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Do Web readers value journalism enough to pay? (Dinosaur Media DeathWatch™)
Los Angeles Times ^ | January 1, 2010 | James Rainey

Posted on 01/01/2010 3:28:06 PM PST by abb

As the media landscape continues to skew to online from print, more news outlets may feel financial pressure to test just how much readers care about professional credentials.

Looking into the media furor over swine flu last spring, I interviewed a UCLA epidemiologist, who told me it was best to assume "a posture of humility" in trying to assess how deadly the H1N1 virus would be.

"This is a virus we haven't seen before," said Dr. Robert Kim-Farley. "We don't really know what will happen."

I've thought often in recent months about those words, which just as easily might be applied to viral change infecting the news media.

We don't know exactly what's coming in the news business, only that change is coming fast. But if 2010 is anything like the year just ending, expect to see: more opinion, more partisanship, more (amateur) voices in the mix, more niche websites, less original reporting, less separation between news and advertising, and fewer paid journalists on the beat.

Information in the broadband, iPhone world will be more accessible, more quickly. Many consumers will find outlets that slice and dice information by subject, ideology and tone in ways they find pleasing. But with the citizenry increasingly fitted into a series of silos, the challenge of coming together for a civil, coherent conversation will grow greater.

The technological disruption shaking professional media, though, has empowered a new information army.

When mainstream reporters were driven out of Iran around last June's presidential election, everyday citizens took up the story, using cellphones and Twitter accounts to beam tales of voter fraud to the world. YouTube images of Neda Agha-Soltan, 26, bleeding to death on the streets of Tehran, made it hard for us to turn away from brutality and repression.

snip

(Excerpt) Read more at latimes.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society; Extended News; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: advertising; dbm; ecommerce; latimes; newmedia; newspapers
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1 posted on 01/01/2010 3:28:10 PM PST by abb
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To: 04-Bravo; aimhigh; andyandval; Arizona Carolyn; backhoe; Bahbah; bert; bilhosty; Caipirabob; ...

ping


2 posted on 01/01/2010 3:28:40 PM PST by abb ("What ISN'T in the news is often more important than what IS." Ed Biersmith, 1942 -)
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To: abb
Do Web readers value journalism enough to pay?

Show us some honest journalism and we will let you know.

3 posted on 01/01/2010 3:29:35 PM PST by RJL
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To: abb

http://www.buzzmachine.com/
Surrendering advertising … killing bundling

http://www.newspaperdeathwatch.com/our-most-memorable-stories-of-2009.html
Our Most Memorable Stories of 2009


4 posted on 01/01/2010 3:29:57 PM PST by abb ("What ISN'T in the news is often more important than what IS." Ed Biersmith, 1942 -)
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To: RJL

Rainey can whine with the best of them. “We are OWED!!!”


5 posted on 01/01/2010 3:31:10 PM PST by abb ("What ISN'T in the news is often more important than what IS." Ed Biersmith, 1942 -)
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To: abb

Only reason I read the LA Times, the NY Times and similar publications is to see what the official Democratic position is on something. If they go away, I’ll be forced to get it from Gibbs, Obama, Pelosi or Reid.


6 posted on 01/01/2010 3:33:22 PM PST by Brugmansian
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To: abb

Ain’t that the irony? Liberal Media panders to Liberals, and liberals respond in kind by not purchasing any product. The Liberal Solution? Make the government pay!

Say, how come liberals don’t support their own?


7 posted on 01/01/2010 3:35:31 PM PST by kittycatonline.com
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To: abb
At this point in history I would not give a journalist the sweat off my left testicle. The so called professional journalists in the US are biased and write with an agenda that applauds liberalism and vilifies the middle and the right. Do I value journalism enough to pay? No because journalists that write for today's papers are liars.
8 posted on 01/01/2010 3:35:55 PM PST by vetvetdoug (FUBO, a fashion statement for conservatives.)
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To: abb
Maybe we do, but if I had to pay for journalism my money would be headed to British journalists, not American partisan political operators. The domestic media still appear clueless as to the extent to which their credibility died in the last Presidential election.

So why shouldn't I support, say, the NY Times? Because its staff hates me and holds me in contempt, that's why, and they don't even try to hide the fact. Why on earth would I pay someone for that?

9 posted on 01/01/2010 3:38:26 PM PST by Billthedrill
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To: RJL
Show us some honest journalism and we will let you know.

