Monday, November 10, 2008


Max Newport

When I was just a little boy, yes just a little boy, I heard my Momma say to my sister, something about men not buying a cow when they can get the milk for free. And I said to her “Mom, who do, who do you think you’re foolin’? Nobody around here ain’t gonna buy no cow. Zoning laws don’t permit it and the good folks at Tripson’s Dairy leave milk at our front door every morning”. Yes, as a young boy, Max had a better grip on the zoning laws than he did on the facts of life and basic grammar.

When newspapers started putting their wares online, those words came back to me. This has to have some effect on the sales of the print edition since many subscribers will simply get their news on the internet rather than purchase a newspaper. From what I have been reading and seeing, newspapers are in trouble; everybody from the New York Times on down. I can’t help but think that free online editions are a contributing factor.

The Newports have religiously subscribed to the Press Journal for as long as I can remember. I subscribed while I was away at school so that I could see what was going on in my little town. That, of course, was long before the internet was even a gleam in Al Gore’s eye. There is something traditional about slapping on the bathrobe and waddling down the driveway each morning in my bare feet to harvest the printed treasure wrapped in a plastic bag. I have heard of quite a few people cancelling their subscription based upon a dislike for Russ Lemmon. The Newports will not do that. I feel that my paid subscription gives me a legitimate right to criticize. We don’t want to be like citizens that don’t vote but consistently criticize their elected officials.

The major problem is, by the time the paper is in my hands, it is old news. Most of the stuff was on one of the news networks the night before or on the internet. There’s really not too much news in the newspaper anymore. With the advent of 24 hour news channels, television now has the time to dig into a story to a depth that was once exclusive to the print media.

TCPALM - The Press Journal is quite brave to create their website and even braver to allow reader comments. That is like passing out black Sharpies to school kids as they walk into the restroom, and many of the comments so reflect. I visit the site on a near daily basis. I assume they are making money on advertising sales but to be totally honest, I cannot recollect a single advertiser on the webpage. Compare that to the power of the printed Jetson Appliance ads, usually in Saturday’s paper. Unfortunately, in order to compete, the website has taken on a tabloid persona. Just look at some of the most emailed and most commented on articles. A crack pipe found in an arrestee’s butt. A 210 pound woman “loitering for the purposes of prostitution” (Is that even a crime? Is the officer psychic?). Anyone Black or Hispanic getting shot or killed. A sex crime. Anything related to Denise Harvey.

Just look at all of the untapped talent that is just hanging out there on the internet for the Writers Guild to discover! I also submit that two of those stories don’t even qualify as “news”. Do you think that if the crack pipe were found in the woman’s shoe it would have been determined newsworthy?
It is frightening to think that these are the folks that go out and vote, sit on juries and yes, ladies and gentlemen, drive cars. Drive cars!!! Max is amazed that most of these people are able to figure out how to use a computer; they must have had some serious assistance from the “Geek Squad”. Jack Daniels may have had something to do with their postings. When the schools are out, the literacy level ascends to even a higher level. Yes, the Press Journal has provided a bathroom wall for all of the kiddies to write on.

Max must now admit that every now and then I must add to the mayhem, usually trying to change the tone or direction of the conversation. Since I do not rely on writing for my livelihood, Max is of course a pseudonym. I do however try to keep my comments to a level of sanity and literacy that I would post under my actual name. You do have to hand it to Guy Barber. He posts on virtually everything and he uses his real name. Atta boy, Guy.

I have to admit that Russ Lemmon brings out the best, or worst, of Max Newport’s highly refined sense of logic. Russ literally begs for people to recognize him as an idiot and I submit, for your consideration, that his ability to stumble over logic and facts is probably the main reason he is employed. If no one commented on his columns, I’m sure he would be doing something that did not involve writing. Controversy is good and it sells papers.

For those of you who think that Max singles out Mr. Lemmon for refined commentary, Ray McNulty can be an easy target as well.

