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FIVE YEARS AFTER
Mar 17th, 2014 by Clark Humphrey

Classic P-I building from my book 'seattle's belltown;' museum of history and industry collection

I left the Missy James post up as this blog’s top item for a month, both to remember her and because I’ve been laser focused on finding paying work.

But it’s time for me to get back to the “writing” thang.

And there’s no more appropriate day to do so than on the fifth anniversary of the last printed Seattle Post-Intelligencer.

The city lost a huge chunk of its soul and its collective memory when the Hearst Corp., awash in losses here and in its other print-media operations, pulled the plug on our town’s “second” yet superior daily paper.

There’s been a P-I sized hole in the local media-scape ever since.

Yeah, we’ve got the Seattle Times, albeit a shrunken one (though it’s apparently stopped shrinking any further, at least for now).

We’ve got the StrangerSeattle Weekly, CrosscutPublicola, and SportsPress NW.

We’ve got four local TV news stations (plus NorthWest Cable News), four local radio news stations, and all their respective websites.

We’ve got Seattle magazine, Seattle Met, and CityArts.

We’ve got the Daily Journal of Commerce, the Puget Sound Business Journal, and assorted tech-biz news sites.

We’ve got Horse’sAssSeattlishThe Seattle Star, and dozens of other (mostly volunteer-run) blogs covering local politics, sports, and arts.

And, oh yeah, we’ve got SeattlePI.com.

It’s still run by Hearst. It still has Joel Connelly’s acerbic political commentary, Josh Trujillo’s dramatic photojournalism, and the occasional excellent news story.

But its staff has shrunk to 14 reporters, photographers, and “producers,” down from the 20 it had at its stand-alone start in ’09. That, in turn, was a small fraction of the team the print P-I had.

That’s still a full-time payroll comparable to that of any newsroom in town, except those of the Times and the TV stations.

But it’s stretched thin by the requirement to post dozens of “click bait” and “listicle” stories every day.

Hearst is running PI.com according to the 2009 rules of a “content” web business.

Those rules, which nationally gave us the likes of BuzzFeed and Elite Daily, have proven profitable only among the most sensationalistic and most cheaply run operations that feed either on gossip, noise, or national niche audiences.

It’s no way to run a local general-news operation.

And it’s no way to pay for professional local journalism on a sustainable basis.

But neither Hearst nor any of America’s other old-media giants has figured out a better way.

So it’s become the job of us “street level” bloggers to find new rules, new concepts, to forge a new path beyond the ugly web pages stuff with worthless banner ads. To create the New-New News.

My personal bottom line:

I want a local news organization, staffed by folks who know what they’re doing and who are paid living wages.

I want it to attract an audience at least as loyal (and as willing to help support it) as KUOW’s audience.

I want it to be the first place this audience looks to to learn what’s been going on around here, in the last day or the last hour.

I want it to reach out across subcultures and social strata.

I have collected a few ideas in this regard, a few potential pieces of this puzzle.

And I’d love to hear some of yours.

RANDOM LINKS FOR 2-2-14
Feb 2nd, 2014 by Clark Humphrey

Since most of my most loyal readers will have other things to do on Sunday afternoon, here’s some relatively timeless randomosity for whenever you log back in:

  • Kentucky’s GOP Senators forced Wash. state utilities to buy nuclear power components they don’t really need.
  • Amazon has exercised its option to buy the Belltown block where the Hurricane Cafe has been for 20 years (and the legendary Dog House had been for more than three decades before that).
  • Meanwhile, the Washington State Convention Center is buying the Honda of Seattle block.
  • As we approach five years since the last printed Post-Intelligencer (still missed), we must say goodbye to one of its ol’ mainstays, reporter John Engstrom.
  • If anybody knows what’s still stalling the waterfront tunnel machine, nobody’s telling.
  • There was a “Progressive Radio Summit” in Seattle, in which the keynote speaker claimed “the only sustainable model for broadcasters today is subscription based programming.”
  • The Daybreak Star Indian Cultural Center is still financially desperate.
  • White privilege: it exists, whether it’s visible to you or not.
  • Yes, Macklemore hired an established distribution company (the same one Sub Pop and others use) to get his CD into retail stores. That still qualifies as “not having a record label,” no matter what NPR says.
  • Steve Wilhelm at the Puget Sound Business Journal warns that Boeing’s strong arm tactics against the Machinists Union may cost the company more than it gains.
  • As Paramount becomes the first Hollywood studio to cease distributing movies on film reels to theaters, indie filmmakers take to the proverbial the Star-Off Machine and “reach for 16mm.” Meanwhile, there’s a campaign to “Save Film,” as a medium for both movie production and exhibition.
  • It’s always trouble when typographers attack one another.
RANDOM LINKS FOR 8/31/13
Aug 31st, 2013 by Clark Humphrey

