I have not subscribed or picked up a copy of the Miami Herald for over a year. Right after the election I decided that while it is always good to know what the “enemy” was thinking”, it was time for me to stop subsidizing their proselytizing ways besides I could catch them online for free. During that time I caught news from other sources talking about the harsh times and cuts that the Herald was forced to implement to survive but I really didn’t give it too much of a thought till this last couple of mornings where I was given what passes for the Miami Herald nowadays.
WHOA! The paper has dwindle to almost nothing. You can actually get more paper in the almost daily sales pamphlets that come with the junk mail. But the collapse goes beyond amount of pages, even the quality of the printing and design has taken a vacation (or maybe it was downsized along with many staff) and has the quality of a high school paper that was printed in a rush and with other things in mind.
One thing it has not changed has been the quality of the news and articles printed. They still reek of left wing political machine without a care for the people in Miami Dade County. If you happen to bump into a supposedly “caring” article, be sure you would end up reading about how the plight of that person was the fault of the Republicans/Bush/Chenney/Gun Nuts/Cuban Embargo/etc. The editorial page is still plagued with the same old “vote democrat” and “give our corrupts left wing politicians a chance…again,” and the columnists have not changed their tune: Leonard Pitts, the Herald’s version of both Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton, can’t wait to blame everything on the non-black people. Andre Oppenheimer still lives with the contradiction of his socialist dream and having to comment on the piss poor job of Fidel, Hugo and the rest of the new Latin American Socialism. And Carl Hiaassen is still having involuntary ejaculations every time he sees or hears Obama mentioned somehow.
The sad part is that the Herald blames everybody but themselves for their collapse. The economy (Bush’s fault of course), the internet (they should blame Gore but you don’t mess with the Pope of Global Warming), Republicans in general, bloggers, Climate Change, lack of hurricanes and even the guy that sells churros in the corner of W. 49th street and Palm Avenue. They never figured that as a paper, they must report the news without bias (or at least not so blatant) and properly reflect the community they serve. And here is the missing key and magic word: serve. The Miami Herald long ago forgot that they were a part of a community which wants information and turned into a medium that told the community what to think and how to act. Their attitude and message reeked with snobbish attitude which did not settle well with us, it never admitted wrongdoing (other than a few misprints) and strutted like a proud peacock announcing to its local world that they were better than anybody else. Now they are paying the price.
The Miami Herald has been up for sale for a while now and cannot find a buyer even for the land! And we are talking juicy real state right on the water a spit away from Miami Beach and the tourist zone which every single tourist tour and cruise ship stops to unload cash money. Even if the real state market is crappy right now, anybody with some business sense knows that the land will be worth untold millions whenever we get out of the benefits of the Obama economic plans.
I do have to make a correction. There is one issue in which the Miami Herald does provide a benefit for the community: The coupons in the Sunday Edition. The rest of the week you can pretty much use the newspaper to wrap avocados in need of ripening.