The News Goes Dark

Ever since the Clinton gang made it possible for corporations to own the news and the rise of the internet providing news of the day newsrooms have been in a bit of bother……slowly but slowly the public is losing those small news operations that cannot compete with the corporations and their influence.

Just last week the news broke that BuzzFeed was shuddering their news room….

BuzzFeed News is being shut down, BuzzFeed founder and CEO Jonah Peretti announced in an email sent to staff on Thursday. He wrote that “we are reducing our workforce by approximately 15% today across our Business, Content, Tech, and Admin teams, and beginning the process of closing BuzzFeed News.” He continued, “HuffPost and BuzzFeed Dot Com have signaled that they will open a number of select roles for members of BuzzFeed News. … Moving forward, we will have a single news brand in HuffPost, which is profitable, with a loyal direct front page audience.”

Last month, CNBC reported BuzzFeed was slimming down its roughly 100-person news department through voluntary buyouts offered to what sources said was about a third of those employees. CNBC noted that investors had lobbied to have the entire newsroom shut down. Sources said it was losing $10 million annually, and that killing it off would increase the company’s market cap by $300 million; CNBC reports shares had crashed 90% since its IPO. The company shut down its news app at the beginning of the month.

CNBC reporter Alex Sherman called Peretti’s email an “unusually apologetic note by a CEO.” After outlining the challenges that have battered the company (ranging from COVID to a slew of economic headwinds), Peretti writes that “I also want to be clear: I could have managed these changes better as the CEO of this company and our leadership team could have performed better despite these circumstances.” He faulted a slow integration of the company’s two business organizations, BuzzFeed and Complex and a “decision to overinvest in BuzzFeed News because I love their work and mission so much.”

“This made me slow to accept that the big platforms wouldn’t provide the distribution or financial support required to support premium, free journalism purpose-built for social media,” he continued. “More broadly, I regret that I didn’t hold the company to higher standards for profitability, to give us the buffer needed to manage through economic and industry downturns and avoid painful days like today. … I’ve learned from these mistakes … It might not feel this way today, but I am confident the future of digital media is ours for the taking. Our industry is hurting and ready to be reborn. We are taking great pains today, and will begin to fight our way to a bright future.”

Now news has broken that another small news operation will no longer be available…..Vice

Vice, the media company that went from a Montreal punk magazine more than 20 years ago to a juggernaut with a $5.7 billion valuation, is the latest member of the Fourth Estate to be on the brink of going belly up. The New York Times, citing three “people with knowledge” but not authorization to blab publicly, reports the company is currently shopping for a buyer but preparing for bankruptcy in the event that doesn’t happen. It’s quite a trajectory: Vice dazzled among new media companies, raising huge amounts of funding from the likes of Disney and Fox, and expanding into global bureaus, an HBO show, and even a movie studio.

“Vice Media Group has been engaged in a comprehensive evaluation of strategic alternatives and planning,” Vice said in a statement. “The company, its board and stakeholders continue to be focused on finding the best path.” The Times notes that a bankruptcy filing could give control of Vice to its biggest debt-holder, Fortress Investment Group, which holds “senior” debt over Fox and Disney—also meaning that Fortress is at the front of the line to get paid if Vice should sell. Quartz notes that it’s been a rough stretch for media, with BuzzFeed shutting down its news operation last month, and the likes of FiveThirtyEight, Gannett, National Geographic, NPR, the Washington Post, and Vox all rattled by layoffs in the past several months.

Vice filed for bankruptcy as expected Monday morning, the latest large media company to go under. In this case, it appears that a group of Vice lenders including Soros Fund Management and Fortress Investment Group will attempt the buy the company with a credit bid of $225 million, reports CNBC. All of which cements “Vice’s status among the most notable bad bets in the media industry,” per the New York Times.

It appears that the elimination of the more independent journalists has begun and the winners will always be the corporate media.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”


Ever Wonder Where The Money Goes?

I know most people walk around in a haze and believe the hype that is spread by the War Department on the need for more and more cash…..

So keeping with my attempts to be an FYI blog I offer this info on the Pentagon budget…..if you care where your tax dollars go then you might want to read this carefully and decide if it is money well spent.

This will give my reader an idea of just how much money is being spent under the guise of defense and where these dollars will go.

Now that I have your attention let us look at how the media plays into to censorship of information around our War Department and our lust for war…..

If I have peaked your interest then by all means read on…..

On January 17, 1961, outgoing President and former Supreme Allied Commander Dwight D. Eisenhower gave one of the most consequential speeches in American history. Eisenhower for eight years had been a popular president, whose appeal drew upon a reputation as a person of great personal fortitude, who’d guided the United States to victory in an existential fight for survival in World War II. Nonetheless, as he prepared to vacate the Oval Office for handsome young John F. Kennedy, he warned the country it was now at the mercy of a power even he could not overcome. 

Until World War II, America had no permanent arms manufacturing industry. Now it did, and this new sector, Eisenhower said, was building up around itself a cultural, financial, and political support system accruing enormous power. This “conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience,” he said, adding:

In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist. 

We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes… Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together. 

This was the direst of warnings, but the address has tended in the popular press to be ignored. After sixty-plus years, most of America – including most of the American left, which traditionally focused the most on this issue – has lost its fear that our arms industry might conquer democracy from within.

Keep an eye on the news….there may be a request for even more cash for Ukraine by mid-Summer….

The last massive aid package Congress authorized for Ukraine has about $6 billion left, which is expected to be used up by mid-summer, POLITICO reported Monday.

So far, the US has authorized about $113 billion in spending on the war in Ukraine, which includes military aid, direct budgetary aid, training, funding for US troop deployments in Eastern Europe, and other types of assistance.

Once the final $6 billion dries up, the Pentagon won’t be able to ship more weapons to Ukraine. That means the White House is expected to ask Congress to authorize more spending on the war soon.

A senior Biden administration official told POLITICO that the White House is discussing a new package and is going to time it so the weapons can keep flowing to Ukraine. The official said the administration is “fully committed” to supporting Kyiv in the war “for the long haul.”

The POLITICO report said that massive aid packages for Ukraine might not be as easy to ram through Congress as they were before, citing the debate over the debt ceiling and dissent from a small but significant group of Republicans. But the majority of Republicans support arming Ukraine, including GOP leadership, who have been critical of President Biden for not sending longer-range weapons and fighter jets.

“Although there are dissenting voices, the large majority of certainly Republicans — for sure in the Senate and arguably in the House as well — believe strongly that we need Ukraine to win and that the outcome there is something that matters not only to that region, but to the United States and our national security interests,” said Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC).

On the Democrat side, there is virtually no opposition to arming Ukraine. While there’s still strong support in Congress for arming Ukraine, hawks in Washington are concerned it could decline if Ukraine’s long-awaited counteroffensive fails.


For god sake please pull your head out of the proverbial sand pile….or better yet out of your ass.

Be Smart!

Learn Stuff!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”