soundersfc.com

  • Turns out there’s a word for these massive fan-made visual displays at soccer matches. The word is “tifo.”
  • The NY Times notes that Amazon hasn’t asked for a dime in extra tax breaks for its big Seattle development schemes.
  • Meanwhile, could Amazon start its own wireless cell-phone network?
  • Even the rarified realm of Seattle sushi, there are problematic “bigot diners.”
  • After almost 50 years, the Francine Seders Gallery in Phinney Ridge closes this December.
  • After 22 years, the radio station known as “The Mountain” is leaving the air, sort of. An Internet feed and a digital sub-channel will continue the format (but will they have live DJs?).
  • The UW experiment in “mind control” won’t immediately lead to anything useful, like helping disabled people regain control of their limbs or anything.
  • “Celebrity architects” don’t always design monumental, scenery-dominating houses in the countryside for fat cat clients. Sometimes they do it for themselves.
  • In keeping with my occasional claims that we’re entering a long attention span generation, the Guardian claims that big epic novels “are back.”
  • It’s not just McDonald’s workers who are getting screwed over. Franchise operators allege the company’s been overcharging them with rent and fees.
  • Coca-Cola’s marketing a stevia-sweetened “Coca-Cola Life” drink, with vague claims of “healthiness,” but only in Argentina.
  • Could the building blocks of life on Earth have come here from Mars?
  • It turns out that Larry Summers, the onetime Harvard president who may be nominated to head the Federal Reserve, was involved in the World Trade Organization and its 1999 efforts to force big financial deregulation upon all its member countries. (You may remember a little protest when the outfit had its convention here.)
THE SPUD SHALL RISE AGAIN
Aug 7th, 2013 by Clark Humphrey

I’ve been asked to carry forward the following announcement about an online-radio debut, which should be of importance to all who care about local media, local music, and local culture:

Rising from the cable TV graveyard, The Spud Goodman Show returns live on NWCZ radio @ 7:00-8:00 pm Thursday 8/8/13. Featured on the debut episode are Seattle Sonics great Shawn Kemp, Seattle street-music icon Richard Peterson, and musical guests The F**king Eagles.

http://nwczradio.com/?page_id=8212

Thanks, we appreciate your support.

Lori Madson

Executive Producer

The Spud Goodman Show

RANDOM LINKS FOR 7/30/13
Jul 30th, 2013 by Clark Humphrey

via theatlantic.com

  • We told you previously about a 1970s Federal photography project, documenting the nation as it existed during the “energy crisis” days. Here are 30 of the project’s pix from the Northwest, including a decidedly un-built-up downtown Seattle.
  • Next time you’re at Husky Stadium, give your best Jimmy Durante It’s A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World impression and tell your pals you’ll meet ‘em “under the Big Dubble-ye.”
  • Is the bowing out of one of the Q nightclub’s partners really evidence the Seattle dance-club scene is “in disarray”?
  • The bosses at Spokane’s Veterans Arena agreed, in order to snag a Bon Jovi concert, to temporarily rename it the “Bon Jovi Veterans Arena.” Just temporarily. Veterans’ groups still don’t like it.
  • Indie-lit publisher Dennis Johnson hates, hates Amazon, but sees its level of book-biz control as possibly peaking.
  • Should Cheryl Chow’s widow have outed a current Seattle School Board candidate as a homophobe?
  • The most heartwarming/breakng obit you’ll read this month is the one penned in advance by local writer-essayist Jane Catherine Lotter, and issued following her cancer death this month.
  • We won’t have Kirby Wilbur to kick around anymore. The state Republican party head and sometime KVI shock-talker is going to D.C.
  • Elsewhere in radioland, UFO/conspiracy promoter extraordinaire Art Bell is staging a comeback on Sirius XM satellite radio.
  • A site for teenage girls gives a big tribute to Bjo Trimble, founding queen of Star Trek fandom and instigator of the first successful “save our show” campaign.
  • Warren Buffet’s son offers a dismaying look into “the Charitable-Industrial Complex.”
  • “Four out of five adults” face unemployment and/or poverty, or the threat of same, at some point in their lives.
  • Norm Ornstein at National Journal calls the Republicans’ stubborn, unending attempts to kill Obamacare “unprecedented and contemptible.”
  • “Contemporary” and even “avant garde” art is selling for huge bucks these days to global-one-percenter art collectors. Critic Walter Robinson explains some of the effects:

