Rhetoric as a mirror

What you say about someone else usually says more about you than about them.

Take the rambling screed by Andrew Kiraly in the current issue of Desert Companion, a slick magazine produced by Nevada Public radio, about the new ownership of the Review-Journal:

“A traumatic legacy of abusive owners, managers and operating philosophies are to blame for the stupid and terrible behavior: out-of-touch editorial screeds that sound like conservative Gilded Age cosplay, or a rightward slant that sometimes skews the front page, or badly concealed revanchist ideological crusades run through its political reportage. (For instance, if you recall the R-J’s coverage of the 2010 Harry Reid-Sharron Angle senate race, you might have received the mistaken impression that Reid was a slavering socialist, and that Angle was something other than a grasping, unhinged demagogue.)”

The parenthetical is the writer’s. Tells more about the viewpoint and political vector of the writer than anything about the actual news coverage of that race, which mostly was from Nevada Newspaper Hall of Fame journalist the late-Laura Myers. Any characterization of her coverage as anything but fair is delusional. The columns and editorials are another matter, but that’s not “coverage.”

Illustration accompanying said screed.


Is there a backup for after the Sun’s demise?

I’d heard rumors that someone at the Las Vegas Sun was working on a Sunday only newspaper or magazine that supposedly would enter the market when the joint operating agreement with the Review-Journal and its parent company, Stephens Media, is eventually dissolved.

The original proffer from ousted Stephens CEO Mike Ferguson included a non-compete clause, but that reportedly has been dropped.

Andrew Kiraly at Desert Companion apparently has laid hands on a prototype of something called The Sunday that has been shopped about to potential advertisers.

Sun editor and publisher Brian Greenspun has been battling with his brother and sisters, majority stockholders of the Sun, over a deal struck with Stephens Media to end the JOA and stop publishing the Sun in exchange for $10, the transfer to the URL lasvegas.com and $70,000 for each of the Greenspun siblings.

Brian Greenspun even filed suit in federal court. The deal was supposed to take effect Dec. 31, but the Sun continues to be published, though its content is largely syndicated features.

Kiraly notes that Greenspun has vowed to continue to fight to keep the Sun operational, but he writes:

“But perhaps there’s a backup plan in the works? Pictured below is a prototype that’s been floating around media-buying circles for a product called The Sunday. Inside is a magazine-style mix of Sun news, politics, gaming, design-forward features and even Brian’s ‘Where I Stand’ column — hm, almost as though this were positioning itself as a replacement for the Sun. The Greenspuns’ business publication, VEGAS INC, also gets it own branded hunk of editorial real state.”

Kiraly asked both Brian Greenspun and the Sun’s managing editor about this via email. Greenspun declined to talk, saying he wasn’t quite ready, while the ME replied, “It’s going to be a very exciting project.” Confirmed.

As for the court case, nothing has been filed since Magistrate Judge Peggy Leen put out a schedule of deadlines for the case on Dec. 6.

There was supposed to be a meeting of the parties on Dec. 19, but there is no indication whether it took place. I saw Brian Greenspun getting on the elevator at his office building in Henderson that afternoon but did not get a chance ask him about that.

The last date to amend pleadings or add parties was Dec. 30 — nothing.

The last date to file interim status reports is Jan. 29.

Other deadlines extend into May, though I suspect, due to the lack of court filings and the abysmal effort over at the Sun, it is all over but the layoffs.

The new management at the R-J apparently is not in a big hurry to stanch the cash hemorrhage that is the Sun.