There’s an absence of Peoria-centric news AGAIN on

Go look at the front page of Except for a report on Caterpillar earnings, there are no written reports that I would consider coming out of Peoria.

I’m writing this at about 11:30 a.m., but I’m pretty sure the same could be said if you look at the site tomorrow or the day after.

The only time PJStar has a lot of Peoria-centric news is when the city is building some lame-ass white elephant and the newspaper is promoting it. If a squirrel farts in Bloomington, it runs above the fold,.

Here’s another look at GateHouse Media’s most recent purchase

It’s from the Boston Business Journal and there’s not one about the quality of the journalism that one can expect come out of the deal. Newspapers: Bought and sold like pork bellies. All the matters is the money.

There’s something offensive about any reporting on a newspaper sale without comment on the quality if the journalism to come out of it.

Bruce Rauner is a lying liar who lies

New Bruce Rauner attack ad relies on made-up anti-Quinn headlines

Bruce Rauner. Photo courtesy Huffington Post

» New Rauner attack ad relies on made-up headlines

The 30-second spot takes myriad shots at Quinn on the issues of unemployment, education, tax increases, education and the Democratic governor’s troubled 2010 anti-violence grant program that’s under federal investigation.

The ad overlays what the Rauner campaign calls “headlines” over TV screens. Some of the headlines are correct, such as one from a Chicago Tribune online story saying “Quinn signs tax hike into law” when the governor signed a post-election income tax increase in 2011.

But in two other cases, the Rauner ad makes up headlines that did not appear with the source cited, and in at least three other cases, headlines were shortened to buttress the campaign’s attack on Quinn. Rauner campaign spokesman Mike Schrimpf defended the technique, saying in an e-mail that “due to time and space constraints, the phrases had to be condensed.”

In other words, Bruce Rauner lied. He “condensed” headlines that didn’t make wide sweeping anti-Quinn statements into shorter headlines that did.

Would-be home invader cries like the baby coward he truly is

At the risk of tricking the simple-minded into thinking I’m some sort of conservative, I post THIS in defense of gun-ownership rights:

New London (CT) Police said in a statement they were called to 308 Crystal Ave. after residents found an armed 15-year-old in one of the bedrooms of the home just after 3 a.m. Wednesday morning.

Homeowner Kevin Dennis, 29, said his brother, Rich Dennis, 32, yelled to him that there was a man in the house with a gun.

Kevin Dennis, a Navy veteran who fought in Iraq and Afghanistan, said he immediately grabbed his gun and ran downstairs to find his brother and the 15-year-old suspect in a tussle.

After pointing his gun at the suspect, Kevin Dennis told the suspect to drop the gun he was holding. The suspect complied.  Then, according to Kevin Dennis, the suspect broke down in tears and asked him to call the police because he was peer pressured into breaking into the home.

Let me get this straight. This kid was holding a GUN IN HIS HAND, and he was “peer pressured” into invading a home at night and robbing it. Or could it be that the robber fully expected to be facing unarmed victims and when he realized he wasn’t, he showed his true cowardly colors?

The only way for this story to have a more perfect ending would be if the bad guy ended up with a hole in his chest and his head on a pike in his would be victim’s front yard, with a sign reading “Peer pressure is such a bitch.”

Leave Ted Nugent alone


I remember when the right wing turned on the Dixie Chicks. Someone said something rude about President Bush during the invasion of Iraq. Suddenly, there was a well orchestrated campaign to convince radio stations that it was their patriotic duty to take the Chicks off their stations’ playlists. And right wingers collected a ton of money from gullible country music patriots.

Now comes right winger Ted Nugent claiming that there’s a cabal of left wingers out their convincing venues to fire him and cancel his appearances because of his alleged racism.

Nugent has a point. I’ve seen Facebook posts and Tweets from liberals urging action against Nugent to get him fired from jobs he’s been hired to so.

My philosophy is this: I judge entertainers by the entertainment value they provide. The Dixie Chicks churn out good music, so I’ll come back for more. Ted Nugent hasn’t done anything worth listening to since “Cat Scratch Fever.”

Cause all this “Boycott Ted Nugent” stuff reminds me of Hitler. This shit is wrong when conservatives do it to liberals and wrong when liberals do it to conservatives.