…The success of the avant-garde marks its failure. This is not news. We’ve been domesticated, no matter how fantastic and provocative we might be, into just one niche culture among many. We’re fun, and good, and even progressive, but all the rest of it is fantasy.

RANDOM LINKS FOR 7/23/13
Jul 22nd, 2013 by Clark Humphrey

city of seattle via slog.thestranger.com

  • You know that big palatial boulevard the politicians have promised to turn Seattle’s central waterfront into? It now looks like it could become something else. Like, a highway with as many lanes as the viaduct (or more!), only side by side and on ground level. (Via my ex-housemate Fnarf.)
  • The Feds want to crack down on The Art Institutes. They charge the chain of for-profit art schools (including a major Seattle branch) with…

…fraudulently collecting $11 billion in government aid by recruiting low-income students for the purpose of collecting student aid money. Whistleblowers claim that students graduate loaded with debt and without the means to pay off the loans, which are then paid for with taxpayer dollars.

  • UW scientists recorded, then time-compressed, the sounds made by an Alaska volcano just before it blew.
  • Congrats to the local makers of the Carter Family graphic bio-novel for winning (er, co-winning) a major industry award.
  • Nice to see Seattle Weekly regaining some of its old form, even if that includes its old cranky-baby-boomer bashing of the Stranger and youth culture.
  • As expected, the living members of Nirvana played at McCartney’s Safeco Field show.
  • Alas, it’s illegal to ride down Capitol Hill streets in an office chair.
  • MillerCoors wants the Feds to investigate the Wall St. bigshots’ manipulations of aluminum prices.
  • Do you know the difference between North and South Carolina? Nike didn’t.
  • Why can’t Third World people speak for themselves on the “global stage,” instead of questionable, self-appointed spokespeople such as (the highly corporate-connected) Bono?
  • R.I.P. Helen Thomas, first lady of the White House press corps and the textbook example of a “tough dame” who speaks her mind and never gives up.
  • While (or because) nobody was looking, Yahoo quietly shut down the pioneering search engine AltaVista.
  • Business Insider posted a promo spot for a Milwaukee TV newscast circa 1980. Frenetic stock music! Jump cuts! Reporters in the field! Huge “mini” cams held by muscular cameramen! Typewriters! That’s infotainment.
  • Do you or someone you know listen to too much Coast to Coast AM? Still? Then follow this handy conspiracy theory flow chart.

the reason stick at blogspot

‘NO-FUTURE’ NOSTALGIA
Jul 12th, 2013 by Clark Humphrey

I got a pic of the historic Mudhoney set on the Space Needle Roof on Thursday, but it didn’t quite come out as I’d hoped. Here’s a far better shot by my ol’ pal Charles Peterson (and here’s a link to video of the set):

charles peterson

As it happens, both the band and its longtime record label Sub Pop are 25 years old. The latter’s celebrating its milestone all day Saturday in Georgetown.

Thursday’s gig was an all-afternoon live affair on KEXP, including two opening solo-acoustic acts and DJs and interviews with Sub Pop personnel past and present downstairs on the Needle’s observation deck.

KEXP had its own 40th anniversary last fall, but waited until today to hold an all-hands reunion party at the Sunset in Ballard.

For those who tuned in late, KEXP (renamed at the behest of onetime funder Paul Allen) began as KCMU, part of the UW’s School of Communications (“CMU” was the UW’s course-code prefix for Communications classes).

That’s where I DJ’d a little show of party tunes with Robin Dolan, then went on to my own shift, modestly entitled “Broadcast Radio of the Air.”

Ran into a lot of the old gang at the Sunset. Along with much of the station’s current team, including John Richards and Kevin Cole (again, sorry for the bad snapshot quality).

Also there was Faith Henschel-Ventrello, one of the old KCMU gang. She now does big event planning in Calif. but is back to work on the Sub Pop jubilee shindig.

