Brian Howton 
Member since Jul 7, 2012



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Re: “Sen. David Vitter urges Newhouse to sell The Times-Picayune

I realize that the length of this comment may make it difficult for some to read, so for ease, I will repost it to the blog linked at the bottom of the page.

Nothing confounds me more than a libertarian discussing politics. They've given up all ground for public, political debate the minute they say the words 'market' and 'private.' It's simple really: the economy circulates money and politics legitimizes power. The two are quite distinct and both are well within their rights as representatives of one position or another to critize and to persuade. That is why Sen. Vitter has the right to contact Advanced Media and to suggest to them a course of action different than the one that they have chosen and that is also why Advanced Media has the right to shrug and to say, or not to say, depending on the generosity of their spirits, "No, I would prefer not to."

As for us, who are neither politicians nor Newhouses, what are we to do? Quite simply, anything we want. Here is where the libertarian spirit can be admirable, just as the political spirit can be admirable too, when charting new courses through unknown waters. There seems to me to be thousands of possible solutions to this problem, if not more, all of which are more effective than trying to save something that is dying or to demand resentfully, as the purchaser of a product, that it comform to the buyer's tastes, which would be like diabetic returning an empty can of Coca-Cola to the factory to ask that they refill it with a formula that is less sweet.

In other words, let's encourage what we do have, blogs like The Lens, the NOLA Defender, the Uptown Messenger, and more, and weekly papers like The Gambit too, to continue and to expand, where they can, and let's find better ways to fill the vacancy that the T-P's downsizing will leave behind it, like, say, publishing a locally-owned paper or lobbying the City Council to establish a trust (would that not be a better use of Mr. Benson's money?) to found a truly independent source of news. Otherwise, assuming that the Newhouses are not fools and that there are serious problems with the T-P business, it seems, that if Sen. Vitter and Mr. Benson succeed, they will have saved nothing more than a hollow icon, valued only for its history, which is worth less than its weight in gold.

Brian Howton

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Posted by Brian Howton on 07/27/2012 at 11:03 AM

Re: “New Orleans City Council to NOLA Media Group: publish seven days a week or sell

Would it not serve the interests of an independent and free press better if these community heavyweights acknowledged the end of the Picayune era, rather than mourning its passing and bargaining with its fate, and instead helped the people to forget its long past with the offer of a new daily paper that is locally-owned and honest? Would that not be a better use of their money than to waste it in tribute to a family that has already insulted us?

Perhaps my suggestion is naive. So be it. It seems just as naive to think that a company would forego a product just when a bidding war looks to raise its price.

Brian Howton

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Posted by Brian Howton on 07/25/2012 at 10:47 PM

Re: “Beasts of the Southern Wild a "Republican fantasy" about the Hurricane Katrina response?

Something in the Time Out NY blurb struck me. It was a complaint I myself had while watching the film a few weeks ago. "Real people aren't beasts." And there is something terrifying about Wink goading his daughter to be one. I'm not suggesting that Hushpuppy should be primed to be a debutante but that, whatever the circumstances, the dehumanization of a society, however entertaining and emotional it may be to watch, is awful and absolutely tragic.

Sorry for the anonymous tag. I'm having trouble creating an account.

Brian Howton

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Brian Howton on 07/07/2012 at 8:52 PM

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