News Journal goes full Orwell
By Deborah Nelson
September 1, 2015
“This process of continuous alteration was applied not only to newspapers, but to books, periodicals, pamphlets, posters, leaflets, films, sound-tracks, cartoons, photographs — to every kind of literature or documentation which might conceivably hold any political or ideological significance. Day by day and almost minute by minute the past was brought up to date.
In this way every prediction made by the Party could be shown by documentary evidence to have been correct, nor was any item of news, or any expression of opinion, which conflicted with the needs of the moment, ever allowed to remain on record. All history was a palimpsest, scraped clean and reinscribed exactly as often as was necessary.
Ministry of Truth (Minitrue), George Orwell, 1984
Pensacola’s esteemed local Minitrue just posted the 5th or 6th in an increasingly-defensive editorial series that should be titled “It isn’t Easy Being Yellow.”
PNJ’s trying hard to deflect attention from their instigatory part in what’s been a full-on frenzy against a few, selected government employees; which ended in two resignations (it appears they were hoping for three).
Pensacola’s intrepid paper of record’s keen interest in those two — just the two –Mayor’s Office employees seems to have begun when PNJ’s deep-pocketed advertiser, Mr. Studer, walked off Maritime lease negotiations.
Right after the Mayor’s Office counter-negotiated. With what were evidently unreasonable demands to know how the parcels would be used, whether the City or the CMPA would approve changes, who would retain sublease authority, and questions about maintenance and parking.
PNJ says they were just looking out for “citizens” when they suddenly attacked the two — just the two — employees.
Wonderful news, PNJ! When can we look forward to across the board exposees?
Are any other government employees unqualified for the jobs they’re in? Is any nepotism happening in Escambia or Santa Rosa? What about government contractors? “Consultants?” Nonprofit employees? Nonprofit “grants?”
Sorry “citizens.” Nobody knows from PNJ, because the Minitrue was apparently only interested in a couple of people — just the two. For the sake of journalism. Now they’d like you to forget how much decidedly unprofessional bellyfeel they put into the whole effort.
Enter PNJ Minitrue’s most recent editorial mop-up effort, titled “Thanks to citizens’ scrutiny.”
Through it, PNJ would respectfully like to establish that their involvement in the whole shouting match that led to two resignations — just the two — was peripheral, at most. An innocent exercise in the basic tenets of Journalism 101.
In fact, PNJ would like to take this opportunity to recognize the “scrutiny and vigilance” of the many “city residents” who jumped on the attack wagon to bring down those two — just the two — doubleplusungood Mayor’s Office employees.
Which “city residents” were those, exactly, PNJ?
Oh, righhhhhht. Pretty much just YOU.
And now you’re trying, in your customary, unctuous-yet-grossly-ineffective way, to make it sound like you were just minding your own business whistling in the woods when you suddenly happened along some random complaints from unnamed mobs of concerned citizens.
PNJ didn’t want to report on two — just the two — government employees’ qualifications. But the people insisted!
It had nothing to do with one of their big bucks advertisers taking his toys and stomping off after being presented with what appear to be basic real estate negotiating points.
In fact, “citizens” are hereby directed to stuff any and all recollection about the weeks of PNJ attacks that preceded those resignations right down the old memory hole. Big Brother has decreed an alternate history!
The problem, PNJ, is that pesky email from your former publisher last year, pledging to “battle” any City Hall opposition to giving your friend Mr. Studer “economic development” tax breaks to build housing.
It makes you look…a tad…ethically compromised. What with your publisher breathlessly taking sides on a tax revenue issue based on information provided by one of the sides. The side that was removing tax dollars from public coffers. The same public coffers PNJ has, on numerous occasions, advocated tax hikes to bolster. Is that doublethink? Or just “good journalism?”
Shall we toss that down the old memory hole too? Before it causes all manner of Crimethink!
Then there’s the actual 24 issue list the Mayor’s Office raised regarding the leases.
PNJ, don’t you think that might be something your random mob of concerned “city residents” might also be interested in? What with it being the crux of the whole disagreement?
And yet, you reported nothing about it.
Evidently PNJ doesn’t think “citizens” have any reason to question how the $90 million Maritime property they purchased with their kids’ futures might be used. So Minitrue Central printed exactly nothing about the very issues that upset their good friend and big-dollar advertiser in the first place.
In a related bit of duckspeak: our friends at the Minitrue did manage to find space for a lengthy cryptospam piece shilling for a concert that doesn’t exist!
Yes, “citizens.” In one of their patented, cloying, parentheses-intensive advertorials, they’re panhandling for an as-yet imaginary music festival sponsored by…drumroll please…the same big-bucks advertiser who was upset about the lease details!
They’d very much like “city residents” to “pony up” between $55 and $500 a pop for Springfest tickets…despite the fact that there are no acts booked and the event doesn’t exist yet.
“Residents” will only lose a “small ticket processing fee” if, for some reason, the same thing happens with Springfest as happened with Maritime Park museums, UWF Center, restaurants, etc. – i.e. it vanishes into thin air once the cash is in the bank.
Don’t worry “citizens,” in that highly unlikely event, PNJ’ll be on hand to flush any residual ungoodthoughts right down the same memory hole that seems to have swallowed their last, sad shreds of journalistic dignity. Bellyfeel all around!