Seeing these old station newsletters, stickers, T-shirts, and a box of LPs from its early vinyl collection (complete with DJ-scrawled “Yes!” endorsements), and meeting all these onetime champions of youth culture now propelled inexorably into adulthood (if not into “maturity”), really made me feel like (1) we’d been on the ground floor of something that became mighty, and (2) damn I’m old.

RANDOM LINKS FOR 7/4/13
Jul 3rd, 2013 by Clark Humphrey

  • Today’s educational cartoon: “The History of Western Architecture in Under 15 Minutes.”
  • Nope, there won’t be an NHL hockey team in Seattle next season. But you probably suspected that would be the case. I don’t want Seattle to be invoked as “leverage.” I want Seattle to have a team.
  • I’ve been learning first hand how too-damn-high the rent is around these parts these days.
  • How does a metal piece from a wood-chipper machine fall from the sky and crash into a Seattle house? And will the Coen brothers make a movie of it?
  • Jason Everman is more than the guy who got kicked out of both Soundgarden and Nirvana. He later became a member of the U.S. Army Special Forces in Afghanistan, and a real war hero.
  • The only self-proclaimed socialist in this year’s Seattle mayoral race was among several foreclosure protesters arrested at a Wells Fargo branch downtown.
  • Did a Seattle “drifter” really murder a CIA-connected Wall St. financier in 1985? And even if she did, was there, you know, something more behind the act?
  • Steinway (which owns several other famous musical-instrument brands as well as its legendary pianos) was bought by a leveraged-buyout specialist known infamously as an “asset stripper.”
  • The Jacksonville Jaguars have a sure-fire idea for getting more fans at home games: let the fans watch telecasts of better NFL teams on stadium monitors.
  • Douglas Englebart, R.I.P.: The inventor of the computer mouse was also part of many research projects that took computing from the realm of punch cards to PCs and the Internet. (He was also a Portland boy and an OSU alum!)
  • Could the original Lone Ranger (debuting on Detroit radio in 1933) have been based on an African American Deputy U.S. Marshal?
  • Slate’s Barry Friedman and Dahlia Lithwick assert that “the left” should be about more than easy-to-frame, easy-to-poll issues such as gay marriage. It should be about democracy, economic fairness, saving the planet, abortion rights, and other tough topics.
  • And remember everyone, have yourselves a fab holiday and celebrate this nation’s traditions appropriately. I will do so by singing our national anthem with its original lyrics (an English drinking song about the joys of carousing and screwing!).

via wikipedia

    RANDOM LINKS FOR 6/24/13
    Jun 23rd, 2013 by Clark Humphrey

    thecoffeetable.tv

    A big batch-O-randomness today, catching up after several days without it.

    To start, there’s yet another indie “webisode” series made here in Seattle. It’s called The Coffee Table. It’s a simple scifi comedy, in which some dudes n’ dudettes are propelled into another dimension by the titular table, which turns out to be “an ancient alien artifact.”

    Elsewhere in randomosity:

