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Don Rogers: Sure, AP copies them

Don Rogers
Vail, CO, Colorado
newsroom@vaildaily.com

So, Voldemort’s staff suddenly seems here, there, everywhere.

Well, not so much here. But still, very impressive.

There they are in Washington, D.C., apparently shoulder to shoulder with the rest of the evil mainstream media elite, covering the meltdown and bailout and all.



There they are in Alaska and Arizona, for kitchen table conversations. There they are, riding mountain bikes with President Bush.

There they are, hanging out with Danielle Steele, Joe the Plumber. There they are in China, checking out dog food and other tainted products. Incredible!



Some smart aleck in the newsroom the other day pointed out that the stories are word for word what we get from The Associated Press, and occasionally United Press International, but I slapped him down as sour grapes.

“Sure, the wire folks are so lazy they’re copying Voldemort,” I replied. Imagine, the very thought.

“But those writers that Voldemort calls ‘special’ to him, those are really AP reporters.”



“Shut. Up! Have we really reduced ourselves to this, to throwing doubt on the authenticity and moral superiority that they have worked so hard to tell us about? Obviously, these are special correspondents or on the staff itself. Look, it says so right there at the start of these stories. Here’s one: ‘Mountaineer staff.’ And here’s another: ‘Martin Crutsinger, Special to the Mountaineer.’ Can you not read? Or are you calling Voldemort a liar? Voldemort? Are you trying to say those guys are committing plagiarism or something?”

That settled the squawking down right there, stopped the discussion cold. Purporting to be something you are not is practically a capital crime in this business. The very thought is death to a journalist. Scandalous even. You don’t make accusations like that lightly, especially not to your moral superiors who have taken the “fair and balanced” high ground. Just ask them.

“Well, why can’t we go to Washington, D.C., New York, Alaska, or China? It would be so cool to mountain bike with W.”

Sigh. Journalists these days, sheesh. Always drawing fine lines on things.

“Look, we’re obviously not as rich as Voldemort, for starters. And we’re the local paper. We focus on the world of local news, what our readers tell us they are looking for most. We can’t just dash off to all these places. I’m sorry.”

But it’s so difficult when the other guys get to go to all these places, and are so, so good that the largest organization in journalism apes their work word for word. It’s amazing, really. I stand in awe myself.

I mean, how do you compete with that?

What will they do next, offer advertising below cost and even free to poof up their page count and pretend you can run a viable business long term that way? Nah. Shame on me for even thinking such a thought. That would be kind of skanky, trying to undercut the market, not at all what I understand Voldemort stands for.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to ask AP if we really must change our bylines from “Martin Crutsinger, Associated Press,” to … “Special to Voldemort.”

That might be a little embarrassing.

Don Rogers is the editor and associate publisher of the Vail Daily, Vail Trail and Eagle Valley Enterprise. He can be reached at 748-2920 or drogers@vaildaily.com. He welcomes your comments.


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