Big talk, not backed up with facts.

Look at how conservative papers are closing faster than liberal ones. Look at how the Bulletin has fared. ?Are things great in Boston now? Look at the low quality of amateur reporting. Amateur reporting said that Rush Limbaugh was dead and that photos of his corpse were being bought. HA! A press conference from a walking, talking corpse today!

It makes a convenient meme, but it's not true that a liberal slant is what is killing newspapers...American ambivalence toward in-depth reporting is a large part of it. But go on with the Dan-Rather-style fake-but-accurate belief if tyou want.

10 posted on 01/01/2010 3:40:31 PM PST by Gondring (Paul Revere would have been flamed as a naysayer troll and told to go back to Boston.)
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To: Gondring

No


11 posted on 01/01/2010 3:42:55 PM PST by Reily (overning)
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To: abb

we might if what you were actually doing was journalism.

Since it is not even close to journalism the answer is NO.


12 posted on 01/01/2010 3:42:56 PM PST by Ouderkirk (Democrats: the party of Slavery, Segregation, Sodomy and Sedition)
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To: vetvetdoug

A professional journalist wouldn’t care about your genital perspiration, but you’re welcome to tell everyone about it on your blog. I’m sure you’ll get readers.


13 posted on 01/01/2010 3:43:13 PM PST by Gondring (Paul Revere would have been flamed as a naysayer troll and told to go back to Boston.)
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To: Reily

Exactly. Just going conservative doesn’t do it.


14 posted on 01/01/2010 3:44:25 PM PST by Gondring (Paul Revere would have been flamed as a naysayer troll and told to go back to Boston.)
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To: kittycatonline.com
Say, how come liberals don’t support their own?

Many of the liberals I know are very, very cheap when it comes to anyone but themselves. They will spend big bucks for their own toys, but when it comes to $10 toward a collection for someone they associate with, they just don't have the money that day. But they will express a wish that the person will be eligible for some state benefits.

So they won't gather together and buy extra copies of their favorite leftist ragsheets, but will "speak out" in favor of government subsidy. That's someone else's money, after all, right?
15 posted on 01/01/2010 3:45:35 PM PST by LostInBayport (When the riders in the cart outnumber those pulling the cart, the cart stops moving. My back hurts.)
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To: abb
Most of the information (?) in US papers these days is not worth paying for. It is on the internet the day before. The newspapers are now written by persons with an agenda. In addition the rarely know what they write about (unfortunately)
16 posted on 01/01/2010 3:45:55 PM PST by Citizen Tom Paine
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To: Ouderkirk

For all these years, “journalism” - whatever that is - have thought their practitioners got paid for what they wrote/spoke.

Wrong.

The only value they ever had was the monopoly on distribution of content.

And that’s all gone.


17 posted on 01/01/2010 3:46:24 PM PST by abb ("What ISN'T in the news is often more important than what IS." Ed Biersmith, 1942 -)
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To: abb

PAY TO BE PROPAGANDIZED?

I DON’T THINK SO!!!!


18 posted on 01/01/2010 3:46:29 PM PST by Dick Bachert (THE 2010 ELECTIONS ARE THE MOST IMPORTANT IN OUR LIFETIMES! BE THERE!!!)
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To: kittycatonline.com

Remember all the hype about the Dixie Chicks and their record sales after ‘George-gate’?

Once liberal outrage died down they couldn’t be bothered to keep buying.


19 posted on 01/01/2010 3:50:25 PM PST by relictele
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To: abb

There’s a long list of liberal rags that ain’t gonna make it if their business model is charging on the internet.


20 posted on 01/01/2010 3:53:47 PM PST by Rocky (Obama's ego: The "I's" have it.)
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To: abb

Shoot the dog; there’s no serious jurinalism left.


21 posted on 01/01/2010 3:59:12 PM PST by sionnsar (IranAzadi|5yst3m 0wn3d-it's N0t Y0ur5:SONY|Remember Neda Agha-Soltan|TV--it's NOT news you can trust)
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To: RJL
Show us some honest journalism and we will let you know.

Add in Santa Claus and the tooth fairy.

22 posted on 01/01/2010 4:00:34 PM PST by sionnsar (IranAzadi|5yst3m 0wn3d-it's N0t Y0ur5:SONY|Remember Neda Agha-Soltan|TV--it's NOT news you can trust)
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To: abb

Notice the use of the word “journalism” as the object of value. People never bought a newspaper for “journalism.” They wanted to read the news—or sports, or classifieds. The end-product is supposed to be facts. Or, news. Sometimes, possibly, truth.