Max was rather irritated that a Florida kid won college football’s highest honor as the first ever sophomore, and our local sports guy does nothing but rag on him. How is Colt Brennan doing in the pros? Anyone heard? Based upon one of the comments following mine, Max is convinced that the Press Journal permits the columnists to post their own rebuttal. Someone was awfully defensive there “Mr. Logan” and it does seem that Max struck a nerve.
Max Newport is an equal opportunity ranter.

With economic times being tough and perhaps getting tougher, the newspapers need to ask this basic question: “If it reaches the point where our subscribers have to choose, based upon their budgets, between the newspaper and the internet, which one will go first?” I imagine it would be the newspaper. What would you do?

If you say that you really, really prefer the newspaper over the internet, who do you think you’re fooling?

Now if any of y'all would like to comment on Max's article, just click the comments tab at the bottom. Or if y'all would like for Miss Vero to get a private message to Mr. Newport, y'all can just send it to our email.



Countess du Roseland said...

If you're like most people, you're probably wondering what I've done to prepare for the Democratic National Convention. First, I've ordered the help to steam the table linens and reorganize the decorative mallard hunting decoys that line the mantle and fill the basement to knee-level. Second, I've burnt two loaves of bread and set them aside for the poor. Third, I've fired live ammo at the tubercular fellow who repeatedly creeps into my lawn to commit random acts of kindness. Fourth, I've wished evil on at least four people from afar, though I would have done that anyway. Fifth, I've stumbled through the entire internet, only to find that The Convention was held last week and not at my Roseland estate, as per my agreement with Mrs. McCain.
Did The Press Journal have anything to report about this matter? I think not!

virtual vero said...

Speaking of plastic bags....

Do you recall an editorial in the PJ criticizing Gov. Crist for considering banning plastic bags in Florida like they're doing in California? Oh, the PJ urged the idea to be further investigated, but admonished the governor and the conservationists not to lose their minds and just go green. What would the PJ do? How would they deliver the paper without plastic wrapping? Not that the the landfills, the animals who eat the bags or reliance on foreign oil (petroleum based material) matter in comparison to the PJ's utter inconvenience. The US alone uses over 100 billion plastic bags a year.

You know, the PJ is the very first to criticize a politician or an organization for not being proactive or thinking outside the box. Takes one to know one.

I don't see longevity here as a newsPAPER. 1. There's a sprawling general disgruntlement with the partisanship of the editorial board (a significant 42% voted Democrat vs. 57% republican); 2. poor investigative efforts put forth by the paper which is only going to get worse as Scripps TC just announced an additional 38 layoffs; and 3. advertising is too expensive for many/most small businesses.

So, go figure I just reupped my subscription. Yeah, the internet may be grand, but a dirty piece of paper in your hands with a cuppa coffee in the morning can't be beat.

Anonymous said...

All in all, I actually prefer to read the print version of the Press Journal- no fooling. Though I enjoy reading TCPalm with my morning cup of coffee I mostly just read the articles I might want to leave my two cents on and most all of the opinion page. However, if it came down to one or the other, it would be a no brainer. Without a doubt if times were tougher, my internet connection would be the last to go- even after the tv and gulp, organic foods (probably right up until just before the electricity went). Lol

I also don't go for cancelling my newspaper subscription because I disagree with a columnist or an opinion. It would be a pretty dull world to only hear from people who think the same as you. Or to never have your ideas or opinions rebuked, debunked or challenged.

BTW, I've heard the cow analogy before (embarrassingly) and I just listened to "Loves me like a rock" in my car this morning. Good song...



I read the online edition of the PJ everyday and have since I moved back to Virginia almost five years ago. (I also check the IRC Sheriff's website to see whether any of my VB friends are in jail.) However, if I had the option I would prefer to read the print edition of the PJ. It's a different experience and one I miss.

When I lived in VB for six years I read the online edition of the Washington Post everyday, but I'm happier reading the print edition daily as I do now.

I often click on the comment section after an article in the PJ and I am usually struck by what a bunch of mentally challenged citizens the commenters are. It boggles the mind.

Colt Brennan is enjoying the DC nightlife while waiting for Jason Campbell to break a leg.

Anonymous said...

Hi Miss Vero,

This is Max. I noticed the link to the McNulty column didn't work (at least on my computer) so I thought I would do a little cut and paste for your readers. Was Max too rough on Ray? You can find the article by clicking on columnists at TCPalm.