    • After all the sturm-n’drang over the almost-neo-Sonics debacle, could Seattle really get an NHL hockey team without really trying? And if so, what the heck would we do with it? And what would we call it? Our old hockey team names, “Totems” and “Metropolitans,” would certainly do. But ya know, there’s nothing wrong with “Coyotes,” the current name of the team that could go here. After all, Wile E. Coyote creator Chuck Jones is a Spokane boy.
    • The City’s back into the biz of harassing all-ages clubs again.
    • Should city council elections be publicly funded under a heavily incumbent-favoring formula?
    • Also closing this week besides the Egyptian Theater: the Copper Gate, the Ballard upscale bistro and sometime music lounge on the site of (and including a nude relief backbar mural from) a onetime legendary dive bar.
    • And, having already lost Costa’s Opa in Fremont, Seattle loses another classic Greek joint. The Continental Pastry Shop in the U District, having served affordable Euro entrees and treats to students and others for four decades, calls it quits this week.
    • Call it Sequester, The Local Edition. Do-nothing Republicans could shut down huge parts of Wash. state government this week.
    • It’s not just turncoat ex-Democrats in our own State Senate who get off on Seattle-bashing. So did a pro-coal West Virginia Congressman recently.
    • KUOW remains atop the local radio ratings by very carefully orchestrating a day-long “sound massage,” in which no news/talk segment runs longer than five minutes.
    • A Canadian study claims people who read more “literary fiction” (you know, the highbrow, less-genre-formulaic stuff) increases one’s tolerance for “ambiguity.”
    • On the other end of the certainty spectrum, it’s sadly not true that right-wingers are all low-IQ racists. Some of them are calculating evil geniuses.
    • Affirmative action has “helped white women more than anyone,” sez Time. I remember back in ’98 when there was an anti-affirmative-action initiative. The campaign to defeat that measure put up TV spots displaying not a single nonwhite face, only white little girls.
    • Lameness on top of sadness: A lame “satire” site (from China) ran a fictional piece claiming that James Gandolfini wasn’t dead and that everybody who (truthfully) said he was was a victim of a hoax.
    • Management at the Men’s Wearhouse no longer likes the way their founder/spokesdude looks.
    • A guy who’d spent two years building up the “brand” of his travel blog found a big corporation completely stole his name and concept for a marketing campaign.
    • Similarly, Nike thought nobody would mind if it ripped off a famous Minor Threat record cover. Wrong again.
    • Economic scandals you probably already knew: BankAmeriCrap guys lied to and swindled mortgage holders, and financial-ratings companies inflated the grades of mortgage-burger investment packages.
    • The editor of American Elle insists her mag, and mags like it, do indeed carry “serious journalism.”
    • Some dude’s list of history’s “Top 10 Most Evil Women” leaves out “Typhoid Mary” and Paula Deen.
    • We close for today with a 73-year-0ld Japanese guy who makes beautiful landscape art with Excel spreadsheets!

    via spoon-tamago.com

    RANDOM LINKS FOR 5/28/13
    May 28th, 2013 by Clark Humphrey

    kuow

    • KUOW has a handy guide to Seattle’s “public spaces that appear private.”
    • There’s a downside to making big popular parks out of former U.S. Navy installations. Magnuson Park turns out to have lots of radioactive, contaminated soil.
    • Wash. state ranks #49 in supporting public colleges and universities. This is not like being a Mariner fan, where being even ahead of one other team is a call to point with pride.
    • Some website I’d never heard of before says Seattle’s “most photographed attraction” is the Elephant Car Wash sign. (Gee, even more than the toothache-man gargoyle?)
    • The Illinois company calling itself Boeing used to have big battery design skills in-house. Then outsourcing mania took over. Result: the 787 disasters.
    • You know how I disdain the marketing company calling itself Pabst Brewing, due to its role in closing the Rainier and Olympia breweries while keeping their brands alive in zombie form. Cracked.com also hates Pabst, but for a different reason: for virtually inventing that commonly despised character type known as the “hipster.”
    • South Carolina Republicans, faced with popular legislation promoting renewable energy sources, rigged a faked “voice vote” to defeat the measure.
    • Daily Kos diarist “markthshark” claims the real IRS scandal is how all those blatantly partisan Tea Party groups got to file as nonpolitical nonprofits in the first place.
    • Are angst and misery really due to a single “great glitch” built into human nature?
    • Paul Krugman sez, “being a good liberal doesn’t require that you believe, or pretend to believe, lots of things that almost certainly aren’t true; being a good conservative does.”
    • The police backlash against protesting garment workers in Cambodia wasn’t at a “Nike factory,” which the hereby-linked headline claims. It was at a locally owned company taking outsourcing work from several Western clothing firms, all of whom can thus take “plausible deniability” about conditions and worker abuse.
    • Some of the outdoor sets from the original Star Wars are still standing, and decaying, in Tunisia.

