The irony is delicious. For the last four years, the Dallas Morning News has been on a jihad against Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton. Over their boisterous objections, Texans re-elected Paxton in November. And today it was announced they were slashing their “newsroom” by 40 employees.
It seems Texans just don’t want to pay for the leftist garbage produced by the once formidable Morning News. Over the last two decades, the content has become more and more shrill, and not just the editorial page. The “news” — like the fact-free tales produced by liberal activist Lauren McGaughy attacking Paxton — reads more like Democrat Party press releases than actual journalism.
And that’s the problem with the crusading leftists at flailing legacy publications. It’s not that they are liberal, it’s that they are liberal and pretend they aren’t. Like the emperor walking naked down the street, the “mainstream” media loudly proclaims the beautiful morality of their bias-free journalistic cloak while everyone snickers at their tattoos proclaiming love for Hillary, Beto, Obama, and Nancy.
Even as the DMN’s “news” pages marched more to the beat of the establishmentarian left, the opinion pages for a brief period reflected the old publication’s ever-so-slight right-of-center editiorial lean. Very briefly. They pretended in print to support free market economics … while endorsing extreme leftists for office, like the aforementioned Hillary, Beto, and others. Yes, they occasionally endorsed conservatives, but usually only when endorsing anyone else would expose them to further ridicule. But most often their endorsements have given the talking points for why Texans support the non-DMN candidate.
In recent years, the DMN editorial page has read like a poor man’s Mother Jones or New York Times.
Quite honestly, the far-left Texas Observer has more credibility than most “mainstream” publications. The Observer wears their bias for all to see, making themselves an honest purveyor of information. A reader knows exactly how to filter what they are reading.
Frankly, it’s false to apply the moniker “mainstream” to cratering publications like the Dallas Morning News. There is nothing mainstream about these publications, or else they wouldn’t be slashing their newsroom. Their readership represents a small and shrinking percentage of the population. One wonders how many of the DMN’s remaining subscribers simply don’t want to waste the time it takes to cancel delivery of a product whose highest use is lining their birdcage.
And for all that, the Morning News has been producing a substandard product. If they had more integrity, if they embraced their biases, if they reflected their community, if they actually delivered a product people wanted to read, then the Dallas Morning News and the rest of the dinosaur media might not be facing extinction. The market still wants news; for example, Texas Scorecard is hiring.
We’re not supposed to rejoice in the travails of others, but leave it to the Germans to give a name to that guilty feeling — Schadenfreude. But I think it is entirely justifiable to be glad when you get to see the market deliver economic justice to a business that has proven itself to be a bad actor and a worse corporate citizen.
Meanwhile, after celebrating his re-election, Mr. Paxton is heading toward judicial exoneration.