Posted by maxnewport on December 9, 2007 at 8:46 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Ray, your lack of any logic in your argument against Tebow, makes it clear that you lack the intelligence to deserve a Heisman ballot.

Keep your job.

As a "writer".

For a third rate newspaper.

The kid won because those who had the credibility in the sports world to cast a vote decided he was the best college football player this year.

You are not a member of that club.

Nor will you be.

Posted by tomseabranch on December 9, 2007 at 9:42 a.m. (Suggest removal)

You are a loser.

Posted by CharlesLogan on December 9, 2007 at 10 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Just curious Max, have you watched even one second of Colt Brennan or Darren McFadden playing football, or are you just a UF homer? Or are you a friend/relative of Tebow?

The ONLY reason Tebow won was because of the system he plays in. Specifically, his running stats. His average touchdown run was under 5 yards if I remember correctly. McFadden WAS the Arkansas offense, there was no other threat on Arkansas' team. Tebow had Harvin, Caldwell, Fayson, Cooper, etc. to spread out and create huge running lanes to pad his stats.

How do I know so much? Easy. I'VE WATCHED BOTH OF THEM PLAY! McFadden is quite possibly the best and most exciting player in the Southeastern Conference since Bo Jackson. Let me put it this way: I hold my breath every time McFadden has his hands on the ball. I can't say the same for Tebow.

So, you being so quick to hypocritically spew garbage bashing Mr. McNulty about "lack of any logic in his argument", that makes it clear that whatever intelligence Mr. McNulty lacked is CLEARLY more than you can ever hope to achieve.

Oh, and by the way:

"The kid won because those who had the credibility in the sports world to cast a vote decided he was the best college football player this year."

If you ACTUALLY knew who had a heisman ballot, you wouldn't associate them with 'credibility'.

But, given the earlier utter crap of your post, I wouldn't expect you to.

As biased as many of the heisman voters are, your ignorance proves that normal citizens like you will NEVER be a member of that club of heisman voters.

Nor will you be.

Posted by gatordoug on December 9, 2007 at 4 p.m. (Suggest removal)


The typo's and grammatical errors (in the print version of today’s column) made it even more laughable than the actual content. How much Colt Brennan film did you really study? This sounds a lot more like you jumping on the Hawaii / June Jones bandwagon, with your anything-but-gator rhetoric than actual football analysis. I couldn’t get the sports section in the birdcage fast enough this morning. If you need to rant – the dolphins are providing plenty of material – unfortunately.

CharlesLogan – back to Tallahassee with you! Enjoy another year of Bobby and his crack coaching staff!!!

Posted by tothemoon on December 9, 2007 at 9:01 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Mr. McNulty: I am really tired of reading your anti gator rhetoric. I remember last spring when you again based a great gator basketball team. You must have some bruised ego to continue to see no good in someone like Tim Tebow.

The Scripps paper tend to know the negative very well.. This was my last straw in reading and paying for your paper. I urge others in St. Lucie County to discontinue promoting the negative journalism in the county and cancel your subscription.

Marty Sanders
UF ‘82

Posted by tothemoon on December 9, 2007 at 9:03 p.m. (Suggest removal)

McNulty: By the way, since you have neither a Heisman trophy nor are a great sports writer, you vote does not count.

Marty Sanders

Posted by joepryor23 on December 10, 2007 at 8:16 a.m. (Suggest removal)


A quarterback who averages throwing the ball 50 to 60 times a game is a system QB. That would be the system that Brennan plays under. If you throw that many times a game, you better have as much yardage as Brennan does. Tommy Chang had a billion yards for Hawaii as well right before Brennan played there. What NFL team is Chang playing for?

Ray McNulty,

Are there any qualifications at all at Scripps to be a sports writer? You're an idiot and have been for a long time.

Anonymous said...

Lot's of kid with sharpies in the PJ's restrooms today (me too by one of my code names). I'll probably give up the Jack Daniels before I surrender my slightly used sharpie.

Good job Max.

Looking forward to LDouglas contributing.

Thanks Miss V.