It’s a Jon Ralston word. He uses it at least once a month.
Schadenfreude: a feeling of enjoyment that comes from seeing or hearing about the troubles of other people.
Knowing all the bridges and relationships he’s burned over the past quarter century — going from Las Vegas Review-Journal cop reporter to political reporter to columnist to email newsletter writer, turning coat and jumping to the Las Vegas Sun, starting a television show and an online site, all tagged with his name — there are more than a few who read Saturday’s R-J story about television ratings and experienced a feeling of enjoyment.
I recall all the times I could hear him half way down the hall cursing at some source who failed to satisfy his grasping for scoops. Perhaps a few of those managed a chuckle of schadenfreude.
You see, since KSNV-TV dropped “Jeopardy” from the 6:30 p.m. time slot and inserted Ralston’s chat show, which is all about Ralston preening and not about his guests or news, the ratings have fallen 60 percent, to about 15,000 TV sets.
Though the station recently canceled — without notice — the similarly formated afternoon gab fest “The Agenda,” a KSNV spokesman told the R-J’s Christopher Lawrence the Jim Rogers-owned station has no plans to replace Ralston “with something more competitive.”
But, as Lawrence put it, “KSNV went from dominant to dominated at 6:30 p.m.”
As further illustration of the self-absorbed nature of the Ralston franchise, take the Politico piece by Ralston posted online over the weekend.
The headline is: “Machiavelli With Malaprops,” but the subhed is: “A quarter-century of covering Harry Reid.”
It is not about Harry. It is about Jon.
Speaking of frequently used words, Ralston can’t refer to Reid’s upbringing in Searchlight without using the word “hardscrabble.” He uses it in the Politico piece and in an October piece and a July piece. A more exhaustive search surely would find several more.
For some reason, Reid will not appear on Ralston’s program. Perhaps he fears a critical mass if their egos come too close.
Now, that is something I might watch.