Saturday, February 28, 2009

TFP accomplishes amazing feat

After receiving hundreds of complaints about the TV Times' stupidly showing only Monday daytime programming under the heading "Weekday mornings Monday - Friday" and "Weekday afternoons Monday - Friday," the brilliant editors at the TFP woke up, a little, and now their listings are even more generic.
For example, for Turner Classic Movies, which shows almost nothing but movies, with an occasional documentary about movies or movie-makers, and the occasional short, including cartoons or travelogues, this is now the listing: "Movie" followed by "Varied Programs" followed by "Movie" followed by "Varied programs."
Same for American Movie Classics, for HBO, for Showtime, for ...
Well, I never would have thought it possible, but the geniuses at Chattanooga Publishing have really accomplished something: Their TV magazine is now as lacking in useful information as the front page!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Paper's so bad, it infects community

On most of the nation's editorial pages, often the only intelligent, rational commentary is in the letters to the editor.
Alas, the Times Free Press is so bad, even the letters are generally irrational and unintelligent, if not just partisanly dishonest.
On Saturday, 14 February 2009, is this headline on a letter from one Pat Hagan, no community or address given, apparently with good reason: "Wamp denies health care for children."
Hagan (Mr.? Ms.?) says, "I just read where Republican Zach Wamp voted against the federal bill that expands health insurance for low-income children."
Naturally the letter rambles on and on, further denouncing Wamp, the member of Congress now running for governor.
Hagan and whichever knucklehead wrote the headline apparently can't discern the difference between another government program of -- as even Hagan wrote -- "insurance" and medical treatment.
Possibly neither the letter writer nor the headline writer is being intentionally dishonest; possibly both are just dumb.
I mean, never mind that most of the opposition to the program's expansion is based on the fact, or belief, that many more than "low-income children" would be suddenly eligible, there are other, including constitutional, reasons to oppose the bill.
Even Wamp, by no means an admirable member of Congress, and certainly no friend of the working and producing people, would actually "deny" medical care to children, or to anybody else.
Once in a while, though, even Wamp will say "no" to further federal tax waste.
It's too bad the editorial page employees have so little understanding ... or, perhaps, honesty.

Can't spell, sure, but can't count?

Headline: "4 stations to begin digital broadcasts Tuesday." That's the front page of the Metro & Region section of Saturday, 14 February 2009.
In the article, we see this: "Switching on Tuesday, WTCI, Channel 45, WDEF, Channel 12."
I've counted it several times to be sure and every time it comes out two.
I don't know if the "editors" can't count, or if they, like a growing number of other people in this area, just don't read the paper.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

More on the TV magazine

Lest anyone dare to think my criticism of the Times Free Press is mere nitpicking, let me point out one more example of the lack of care, the lack of thought in the TV magazine, which is named TV Times.
Each week there is some quiz titled "TV Trivia Questions."
Here is a sample: "In Terminator 3 who played the role of the killer cyborg?" Three possible answers are given ... right next to a photo of Kristanna Luken.
In the current issue (1-7 Feb. 2008), the question is "What film star was a former all-star point guard, fashion model and apeared on Ugly Betty (a) Gabrielle Union (b) Lindsay Lohan (c) Heather Tom (sic)"
No punctuation. And right next to it is a photo of Gabrielle Union.
Yep, a real brain-stretcher.
The real quiz is, How can one publication be so slovenly?

... and further ... and wider

There is an old story about the parents of a horrible child discussing buying their little hellion a bicycle. Mama asks, “Do you think it will improve his behavior?” Daddy replies, “No, but it will spread it around further.”
Perhaps that is the thinking behind Chattanooga Publishing's decision to create still another publication, this one a slick monthly called “Chatter.”
It is, of course, generally inane, with almost no worthwhile content (though of course that is really subjective).
There is a cover price on the February edition, but that apparently is just a joke, or perhaps someone is being hopeful. Chatter is found in free boxes around the area.
Alas, Chatter is just another example of the company's total lack of quality control.
Articles will have a beginning single quote mark (‘) rather than an apostrophe (’), which is the result of one or both of two problems: No one reads the stuff before it is printed, or no one cares … or possibly no one understands the difference.
Worse, in the January edition is an article about a couple who moved from Michigan to open a shotgun club in the area. Looking at the big photo of the two firing their shotguns, I thought, “Gee, they’re both left-handed.”
Well, no, they’re not. Some non-thinker, or non-carer, flopped the photo.
Pictures further into the article show they’re both right-handed.
The Table of Contents says the article begins on Page 26, but it doesn't: It begins on Page 44. Very careless, and further evidence of no quality control.
A naggy article about “calorie-laden dishes” says of fettuccini Alfredo “there’s nothing remotely healthy about it.”
Uh, no, of course not: It’s dead or no one would try to eat it.
However, just as with the rest of the mis-educated writers at Chattanooga Publishing, the writer does not know that “healthy” means “having health” and what was meant was “healthful,” which means “giving health.”
Reading the daily or weekly or monthly publications from Chattanooga Publishing is, more than fettuccini Alfredo, very dangerous to one’s health, including, perhaps especially, one's blood pressure and digestion.
(By the way, "fettuccini" is usually spelled "fettuccine," but other spellings are listed as acceptable.)

