Patterico's Pontifications


A Dick Armey

Filed under: Humor — Patterico @ 6:42 am

On Harry Shearer’s radio show, he used to feature skits in which Newt Gingrich would talk to his mom on the phone. One running joke had Newt complaining about Dick Armey, to which Mom would invariably reply — in her scratchy voice — with some phrase in which she put the indefinite article “a” in front of the name “Dick Armey.” For example:

NEWT: Mom, it’s just getting tough fighting all these battles with Dick Armey.

NEWT’S MOM [in a scratchy voice]: Well, son, it’s like I always told you. You just can’t win when you’re fighting a Dick Armey.

So it amused me to see an Instapundit blog entry this morning reading: “DICK ARMEY slams James Dobson.”

Ouch. Nothing hurts worse than getting slammed by a Dick Armey.

Give the L.A. Times Advice

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 12:02 am

The New York Times reports that the L.A. Times:

is dedicating three investigative reporters and half a dozen editors to find ideas, at home and abroad, for re-engaging the reader, both in print and online. The newspaper’s editor, Dean Baquet, and its new publisher, David Hiller, plan to convene a meeting today to start the effort, which is being called the Manhattan Project. A report is expected in about two months.

One might question why this is being reported by the New York Times, rather than the L.A. Times. In any event, Matt Welch asks at L.A. Times blog Opinion L.A.: “What should the 21st century Manhattan Project produce?”

In other words, it’s your chance to give some advice to the folks at the L.A. Times. Go over and leave some suggestions.

Be polite.

If I could give the paper only one piece of advice, it would be this: expand the web site. Open up every single story to comments and trackbacks, just like a blog post. For a paper that claims to be looking for ways to “re-engag[e]the reader,” this is a no-brainer.

The Web and interactivity are the future. Stop fighting it and embrace it. As a smart guy named Marc Danziger once said:

Transparency, respect, an interest in a mutually beneficial dialog with one’s audience. That’s the future of mass media.

Arrogance, secrecy, and a death-grip on the megaphone is the past.

Let go of the megaphone, L.A. Times editors. Let go.

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