#GuerrillaNews, the Official Newsletter of the Sons of Valley Forge

Quick addendum to the previous.  Old Media people claim Old Media is still necessary because “the news” costs so much to produce:

unbeknownst to you, your subscription dollars often didn’t even cover the cost of printing and delivering the physical pieces of paper. They rarely covered much, if any, of the cost of actually reporting and writing the stories printed on those pages. And you’d probably be astonished at how expensive it is to report a single, relatively simple story.

Horse pucky.  The reason it’s so expensive for the Washington Post to do a story about what Trump’s Press Secretary said in her daily briefing is because the WaPo is paying some hairsprayed bobblehead $300,000 per year to sit in the briefing room and ask the exact same stupid fucking question over and over and over and over and over and over and over again.  I can “report” that exact same story, with the exact same level of detail and accuracy — and with far less bias! — for the nice round sum of $0, because I can watch that $300K bobblehead ask his one stupid fucking question over and over and over and over and over again on CNN.

Yes, I know, CNN is Old Media too, but you can take this to the bank: CNN is never going out of business.  It’s too important to the political class’s ego to see themselves on the news, getting quoted as authoritative sources.  Why do you think the press corpse [sic] are the only people in America who love Obamacare?  It’s a tax, baby!  You can be compelled by the government to purchase an optional service.  Guess what your cable subscription is going to be in a few years?  If you said “a tax,” come on down!  You’re a winner, and that’s why #GuerrillaNews can use CNN to keep costs down until the sun’s a cinder.

Nor do you need “loafers on the ground” in the world’s war zones.  We don’t know what’s really going on in Syria because all the “reporters” there stay in the only five-star hotel in Damascus (which, Bashar Assad not being an idiot, is entirely funded by Syrian military intelligence) and “report” the daily briefings of NATO people, which, of course, are all lies.  Not only that, no “reporter” currently working is able to tell a MiG-29 from a Mazda Miata.  I can, again, “report” that exact same story, with the exact same level of detail and accuracy — and with far less bias! — for the nice round sum of $0.

Why is nobody doing this?

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12 thoughts on “#GuerrillaNews, the Official Newsletter of the Sons of Valley Forge

  1. Unconcord

    The real thing about investigative reporting, insofar as it’s still a thing, is that it’s time-consuming. That means work-hours (for, of course, people without an overriding interest in the story – Voice of the Martyrs in Syria’s case, say – do want to be compensated for their work.) So, yes, that’s expensive, and for much less return than the telegenic airhead who gets into the Press Corps. She can be as idiotic as she likes and the revenue will still come in.

    Moreover, it’s entirely out of sync with the pace at which we consume news. A James McParland or a Nellie Bly can spend grueling years getting to the bottom of a story, and it will, if they are lucky, make a big splash while it’s on your newsfeed, only to be be entirely forgotten next week.

    I only wish I had some kind of resolution in mind for these problems. If anyone’s game to toss this ball around, I’m all ears.

    1. Unconcord

      Ha, that’s what I get for not reading posts from old to new. I like it. The only thing your guerilla news network can’t solve is the problem of objectivity, but objective news reporting appears to have been a fragile bubble of the 20th century that began to dissolve at about the time Cronkite covered the Tet Offensive. So that’s the most negotiable thing on the list.

    2. Severian

      Honestly, though, don’t you think people would work for #GuerrillaNews for free? Just to stick it to The Man? 🙂

      I’m not talking so much about investigative reporting. I mean just actual news: The President said this, Congress did that. Most “news” is just stenography. Take the Trump / Nork summit (if it happens). It’ll cost sixty bazillion dollars for Fox, CNN, the NY Times, WaPo, etc. to send bobbleheads over there, and all the bobbleheads will do is transcribe the official government press releases. I can do that from my basement, for free.

      Need some background on US/Korean relations? Google, baby. At most, Lexis-Nexis, which anyone who can get to a university library can have for free (and which anyone can subscribe to, I believe). The Bezos Blog will assign three reporterettes, each with a huge research staff, seventeen interns, and an aromatherapist, to doing what anyone with some minimal google-fu can do in about two hours for free.

