CINCINNATI (TDB) -- Peter Bronson is an ultra-conservative columnist at the Cincinnati Enquirer, an Ohio newspaper owned by the nation's biggest newspaper chain, Gannett Co. Inc. On Sunday, he lamented how big newspaper chains -- like Gannett, which was not mentioned by name -- are sucking life out of local papers and harming their sales by peddling junkfood news.
"Wherever the population density can support more than one freeway exit, the chains move in and sterilize any hint of local flavor. So a chain newspaper in Metropolis often looks exactly like the same franchise in Gotham City. They're like McDonald's -- same interior decorating, same stories and opinions, as uniformly alike as slices of Wonder Bread or fast food fries. Being dropped in the middle of a chain newspaper can be like being taken to a Waffle House blindfolded, then trying to figure out if you're in Iowa or Idaho. There are no surprises -- no local flavor as tangy as pickled eggs, or buffalo jerky. Just the same old predictable menu . . ."
The entire column on junkfood news somehow just doesn't get around to noting that the Enquirer is owned by Gannett. Probably veiled because it was too hard for the powers to swallow. Bronson insinuates the chains are overwhelmingly liberal, but then seems to back off and contends the newspaper chains are really intent on serving up a crappy diet to their customers. "And I wonder if a steady diet of junkfood news causes high blood pressure, indigestion and poor circulation."