August 3, 2003: No Newspaper Is Good NewspaperLast week I reached the point of complete apathy about our local paper, the Austin American-Statesman. The editorial policy is (by Texas standards) kneejerk liberal, and spills blatantly into local news coverage. The humor column usually reads like a drunk trying to pick a fight. City politics here in the People's Republic of Austin are depressing to read about even when reported evenhandedly. And the letters page leaves only two conclusions: either Austin is chock-full of drooling idiots, or somebody at the Statesman has decided that if a letter doesn't make the reader roll his eyes, it's not amusing enough to print.
I realized that, although I spent 20 to 30 minutes with the paper each day, and more on Sunday, I was skimming the whole thing and getting little or nothing. I can read Dave Barry online; if I decide I miss any of the comics enough to care, I can read them online. When I need national or world news I can juggle the online CNN, Fox, and the BBC, and get close enough to the truth to make it through my life.
So I canceled my subscription, saved a few trees, and got a half-hour a day back into my life.
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