Economics in One Lesson by Henry Hazlitt Click here to download a pdf
Defending the Free Market: The Moral Case for a Free Economy By the Rev. Robert Sirico Is written so well and so conversationally it is a very easy read. Buy it on Amazon here.
WEBSITES AND BLOGS I LOVE! Click on the name to get there.
BY THE NUMBERS BLOG This is my nerd friend David's blog about economics. You've heard him on the show and now you can read his stuff too!
BLUEGRASS INSTITUTE Free market solutions for Kentucky
MICHELLE MALKIN Great blog site with interesting links
BREITBART.COM Even dead he's still shaking things up from the grave
BLUEGRASS POLITICS If you are glutton for punishment
IF YOU GET THE C-J TO READ JOHN DAVID DYCHE Perhaps you can save your money. It would appear that Mr. Dyche has perhaps written his last column for the C-J. John David will be on the show Monday at 9:30 to discuss this censorship. What was that column? It was a column, published in it's entirety below, that offered advice to the C-J on how they could possibly avoid the same fate other papers are facing. And when he submitted the below column, he was told by voicemail by Pam Platt that they would not print it. He respectfully pointed out that he had never been censored before and if they were going to start now, he felt it might be best to sever the relationship. Read her response at the bottom. Here is the wildly offending column the C-J would not print.
JOHN DAVID'S DYCHE'S LAST TUESDAY COLUMN
Bye-line*: John David Dyche
In an obvious oversight, The Courier-Journal’s new publisher, Wesley Jackson, has not contacted this columnist for suggestions on saving the newspaper from the fate of the New Orleans Times-Picayune (which produces a paper edition only thrice weekly) or worse. Jackson has implemented reforms related to financial viability rather than content, but the latter affects the former. So here, free of charge, are some ideas to promote this publication’s prosperity.
Balanced Opinion Pages. The Courier-Journal opinion pages are stridently liberal. Journalistic jihads against Kentucky’s Republican U. S. Senators, Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul, and crusades for gun control and higher taxes, are in full force and frequently fill almost the entire editorial and op-ed pages. Such one-sidedness neither works in the marketplace nor serves the public interest.
Make the current editorial page (i.e., the page on the left) into a “Left Page” and there continue presenting hopelessly liberal columns, cartoons, and letters. Convert the op-ed page (i.e., the page on the right) to a “Right Page” and present conservative/libertarian columns, cartoons, and letters now largely absent from Louisville media. Give each page equal resources, and let the competing philosophies battle it out in the marketplace of ideas. The community would benefit from real, vigorous debate, and subscribers who deserted the paper due to its liberal bias might return.
Disclose Editors’ and Reporters’ Politics. Like the rest of the press, The Courier-Journal claims to play an exalted role in public affairs. But while righteously demanding absolute openness and full disclosure from every other entity and person involved in government, the press does not apply the same standard to itself. Change that by disclosing the party registration and voting choices of all editors and reporters.
Journalists believe that they, unlike mere mortals, can transcend their personal opinions to be basically fair and objective in presenting the news. Perhaps, but readers should be the ones to judge. To do so, they need information about the personal political views of the editors and reporters who decide what gets reported, and how, when, and where it gets reported. If a Courier-Journal editor or reporter is a registered Democrat who has voted twice for Barack Obama and Steve Beshear, advise the readers of that fact and let them make their own evaluation about whether those political preferences are influencing the coverage.
Open Meetings and Records. The Courier-Journal not only demands, but often litigates to ensure, full and open public disclosure of meetings and records of government bodies. It should apply the same standard to itself given the prominent role the press proclaims for itself in the political process. So live stream the meetings of editors and reporters and post the written communications and directives between them regarding assignments, policies, and stories.
Let the public see how and by whom decisions are made as to what to cover, who should cover it, and what headlines, photographs, and placement it receives. For example, the recent confirmation hearing of secretary of defense nominee Chuck Hagel received only two sentences of coverage below the fold on A3 in The Courier-Journal. The paper presented no hint of the bumbling, confused, and altogether incompetent performance by the potential head of the Pentagon.
A three-sentence dispatch about a sacrificial skull mound in Mexico dating to 660 A.D. ran below the dispatch about the Hagel hearing! And a few days later a much longer article entitled “Pentagon to extend benefits to partners” appeared above the fold on A2. Peculiar priorities.
Newspapers indignantly proclaim that their editorial and news departments do not coordinate. Perhaps there is no explicit conspiracy, but the hand-in-glove relationship between such ideological soul mates is undeniable. Opening up the process might not prevent such slanted presentation of news in the service of liberal objectives, but it could deter and expose it.