He might have asked if people value the “facts.” But he knows so little of the facts, and clearly is one of those who values them not.

Oh well. And they wonder why they are in the tank.


23 posted on 01/01/2010 4:08:05 PM PST by PaleoBob
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To: abb
Even some sports journalists stink these days.

I see two just got canned in my local rag.
Being a homer writer is one thing and acceptable.
Getting silly over it - your gone. Why? Everyone is sick of it.

24 posted on 01/01/2010 4:13:02 PM PST by AGreatPer (Impeach Obama)
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To: abb

You know, in all the stories we’ve read over the years about the demise of newspapers, it’s curious that one key, if not THE key fact, is never mentioned. Newspapers, during their glory days..the 50’s-90’s....when they flourished..and virtually minted money and profits..well, dureing that time..they were for the most part..monopolies..Yes, there were a few instances in major cities where there was competition...but usually one or more of those “competing” papers was owned by a huge chain and/or media conglomerate....more than willing to cover any losses. So before we cry crocodile tears over their demise..let’s remember the tyranny of the monopoly..the small businessman who wanted to place a help wanted ad....want 1/8 page in your local paper..it was about $400 in the 70’s...about one week’s wages for the positon being advertised...and they sounded like they were doing you a favor... they killed themselves, because they refused torecognize how the new technologies would impact them....they weren’t tat good after all..they just had the game rigged for 40 years....


25 posted on 01/01/2010 4:15:04 PM PST by ken5050 (Save the Earth..It's the only planet with chocolate!!!)
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To: LostInBayport

I have a saying I like to use around my left minded associates. “Liberals are always the first and loudest to cry for sacrifice. But, the only thing they bring to the altar is their neighbors.”


26 posted on 01/01/2010 4:24:51 PM PST by Rudolphus (Tagline? I don't need no steenkin' tagline.)
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To: PaleoBob
"This was not exactly the truth, but then, what is, exactly?"
Howell Raines (b. 1943), U. S. Journalist.
From his book Whiskey Man, 1977
27 posted on 01/01/2010 4:33:50 PM PST by abb ("What ISN'T in the news is often more important than what IS." Ed Biersmith, 1942 -)
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To: Billthedrill
Because its staff hates me and holds me in contempt, that's why, and they don't even try to hide the fact. Why on earth would I pay someone for that?

Well said. That attitude is reflective of the growing intolerance gap between the coastal elites and people who live in the rest of what used to be a unified country. The stereotyping of Sarah Palin as an ignorant "hick" is a perfect example. She doesn't have a "cultured" East Coast accent, an Ivy League degree and says "You betcha!" While she's been a mayor and governor and has far more experience than our current "President," Alaska seems a backward and unimportant state to that crowd.

28 posted on 01/01/2010 4:36:59 PM PST by Bernard Marx (I donÂ’t trust the reasoning of anyone who writes then when they mean than.)
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To: abb

Howell Raines! Good one. LOL He wouldn’t know the truth if it ordered him to pack a valise and report to the concentration camp.


29 posted on 01/01/2010 4:37:04 PM PST by PaleoBob
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To: ken5050

Precisely. Monopoly was all they ever had. See my post #17. Think how much capital was required to set up an electronic broadcast system via TV or radio. Think how much capital is required to do the same for an ink-on-paper information distribution system (aka newspaper). And think about mass production of paper and how expensive that is.

Lots and lots of money, which bars most folks from entry into the marketplace. De facto monopoly situation.

And also see this by Jeff Jarvis.

http://www.buzzmachine.com/
Surrendering advertising … killing bundling


30 posted on 01/01/2010 4:39:39 PM PST by abb ("What ISN'T in the news is often more important than what IS." Ed Biersmith, 1942 -)
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To: Dick Bachert

They can keep their drivel and I’ll keep my money.

Seems like a good deal to me.


31 posted on 01/01/2010 4:43:19 PM PST by kamikaze2000
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To: Rudolphus
I have a saying I like to use around my left minded associates. “Liberals are always the first and loudest to cry for sacrifice. But, the only thing they bring to the altar is their neighbors.”

