Interactive Mail: Readers ask dumb questions, the editor answers.
Can the media in this town get any lamer? I’ve come to expect lameness from The Idaho Statesman (or should I say, The Boise Statesman). Besides their McClatchy-owned corporate and conservative friendly “news,” their idea of a front page story is what the backup quarterback for the Broncos ate for breakfast last Tuesday or how one diehard BSU fan wears his lucky pair of soiled underwear every game day.
But now I’m having trouble deciding who sucks more—Statesman or Boise Weekly? I mean really, how many more trees are you guys going to kill to print yet another “Best of” issue? Other than the cartoons and an occasional socially relevant story from Rall or Cope, this magazine has become nothing more than one long, pretentious tweet from the BW clique. If you are not going to have anything of substance at least be useful—last week’s didn’t even have a movie guide in it!
How about some investigative journalism? It’s not like this country (and state) isn’t in shambles or anything. The State Capitol is only a few blocks away from your office, isn’t there anything going on down there? I heard somewhere that there is an important election a month away or something. What about our over-crowded jails and prisons, or lack of funding for treatment and rehabilitation programs that are proven to improve lives and save taxpayer money? What about the latest figures, which show poverty levels in Idaho now at the national level of 14.3 percent, or the fact that Idaho now ranks 49th in the nation on education funding per pupil. I don’t know, just a few suggestions ...
But if the “Best of” theme is the best you can do, at least tell us the “Best place to pitch a tent” after we have all lost our jobs due to corporate downsizing and job outsourcing to Third World countries, or how about the “Best way to dress a wound in a public bathroom” for those 44 million or so who can’t afford health care, or the “Best place to read about a foreigner” after this state kicks out all of its immigrants and burns all non-English language books. Just a few more suggestions ...
You have a medium that reaches thousands of people every week. You have become out of touch with a public who is more concerned with where this state is headed than where the coldest martini in town can be found. Either do your civic duty and report on some pertinent issues, or downsize and just print an advertising packet with the movie schedule, but please don’t take up any more valuable landfill space your highfalutin bread and circus garbage.
You’ll notice the hyperlinks we’ve added to your letter. Each one takes you to a story recently published in Boise Weekly about the issue you’ve so politely requested we report on. There’s enough reading there to keep you busy for a few hours, but since it seems like you’ve missed a hunk of good stuff in recent months in Boise Weekly, I’ve taken the liberty of putting together a more comprehensive list.
Project Censored: A list of the top stories the mainstream media should have told you but didn’t.
Exporting Homophobia: Too bad you missed this one, Jason. It’s from a local writer and it’s among the best reporting in the world on this issue currently. Even one U.S. news outlet’s chief Africa correspondent lauded the work.
Cow Country: Can an industry effectively promote and regulate itself? Judging by Idaho’s dairy industry and Eastern Idaho CAFO’s, not likely. Again, Jason: local writer, good stuff.
Taking the Scenic Route: Bit of horn tooting here, but News Editor George Prentice has owned this story since day one. Go ahead, scroll through the more than dozen related stories.
Hard Times in the Hinterland: A look at how the hardest-hit areas of rural Idaho are hoping to diversify their economic prospects. You guessed it, local writer.
Curiouser and Curiouser: The curious connections between the Tea Party, free marketeers and Libertarians. Yep, local writer.
As for Best of Boise, it’s good to lighten up every once in a while. Besides, it sounds like you could probably use a cold martini to help you chill out just a bit.
So in answer to your initial question: yes. Yes, media can get lamer in Boise, but, respectfully, I'm not convinced that you've done all your homework on the issue. And in answer to how many more trees we plan to kill to keep printing Best of Boise? None. Nada. Zip. If you were a more diligent reader, you might have noticed that BW is printed on recycled paper. No tree killing necessary.
—Editor, Boise Weekly