So knock it off.


If I was JS reporter Nick Vlahos, I would be royally PISSED at the morons who run the newspaper’s Website

First, go to the front page of the and try to find ANY reporting on last night’s Peoria City Council meeting. Look really hard. Di you find it? Me neither. Because it’s not there. This is the CITY COUNCIL meeting I’m asking about. It should be the lead story, and it’s no where to be found.

You have to look for the text link that reads “Read more top stories.” You have to scroll down a but and look in the middle of the page. Click it.

And once toy click it, you will be bombarded with popup ads. Some of then pop up twice.

And the article STILL isn’t there.

You have to click on a link after scrolling down a but AGAIN. Click where is says “Next 10.’

And the same popup ads appear. Apparently, the JS’s Web bosses think if you make a popup ad appear EVERY SINGLE TIME TO CLICK ON ANY LINK, YOU WILL CLICK EVENTUALLY ON IT. Every single other Web designer on this planet knows the opposite is true.

Finally, you see an article “City Council defers Northwest Peoria land-use changes, again”

But alas.

The article is divided into two pages.

In the first place, newspaper companies are the only entities STUPID enough to think digital articles have to be divided. IT’S THE INTERNET STUPID. On a dead-tree printed page, there is only room to print so much text. You HAVE to jump long articles.

THERE IS NO SUCH NEED ON THE WEB. NONE. A Web page is as long as you need it to be. The page will get deeper if you add more copy. There is no fundamental reason to make a story JUMP to a new page.

Well, except if you want the ads on the page to load onto reader’s computers more than once, boosting “hit” counts for your ads.

It’s utterly, completely dishonest. But then, this is newspapers.

And here is the kicker in the case. Page one of Nick Vlahos otherwise acceptable digital article ends with this line: “It is adjacent to Bobbette Pickelle’s residence.”

Page 2 of the Web article is the form to enter comments. No text at all. None.

I went and checked the dead-tree print version. I found eight additional paragraphs that are completely missing from the Web version.

And here’s the thing: Every time I’ve looked at a Journal Star recently, the site has been messing up this way. It’s been this way for AT LEAST a month.

Do they not care? Is there no one at the Journal Star who hasn’t noticed?  Maybe they have, but they don’t know how to get help from GateHouse Media, the company that FORCED this horrible CMS system on them). Because I’m thinking that they’d do a lot better with WordPress Multisite.

Because i cannot see spending 99 cents or what the heck they are charging per month. Because I can’t see spending money on a digital  subscription and STILL have to run screaming into the night to buy a dead tree version.

This is a big FAIL. A FAIL for making me search for a recent article. FAIL for making me endure popup after popup. And a FAIL fort making me go get printed version.

Schock bill would promote turning schools into centers for SOCIALISM!

» Reps. Steny Hoyer, Aaron Schock Seek Bipartisan Support for Bill to Fund Full-Service Community Schools: ‘America Must Compete Better’

Reps. Steny Hoyer, Aaron Schock Seek Bipartisan Support for Bill to Fund Full-Service Community Schools: 'America Must Compete Better'House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer (MD) and Rep. Aaron Schock (R-IL) are slated to introduce legislation today that will authorize funding for public K-12 schools that bring together various educational and social service programs.

The Full-Service Community Schools Act of 2014 seeks to offer five-year grants from the Department of Education to localities that implement the collaborative schooling model. It’s a model that’s been around for decades but has only recently gained traction as other reforms to address achievement gaps and income inequality have sputtered.

Hmmm ,,, what’s this?


Full-service community schools seek to help students learn and succeed while strengthening family and community involvement. They are public schools that integrate in-house health and social services for children in efforts to better prepare them for learning by improving their physical, emotional, and social well-being, and include partnerships with community organizations and services that offer programs for parental education and participation in student learning. Full-service community schools tend to also serve as community centers that provide after-school and early childhood education. There are 21 community schools in New York City, 64 in and around Portland, Ore., and 31 in Tulsa, Okla., among many others.

The legislation comes on the heels of President Barack Obama’s announcement Monday that 60 of the country’s largest school districts are signing on to his $200 million initiative to better the educational outcomes of Black and Hispanic boys. The districts represent around 40 percent of America’s Black and Hispanic boys living below the poverty line.