That is brilliant! I may have to borrow it to raise the blood pressure of my left minded associates...
32 posted on 01/01/2010 5:07:19 PM PST by LostInBayport (When the riders in the cart outnumber those pulling the cart, the cart stops moving. My back hurts.)
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To: abb
"As the media landscape continues to skew to online from print, more news outlets may feel financial pressure to test just how much readers care about professional credentials."

Well, before I will pay for news, it has to actually BE news, and not propaganda. What is needed is not "professional credentials", but "professional ethics".

Right now, amateur journalists display more professional ethics than do "professional" reporters.

33 posted on 01/01/2010 5:24:13 PM PST by Wonder Warthog
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To: Gondring
"It makes a convenient meme, but it's not true that a liberal slant is what is killing newspapers...American ambivalence toward in-depth reporting is a large part of it."

See #33.

34 posted on 01/01/2010 5:28:04 PM PST by Wonder Warthog
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To: ken5050

I know I’ve prolly posted this link before, but it shows clearly what a monster infrastructure was once required to do electronic telecommunications.

Immense manpower and capital.

http://long-lines.net/


35 posted on 01/01/2010 5:28:28 PM PST by abb ("What ISN'T in the news is often more important than what IS." Ed Biersmith, 1942 -)
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To: Wonder Warthog

You can’t be serious. The SPJ has been excellent in that aspect, even donating to conservative papers to make up losses from liberal activists trying to suppress the free press.


36 posted on 01/01/2010 5:54:00 PM PST by Gondring (Paul Revere would have been flamed as a naysayer troll and told to go back to Boston.)
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To: abb

No.


37 posted on 01/01/2010 6:36:35 PM PST by Cicero (Marcus Tullius)
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To: RJL

That’s not wholly the issue.

I pay for online versions of newspapers (IBD and Barron’s) - but what they write helps me make money. These papers are doing relatively well (relative to the rest of the newspaper industry).

Why? They don’t report the latest Hollywood gossip (which I could find at hundreds of tattle-tale websites who are parasites chasing celebutards as they self-destruct), or sports (I find there is nothing more useless than American team sports lately - and I would not shed a tear if all big-money national sports teams were simply dispensed with tomorrow). There’s absolutely no money in employing writers in covering local news any more, because the people who are truly interested in what is going on in local government are now able to watch live video of the government meetings in so many localities. Why read a summary when you can watch the real McCoy?

Advertising had been the actual business of a newspaper for years and years - and now, with the exception of legal notices, people and businesses have abandoned newspapers as the place to advertise. Want to sell your lawnmower? You list it on Craigslist, or eBay. Easier for interested people to find and you (the advertiser) gets more eyeballs looking at your goods than you do with a newspaper.

Once the newspaper industry lost the big advertisers (esp. the auto companies and auto dealers), the last nail was in the coffin lid.

There will be markets for journalism that is hard-hitting, balanced, etc - but highly and narrowly specialized. It will also expensive for subscribers in order to make it profitable for the publisher(s) - and the publisher will be delivering value in excess of the cost to the subscriber, much as IBD does.

The days of the “all the news fit to print in one paper” are over - no matter how well written or “balanced,” “objective” or any other sort of criteria you might want to add. The trends in circulation and advertising revenue have converged and will now take down most all newspapers in the country, no matter how balanced they are.


38 posted on 01/01/2010 6:42:57 PM PST by NVDave
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To: Gondring; RJL; abb
When it comes down to “conservative” newspapers—they are few and far between to note any sort of trend from in their performance.

All city papers bring in content from the AP, Reuters, and UPI (if UPI exists any longer). These are not “conservative” sources for news. As for national papers like Investors Business Daily or the Wall Street Journal, well, the Wall Street Journal has increased its overall circulation from 2,069,463 in 2008 to 2.1 million (0.6%) in Oct. 2009.

http://www.newscorp.com/news/news_377.html
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/27/business/media/27audit.html/?_r=1
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Wall_Street_Journal#cite_note-1

I'd suggest there are no “conservative” papers and that is as much as half of the reason all papers are heading downward in circulation. The rest is from a lack of interest in them (perhaps in favor of internet sources).

39 posted on 01/01/2010 6:48:09 PM PST by ConservativeMind (Hypocrisy: "Animal rightists" who eat meat & pen up pets while accusing hog farmers of cruelty.)
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To: ken5050

That is an important point. There’s an additional point that escapes most notice outside investor circles:

In keeping with their monopoly mentality, many newspapers were held in family trusts. The LA Times, NY Times are two examples. The actual voting shares were closely held “B” shares, and then the other classes of stock were non-voting or had diluted voting rights. The closely-held voting shares of the family trust(s) held sway and were able to keep anyone from buying the paper or buying a majority of the stock in the markets and gaining even a seat on the board.

