, were freed. I think Reno, in the end, had an epiphany and freed some of the men after the government couldn't produce proof, secret or otherwise, of wrongdoing.
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