Monday, February 02, 2009

Believe it or not, TFP deteriorates further

Sunday circulation of most papers rises because readers want the TV magazine (sad to say, too often mis-called "the TV guide").
Readers get the Sunday ads, the coupons, and the color funnies (the best part of any paper) for their money, so apparently see the Sunday paper as a better deal than the actual TV Guide magazine, whose sole purpose is to outline the coming week's programming.
Compared to other such TV magazines in the area, the TFP's was rather well laid out, although its movie listings and descriptions usually omitted the very movies I wanted to know about (possibly not on purpose ... but who knows?).
As of 1 February, though, the magazine has deteriorated even further. Rather than a full day's listing, it now tries to consolidate the daytime listings, apparently under the delusion that daytime programming is the same Monday through Friday.
So the premiere issue of the new magazine has page 14 labeled "Weekday Mornings, Monday Feb. 2 - Friday Feb. 6" and there is, sure enough, the listings for Monday, including TCM and AMC movies ... but nary a word, anywhere in the rag, as to what will be playing the rest of the week.
Obviously, quality control is an unknown concept at the TFP.
Here's another example of the lack of attention by the "editors" and other people who really ought to be paying attention to what goes into the TFP pages: Each week, on the last page of the listings, right above the Saturday Late Night schedule, is a box labeled (though in my opinion mis-labeled) "late nite laughs."
For this Feb. 7 page, here is one of the supposed laughs, from a routine by Jay Leno: "Now the real pressure is on. He only has three days left to respond to Hurricane Katrina."
This is WEEKS after the coronation, and the TFP is still printing would-be jokes about President Bush.
Whoever chooses this stuff is terribly humor-challenged anyway, but surely someone could train the person to pay a little attention to a calendar.
Perhaps, though, calendars have just bypassed the TFP completely, and it will soon go the way of the dodo, which its editors rather resemble.

Times Free Press furthers cause of racism

Back in the bad old days, Lee Anderson, then editor of the Chattanooga News-Free Press, was -- sad to say -- a segregationist.
I believe he's grown up since then.
Unfortunately the "news" paper with which he is now affiliated continues to disseminate racist propaganda.
My guess is it's the same people who fill up the Times side of the editorial section who force the racist garbage of Leonard Pitts, Jr., onto the Sunday pages.
Now to give the devil his due, Pitts did, around the time of the coronation, caution Obamaniacs not to get too carried away with the worship of Abraham Lincoln, and not to draw a direct line of succession from Lincoln to Obama, citing Lincoln's oft-stated belief blacks could never be equal to whites, could not live with them, and certainly could not rule over them.
But usually Pitts is the kind of columnist who would find something "racist" in so innocuous a statement as "the sun rises in the east."
Pitts has now jumped on the bandwagon trying to silence Rush Limbaugh (see below) for his "I hope he fails" comment.
I'd be willing to bet that Pitts never hears Rush's show, and I'd double the bet he didn't hear that particular comment.
The intellectual level of Pitts' diatribe is illustrated by his frequent use of the word "clown" to describe Rush and, apparently, conservatives generally.
Pitts is, obviously, angry, and he is, apparently, not very sane.
All of which brings into question the sanity, or the honesty, of the "editors" who propagate the ... well, at least inaccuracy of such screechiness as Pitts'.
Why would this excuse of a paper, just a few weeks after publisher Griscom swore up and down he wanted "truth" (sic) in his paper, waste the precious lives of trees to print the ranting of an obsessive racist such as Leonard Pitts, Jr.?