Publish Value of In-Kind Contributions. The Courier-Journal decries the influence of corporate money in politics and demands better disclosure of political contributions. However, The Courier-Journal, Inc. and Gannett Company, Inc. are corporations that try to influence politics. Presumably their efforts have some value. The newspaper should therefore quantify and report how much its in-kind contributions in the form of editorials, endorsements, etc., would be worth if valued at the rate of comparably-sized advertisements.
Finally. Replace Fort Knox and Jump Start with Mark Trail and Mary Worth in the comics. These soap opera strips are much funnier, albeit unintentionally. And if you do nothing else recommended here, enlarge Peanuts so one can more easily read its often profound social commentary. Good grief!
So that was it. The column the C-J refused to print. With John David's permission, I will now share with you the email exchange that followed the voicemail from Pam Platt. First a transcript of the voicemail:
“Hi, John David, it’s Pam Platt at the Courier-Journal and I’m just calling to let you know that I’m not going to run your column tomorrow. To me it goes sort of off of what your column is supposed to be. My understanding is a conservative take on issues of the day and that’s not what this is. So, anyway, thanks a lot and I’ll talk to you soon.”
The email that followed:
From: John David Dyche Sent: Monday, February 11, 2013 1:52 PM
To: Platt, Pam
Cc: Jackson, Wesley
Subject: Got your message
I got your voicemail.
Wow. No one at The Courier-Journal has ever before told me “what my column is supposed to be about.” I have always written about what I thought to be interesting to readers and relevant to contemporary public issues. The column I submitted is both.
Regardless, and contrary to what your message says, the submitted column is very much about “a conservative take on the issues of the day.” One of those issues is liberal media bias. Another such issue is the survival of old line newspapers in a changing media marketplace. Conservatives think there is liberal media bias and that old line newspapers would fare better in the marketplace if they made changes of the sort I propose. Indeed, your refusal to run this column vividly illustrates the very issues about which I write!
It is also surprising that you would refuse to run this column when the former management of The Courier-Journal opinion pages ran a similar one I wrote in response to an essay by former publisher Arnold Garson some time ago. It is really too bad that The Courier-Journal is no longer sufficiently confident of its mission and status to risk publishing such critical analysis of its own performance, policies, and positions. Sadder still is that your refusal represents resistance to my suggestions since they really would help the paper survive and prosper.
May I know whom you consulted, if anyone, in making your decision? Your message said that, “I am not going to run your column tomorrow,” so perhaps the decision was yours and yours alone. (Indeed, disclosure of such decision-making is one of the very reforms I propose in the column!) However, I have taken the liberty of copying Mr. Jackson on this e-mail and reprinting the submitted column below in case he was not included. By doing so I ask that he reverse your decision and publish the column.
The things in the column need to be said, in a public forum, and ideally in The Courier-Journal itself. There should be more, not less, consideration and scrutiny of The Courier-Journal’s role in the public affairs of this community, state, and nation. It is telling and, worse, sad that the newspaper is unwilling to subject itself to a very mild version of that to which it daily subjects others active in the public realm.
If there is no change of mind on the paper’s part we should probably end my decade-old relationship with the paper. This is the sort of fundamental disagreement that would make it difficult, if not impossible, to continue on together. I will attempt to have the column published elsewhere because I believe the issues discussed in it are important and because your readers should know (even if they have to learn about it elsewhere) about The Courier-Journal’s refusal to run it.
Since I have no expectation that you will change your mind or that Mr. Jackson will reverse your decision, however, I will also take this opportunity to extend my thanks to The Courier-Journal for the opportunity it has given me to express my opinions (at least up until now). As the token conservative in the liberal Forum pages my goals have been to educate, entertain, stimulate, and (only last) persuade readers. I hope the newspaper believes that it has gotten its money’s worth (or more) from my efforts.
Judging from the reader response that I received, and from the letters (all critical) that you published, I think my last column (President Obama as Lord Grantham) accomplished my goals. If published, this column would, too. But, of course, your goals, and those of the paper, are not necessarily the same as mine.
Finally, for the record and Mr. Jackson’s benefit, and as you already know, I write from my law firm’s e-mail account only because it is more dependable than my personal account. The firm does not necessarily share my views and is not responsible for my opinions in my columns or in this e-mail. But the firm does subscribe to the paper!
And the response from Pam Platt, Editor:
From: Platt, Pam Sent: Tuesday, February 12, 2013 5:00 PM
To: John David Dyche
Subject: RE: Got your message
I do want to thank you for the pieces you did on the opinion pages for the past 10 years, and I wish you the very best in your life and your work.