    lostateminor.com

    RANDOM LINKS FOR 5/20/13
    May 20th, 2013 by Clark Humphrey

    capitolhillseattle.com

    • Initial designs are now out for the mixed-use megaproject that will replace (while preserving the facades of) the Bauhaus coffeehouse block on East Pine Street. Damn, that looks ugly.
    • Dominic Holden thoroughly skewers the regional political meme that roads-only transportation advocates, corporate-welfare boosters, and blockers of affordable housing somehow constitute “the adults in the room.”
    • Last Sunday’s Seattle Times depicted south King County as the region’s new nexus of “diversity.” Monday’s Times depicted the same spot as the region’s new nexus of poverty. (Note: This post originally, incorrectly, said both articles had run in Sunday’s paper.)
    • SeattlePI.com Shrinkage Watch: The thin gruel of the ex-newspaper site just got thinner with the disappearance of Casey McNerthney, who just got poached by KIRO-TV.
    • Whatever happened to the great Seattle tradition of quasi-illegal “guerrilla art”? Terror paranoia, among other things.
    • Seattle’s next best hope for a neo-Sonics basketball team: the notion that the NBA might consider an expansion team, once commissioner and not-so-covert Seattle enemy David Stern is finally gone.
    • You know the mini-scandal that Disney marketeers were transforming the heroine from Brave into the sexy princess type that, in the film, she overtly refused to be? They’re backing off from that now.
    • In The Office (US version), Staples was often name-dropped as Dunder Mifflin Paper’s biggest Goliath-esque rival. Turns out that was paid product placement. And a Staples subsidiary is now selling official Dunder Mifflin branded office products.
    • If you’ve followed the Silvio Berlusconi sex and corruption scandals, you can expect there’s a lot of colorful Italian political slang.
    • Timothy Noah insists economic inequality is as much a matter of a “skills-based gap” (i.e., the “educated class” pulling away from the traditional working class) as it is a matter of 1-percenters’ greed.
    • Earl Ofari Hutchinson invites you to continue to “yawn” at the newest batch of trumped-up pseudo-scandals attacking Obama.
    • In this digital era, one analog institution has curiously survived. I speak of shortwave radio stations broadcasting coded messages interspersed with strange musical “signature” sounds, a.k.a. “numbers stations.”
    • Creepy, kitschy Japanese pop culture continues to forge new ground with “human doll cloning,” dolls with 3-D printed scans of real people’s faces.
    • Data analysis meets film nerd-dom in a 2-D chart of which film sequels outperformed their predecessors, in terms of Rotten Tomatoes fan approval.

    boxofficequant.com

    OBJECT LESSONS
    Apr 16th, 2013 by Clark Humphrey

    seatacmedia.org

    Earlier this year, KUOW and MOHAI came up with a list of 25 “objects that tell Seattle’s story.”

    They range from the obvious (a Boeing B-17, a poster announcing the Japanese-American internment, a Starbucks coffee cup) to the more obscure (an ancient, giant ground sloth).

    A little more recently, SeattlePI.com ran a list of “25 things we miss in Seattle.”

    These also ranged from the truly famous (the Lusty Lady sign, Frederick & Nelson’s window displays) to the lesser known (the Woodland Park Zoo’s nocturnal-creatures exhibit).

    I’ve got my own list of Seattle pop culture icons. All of them are things I’ve personally seen or owned.

    And yes, there are 25 of them. (Why break a routine that works?)

    In no particular order, they are:

    1. A Frederick & Nelson shopping bag.
    2. A Dog House place mat.
    3. A J.P. Patches plush doll.
    4. A floppy disc of MS-DOS 1.0.
    5. A P-I vending box.
    6. Dr. Belding Scribner’s first artificial kidney machine.
    7. The Kalakala.
    8. Bud Tutmarc’s pioneering electrified pedal-steel guitar.
    9. A Neptune repertory-cinema calendar.
    10. A KJR “Fab 50″ newsletter/record chart.
    11. A mascot costume for “Nordy,” the old Nordstrom children’s shoe department spokescritter.
    12. A first pressing of Nirvana’s Bleach on vinyl.
    13. A work of Northwest Coast native art; or, one of artist Preston Singletary‘s upscale “tributes” to Northwest Coast native art.
    14. A Space Needle ball-point pen.
    15. A set of Peter Bagge-designed “grunge rock pencils.”
    16. A first-edition hardcover of Sophie Frye Bass’s book Pig-Tail Days in Old Seattle.
    17. A Seattle Pilots pennant.
    18. The Pike Place Market mural honoring pre-WWII Japanese-American farmers.
    19. An Amazon.com shipping box with one of the company’s five early logos.
    20. A piece of Kingdome debris.
    21. An Ivar’s Acres of Clams kids’ menu.
    22. A Smith Tower elevator car.
    23. A Washington Mutual savings passbook.
    24. The prototype 747.
    25. A wooden miniature hydroplane.
    AMERICA’S WORST BROADCASTER COMES TO TOWN
    Apr 11th, 2013 by Clark Humphrey

    famousfoto.com, via mooreslore.corante.com

    It seems like just yesterday that I was complaining about KOMO firing its pundits Bryan Johnson and Ken Schram, and about its parent company bringing hate talk back to KVI-AM.

