The Sacramento Bee recently published its “plan for sustainable local news.” The Editorial Board of the Sacramento Brie filed this open letter in response.
Dear Sacramento Bee,
As your ugly redheaded stepsister, we’d like to offer you some advice: Stop dicking around with community journalism and just give us old-fashioned yellow journalism instead.
You know, the balls-to-the-wall-unapologetic-for-starting-wars-in-banana-republics kind of journalism. McClatchy is already trying to foment #Revolution here in Alta California, anyway. By the way, which #Resistance city has the most tonnage of human feces to clean up? We’re still looking for your database on that.
Seriously. Just be honest about it. You’d gain readers. Maybe even us.
It’s not impossible to gain readers under your current plan. But which feature will gain you the most? The new Whatzit game, “accountability work with consistency,” or the California Influencers series?
We’re betting on Whatzit. Because “we just fired a bunch of reporters but our new accountable reporters will report on government accountability even though everyone who matters in The Resistance agrees with Kevin de Leon and Darrell Steinberg anyway and we think you should want to pay for that” just rings hollow.
Yes. Hollow. Telling “the stories that matter to you and to our community” is just telling us more of the same stuff you’ve been telling us since 1990.
Think diversity instead.
Okay, we know you don’t really want a more diverse audience, but if you did you could start by getting rid of Orwellian phrases like “undocumented immigrants.” Because Senator Kevin de Leon already testified – in front of the Senate Public Safety Committee, no less – that virtually every illegal immigrant actually has falsified documents (including half his family, or so he said).
Not resonating yet? Maybe you’re more of a visual learner. Think of it this way.
If the former President Pro Tempore of the Senate ever again publicly admits that illegal immigrants are also falsely documented identity thieves – unlikely but possible – do NOT run a feature story the next day about his hardworking single immigrant mom and estranged itinerant Mexican father.
What is that anyway? Because it’s not journalism. It’s not even yellow journalism.
Instead, lean in. Dig. Do some real “accountability work” and find out if half his family really does have falsified papers. Start “a meaningful public conversation” that “45,000 additional people are willing to pay for.” Because it is a “worrying fact to all of us” at the Brie that “local journalism is in trouble in cities and towns across the country.”
Whew! Thank your lucky stars you didn’t do any of that the first time, huh? Senator de Leon and the Resistance sure dodged a high capacity 30-magazine clip.
We could go on, but we get the feelz that you get the gist of our argument. And although we hope you see the terrible no good very bad flaw in your “plan for sustainable local news at the Sac Bee” we know you won’t.
Oh. And when you need a token replacement for token conservative Dan Walters, we have your huckleberry.
Editor’s note: Article updated with gratuitous “tokens” in last paragraph. The Brie has The Most Transparent Editorial Board in History.