Local color

Another reminder of why daily newspapers still matter
By PHILLIPE AND JORGE  |  August 8, 2007

Local readers and nature lovers were saddened to hear of the passing of Ken Weber last week. Weber had been a longtime editor and reporter but, most memorably, he had written essays for the Commentary pages of the Saturday BeloJo on nature, wildlife, and the great outdoors. His columns were cherished by a legion of readers, the extent of which you had probably never imagined until his passing and the many people who commented on the loss.
 
The fact that this is a death felt personally by so many who did not really know Ken Weber except through his writing reminds one of the intimacy of newspapers. It also reminds us that while we, like most of you (we’ll bet), regularly bemoan the quite obvious deterioration of the once-mighty Other Paper, there are still things that the BeloJo provides that you just won’t find anywhere else. Ken Weber’s writings on nature are exhibit A.
 
Despite the rollback on so many news fronts (in particular, local city and town coverage, where the Other Paper has become quite regularly trumped by coverage from many smaller regional papers), no one has anything approaching the photojournalism team at the BeloJo. Is there a better reporter/columnist than Bob Kerr? From P&J’s perspective, Kerr is world-class, with depth and empathy (something you rarely see among columnists anymore, certainly not Phillipe & Jorge) and a propensity to expend shoe leather to nail down a story.
 
There are a number of other things unique to the daily paper that we will miss terribly when they are gone. Sometimes it takes something as sad as the passing of the irreplaceable Ken Weber to remind us of this fact.

Mr. Man Republicans
There’s nothing that your superior correspondents like more than the authentic article. When it comes to Republicans, we like ’em white, male, and so grotesquely macho that they provide the sort of entertainment value that Republicans can be good for. Top of the line for your superior correspondents these days is Tom Tancredo, the US Representative from Colorado who, miraculously, has appeared in public walking on his hind legs as opposed to his natural all-fours gait.
 
Tommy Boy is running for the GOP presidential nod with a campaign based on warmongering, xenophobia, and your standard muscle-flexing to an extent that makes Dick Cheney look like Linc Chafee. Last Sunday, at the debate between the GOP candidates in Iowa, Tommy Boy stole the show by advocating the bombing of Mecca and Medina as retaliation in the event of another major terrorist attack on American soil.
 
“If it is up to me, we are going to explain that an attack on this homeland of that nature would be followed by an attack on the holy sites,” Tommy Boy explained. Way to handle things, Tommy Boy! Let’s extend this into the next few decades until the entire earth is in smoky ruin. We’ll bet that Tom’s really big on torture too. Here’s hoping that he adopts the tail end of the famous Vietnam-era Country Joe McDonald ditty, “I-Feel-Like-I’m-Fixin’-to-Die Rag,” as an un-ironic campaign theme song: “There ain’t no time to wonder why/ Whoopee, we’re all gonna die!”

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  Topics: Phillipe And Jorge , Barack Obama, Elections and Voting, Duane Eddy,  More more >
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