    We’ve got a bigger problem now.

    Fisher Broadcasting, the only owner KOMO-TV and Radio has ever had, is being sold.

    That would be bad enough. Fisher was the last locally-owned major commercial broadcaster around here, and its loss would complete the capture of the Puget Sound’s airwaves by big out-of-state station groups.

    But this particular out-of-state station group is far, far worse than most.

    It’s Sinclair Broadcasting.

    More than any other station group (even Fox’s company-owned broadcast stations), Sinclair imposes right-wing propaganda content on its properties.

    In 2003, Sinclair ordered ABC affiliates it owned not to run a Nightline episode about Gulf War combat deaths.

    In 2004, Sinclair ordered all its stations to run, in prime time, a propaganda film by the “Swift Boat Veterans for Truth,” spreading false allegations about John Kerry’s service record in Vietnam.

    In 2010, Sinclair ordered six of its stations to run, in prime time, an even less-true GOP propaganda film branding Obama as an anti-democracy extremist and an ally of mideast terrorists.

    Oh—and like so many other companies in so many industries, it’s been severely hiking executive pay packages while severely cutting workers’ wages.

    RANDOM LINKS FOR 2/25/13
    Feb 25th, 2013 by Clark Humphrey

    via messynesychic.com

    • “Quite possibly the most important street photographer of the 20th century was a 1950s children’s nanny who kept herself to herself and never showed a single one of her photographs to anyone.”
    • Jay Jacobs, 1912-2013: Yes, there really was a Jay Jacobs behind the local teen clothing chain of the same name, which operated from 1941 to 1999. At its peak, his company had more than 300 outlets around the country, mostly in malls. But, like Lamonts and the Squire Shops and Bernie’s/Bottom’s, Jacobs’ chain couldn’t make it in the age of the Big Box store (which, in turn, is being succeeded by the age of e-tail).
    • Another local institution, Mae’s Phinney Ridge Cafe, is for sale, and will close if a buyer isn’t found soon.
    • A UW English prof decries grad-student applicants who can’t name-drop a single modern female author.
    • Joan Walsh (correctly, I believe) blames the attempted “sick humor” at the Oscars not on host Seth McFarlane but on the Academy bosses, who apparently wanted to latch onto that Farrelley Bros./American Pie “edgy” thang.
    • The William Shatner bit at that show’s top was a textbook example of “framing” a piece of sick/sexist humor (the “We Saw Your Boobs” song) via fake distanced “irony,” to make it seem like just a “parody” of sick/sexist humor.
    • The “In Memoriam” Oscars segment has its own selection committee, and “is a focus of campaigning.” That’s one reason why a few famous actors get left out every year and a few obscure behind-the-scenes figures always get put in.
    • Elisabeth Parker at Addicting Info wants progressives to stop using right-wing catch phrases.
    • For fans of old time radio (and of latter-day revivals of same), here’s a site that appears to have .mp3s of every CBS Radio Mystery Theater episode (all 1,339 of ‘em)!
    RANDOM LINKS FOR 2/1/13
    Feb 1st, 2013 by Clark Humphrey

    via imcdb.org

    • What was that car in that movie? There’s an online database for that.
    • As we patiently await the NBA owners’ vote that will likely bring back the Sonics, there’s word of a hockey team that may be in need of a buyer and/or new home. Seattle, alas, doesn’t have an NHL-ready space. The hockey configuration of KeyArena is too small and awkward. Until a new arena’s built, the closest thing we’ve got is the Tacoma Dome, whose ice-making gear was removed and would need replacing.
    • City Councilmember Jean Godden vividly explains why we cannot, dare not, return to the bad old days before legal abortion.
    • A homeless camp in Bremerton was shut down after five years.
    • Charles Mudede finds sublime meaning in Macklemore’s “Thrift Store” rap.
    • KOMO has kind words for Jet City Stream, the new all-local online radio station.
    • The recently-deceased dad of local music-scene vet Ben London was an innovative avant-garde composer.
    • One of those online coupon dot-coms doubled its sales and still lost over half a billion.
    • The return of vinyl has inevitably led into the return of cassette-only music releases and evrn cassette-only labels.
    • Zoe Triska at Huff Post really hates classic novels with inappropriate, “commercial” covers tacked on, especially when they’re aimed at teen girls:

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