There is a great irony in the Arizona Republic today. On the same day they look for hope in political civility, the papers also fill its front page with partisan rhetoric from recent California transplant Andrei Cherny.
This week, Cherny, who appears to be taking time off from writing books about President Obama, offered up his own double dose of vitriol taking aim at the Fiesta Bowl yesterday and the state budget today. Apparently, all it takes is a title and a willingness to spew inflammatory comments to become regularly quoted in the Arizona Republic. Couldn’t they find anyone to make an argument based on fact? Anyone? Bueller? Bueller?
What makes Cherny a credible source of news and opinion in Arizona? Nothing.
He performed the worst out of any Democratic statewide candidate garnering the smallest total number of votes. He takes over a party whose highest ranking officials are Corporation Commissioners. When he’s done, he might even lose those seats.
So why does he get a platform to shovel his rhetoric? The answer is simple: page views.
Gannett is now giving their employees bonuses based page views. Think about that for the moment, news is no longer driven by the facts of the story, but by the number of people you can attract to it and the numbers of fights you can cause in the comments section.
Thus dawns the age of TV tabloid news in the form of a daily paper. Watch the subscription rates plummet just like Cherny’s political career.