But, but, but … it all OBAMA’S IDEA! And Obama is a stealth Muslim/atheist who was born in Kenya and willing thrall of Saul Alinsky and a follower of Bill Ayers. Everything he touches turns to SOCIALISM!

And what’s this about helping Black and Hispanic boys? Don’t they know that all racism in the county ended on April 8, 1068, when James Earl Ray but a bullet into Martin Luther King Jr.’s brain, and all the bigots suddenly realized in would be impolite to criticize him?

All these Black and Hispanic children are themselves responsible for attending poor schools.

Anyway, Black and Hispanic kids will grow up to vote for DEMOCRATS, so we don’t owe ‘em NOTHING.




THIS is how real journalists cover GateHouse takeovers

You see, the Providence area has REAL television journalism, and these guys look a REAL look at what to expect from the GateHouse takeover of their local newspaper:

The announcement of A.H. Belo’s deal with New Media will kill speculation – and, in some quarters, hopes – that the newspaper could be purchased by a civic-minded group of local investors. The only such unsuccessful group whose attempt became public was led by Barry Fain, John Howell, Matthew Hayes and Arnold “Buff” Chace Jr.

“It’s a shame that the Providence business community couldn’t put together a deal to return the Journal to local ownership,” Dan Kennedy, an associate professor at the Northeastern University School of Journalism and a longtime media watcher, told in an email.

“Based on their track record, the new owners can be expected to make cuts, which will diminish the paper’s ability to cover the community and the state,” Kennedy said. “But other papers the company owns, including the Cape Cod Times and the Standard-Times, continue to serve their readers well, and I expect that will be the case with the Journal, too.”

Doctor said he expects New Media will cut staff at The Journal after reviewing its operations, but won’t necessarily do so in the newsroom. “I believe there would be layoffs in the back office, in financial and H.R., and then there would be a technical systems review to see if there are efficiencies they can bring,” he said.

GateHouse Media buys another newspaper that it will drive into bankruptcy

» New Media Investment Group to buy The Providence Journal for $46 million

A.H. Belo, the Dallas-based company which owns The Providence Journal, announced Tuesday afternoon that it has reached an agreement to sell “substantially all” of The Journal’s assets to New Media Investment Group, the parent company of GateHouse Media LLC, for $46 million in cash.

And within six months of buying the newspaper for $46 million, it will have payroll whittled down to $1.46 a week.

Because that is their stated on-the-record business strategy: Buy up newspapers that make money because they are quality newspapers (mostly) and they pay off the debt by cutting salary and other expenses. Reporters end up running re-written press releases

It doesn’t work, of course, because readers won’t buy newspapers that suck. And advertisers won’t advertise in newspapers that the public is abandoning.

Naturally, they declare bankruptcy.

Time for more citizen journalism in Providence.

Jonathan Ahl gets it right on criticism of changes to NPR’s ombudsman position

NPR announced some changed to their ombudsman job, namely that he won’t be critical of NPR reporters. Then Jay Rosen criticized the changes. Then NPR backed away from the changes in face of the criticism.

And former WCBU newsie Jonathan Ahl was interviewed for about the controversy:

Some station leaders noted Rosen’s post and shared his concerns. NPR’s ombudsman “holds feet to the fire,” said Jonathan Ahl, g.m. of Tri States Public Radio in Macomb, Ill. “And that’s very important to have — someone holding us responsible to the people we report to. Having an independent person who can speak to what’s right or wrong is vital and what separates us from a lot of other news organizations.”

And Jonathan is right. All newspapers should have an independent ombudsman. But newspapers are run by people who are seriously afraid of any substantive criticism. This is NOT a good trait for newspapers to have, but there ya go.

Jonathan (who is an old friend of mine from the early days of Peoria Pundit) opined on Facebook how “weird’ it felt to be interviewed rather than be the one asking the questions.

Not me. I’m a complete media whore. I’ll let myself me interviewed by anyone, as long as the get the blog’s URL spelled right.

And by the way, Jonathan used to have a blog called “Ahl Things Considered.” Which was genius.