As time went on, many of the family members had little to no interest in exercising any business oversight of the paper, just so long as their restricted class share dividends were paid to support their lavish coupon-clipping lifestyles. It is only when the papers really hit bottom that the family members would wake up and “demanded to know what happened.”

And what has now happened is irreversible, even if they hire management that literally walks on water. They now find themselves owning controlling interest(s) in buggy whip manufactures.


40 posted on 01/01/2010 6:50:06 PM PST by NVDave
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To: ConservativeMind

The WSJ’s only actual conservative content is their op-ed pages - the rest of the paper is as doctrinaire liberal as the NYT - and just as ignorant of facts. The only thing the WSJ knows better than other papers is the ins and outs of Wall Street. But when the business issues they’re describing aren’t taught in an Ivy League school, or in a major J-school, they’re just as stupid and silly as the NYT. Some of their articles on the ag sector, for example, are knee-slapping hilarious.


41 posted on 01/01/2010 6:53:19 PM PST by NVDave
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To: Gondring
"You can’t be serious.

I'm perfectly serious. Journalists today have no ethics, and today's major media reportage is not journalism, but liberal propaganda.

"The SPJ has been excellent in that aspect, even donating to conservative papers to make up losses from liberal activists trying to suppress the free press."

I have no idea what "the SPJ" is, or how you think it enters into the discussion. Nor did I refer to it in the indicated post.

42 posted on 01/02/2010 3:27:07 AM PST by Wonder Warthog
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To: abb
But with the citizenry increasingly fitted into a series of silos, the challenge of coming together for a civil, coherent conversation will grow greater.
When the writer speaks of "the challenge of coming together for a civil, coherent conversation," what I hear is the challenge of channeling the public discourse into the left-wing trough which is natural to AP journalism.

Show me someone who claims objectivity rather than confessing to the reasons why he might not be objective in spite of his good intentions, and I will show you a propagandist.

And if that shoe fits the journalists you have been listening to, what does that tell you?


43 posted on 01/02/2010 3:43:32 AM PST by conservatism_IS_compassion (DRAFT PALIN)
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To: conservatism_IS_compassion

Rainey at least gets to the nut. It’s all about who gets to do the ‘telling.’ They used to be listened to because they had the only microphones and printing presses. Now, not so much.


44 posted on 01/02/2010 3:59:00 AM PST by abb ("What ISN'T in the news is often more important than what IS." Ed Biersmith, 1942 -)
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To: Wonder Warthog

Thank you for your admissions.


45 posted on 01/02/2010 4:59:29 AM PST by Gondring (Paul Revere would have been flamed as a naysayer troll and told to go back to Boston.)
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To: Gondring
"Thank you for your admissions."

"SJC" is not mentioned in my post, nor in yours that I tagged to, nor in the article posted. What the **** are you talking about??

What I'm "admitting" is that your writing is crappy.

46 posted on 01/02/2010 5:12:38 AM PST by Wonder Warthog
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To: Wonder Warthog

Your incorrect statement is mitigated by your admission of ignorance on the topic.


47 posted on 01/02/2010 5:34:50 AM PST by Gondring (Paul Revere would have been flamed as a naysayer troll and told to go back to Boston.)
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To: abb

No they are cheap whores.


48 posted on 01/02/2010 5:46:32 AM PST by bmwcyle (Free the Navy Seals)
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To: Gondring; Wonder Warthog

Sorry, but it is poor writing to not spell out your acronyms - don’t blame Wonder Warthog for not knowing what you are talking about when you mention ‘SPJ’ without first spelling it out.


49 posted on 01/02/2010 8:02:05 AM PST by dirtboy
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To: dirtboy
"Sorry, but it is poor writing to not spell out your acronyms - don’t blame Wonder Warthog for not knowing what you are talking about when you mention ‘SPJ’ without first spelling it out."

Thanks, DB. Precisely the point I was going to make. For all I know, "SJC" might stand for "San Juan Capistrano". The letters "S", "J", and "C" can stand for a lot of different things....all legit.

50 posted on 01/03/2010 4:52:23 PM PST by Wonder Warthog
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