      I’m tempted to ask the co-bloggers here to help me “cover” it, logging their hours as they go, just to illustrate how butt-pluggingly easy most “news” actually is.

      For local color — crowdsource!! The dirty secret of most US news orgs is: They use the same handful of stringers all over the world. If I had to guess, there are about three actual “reporters” in the entire Middle East; they all get such “news” as they get from the same local stringers (in much the same way that the NY Times’s “man on the street” interview is always the same guy). Why can’t we do that? I’m betting there are plenty of people who can give us some real info. Maybe they don’t know the finer points of the Chicago Manual of Style, but hey, that’s what editors and multiple painstaking layers of fact-checking are for, right?

      The big thing about the “professional” news is: EGO. Humbug Q. Bobblehead thinks he’s hot shit for having attended Columbia J-School; he doesn’t want to admit he doesn’t know everything, and that there’s no way he can be an expert without portfolio on all the different places he’s assigned to cover (let alone actually go there!). So he uses the same AP stringer report everyone else does, gussies it up a bit, slaps his byline on it, and there you go.

      A #GuerrillaNews story would list both the contributor and the editor. Which would make people want to do investigative reporting for us for free, too. Who wouldn’t want to get credit for breaking something like the Rather Memos? Here again, most investigative reporting comes from publicly available docs and FOIA requests. Make the investigation itself the story — “our intrepid reporter is looking into corruption at ___!” — and do it blog style.

      I’d decentralize it even further. Give each metro its own #GuerrillaNews. Unmask the Creep State in each and every locality. I may not know what’s going on in Des Moines or Austin or Juneau or Passaic, NJ… but there are plenty of basement-dwelling dissidents who do. Since information dissemination is basically free on the internet, make #GuerrillaNews (the main site) an aggregator of the best stories from all the local #GuerrillaCells. Make it subscription only, use the funds to pay the local editors, and you can do everything the Lamestream Media does — but honestly, and much better, and in much more depth — for about 1/20000th the cost.

  2. Joe

    Can confirm. When I was in Iraq all the reporters stayed in Saddam’s old palaces. The rare event that a reporter would come out it was only to report the fluffiest of fluff pieces. We even took one reporter on a joint “patrol” with the Iraqi National Police where they “found” an AK47 lying on the side of the street during the middle of the day! Good thing the Americans and the Iraqis cooperate so well, so we can find all those assault rifles just laying on the side of the road in Baghdad! Ironically the Stars and Stripes did quite a bit of reporting on the real stuff that happened, soldiers going on trial for executing prisoners, killing civillians, etc… but the cynic in me thinks that was just so the rest of us had examples to make us think twice about shooting civilians when we were pissed off and out on patrol. But anyway, the stars and stripes was readily available even in the luxurious areas the reporters were confined to, yet not one of those juicy stories ever saw the light of day in the American media, so at that point there was no ignoring that the press was there no to report, but to provide cover for the government.

      1. Joe

        Thanks! Unfortunately, no I don’t have a blog. I mostly shout my stories at random strangers while drunk. Well, I used to but I eventually had to stop drinking so now I just pseudononymously post stories in comment sections.

  3. Frip

    I’ve been skimming your posts. You’re all the good adjectives. I mean, great stuff. Then I notice you’ve been posting since 2012. Yet you’ve only got a handful of commenters. I hope you’re more popular than an audience of 7. If not, can you explain why? Or link me to a post where you discuss it?

    1. Severian


      If I had to guess, and speaking only for myself (i.e. not Philmon, Morgan, Nate, et al), I figure it’s a combo of laziness, luddism, and the free market. In reverse order:

      The blogs with big followings are proactive, and I’m mostly reactive. Take Steve Sailer. Not the world’s best writer by any means, but he’s an idea guy — he’s always got a new spin on things. The Z Man is both an original thinker and a good writer. Most of my stuff is basically commentary on things others have written. So, not enough value added — they don’t call it “my two cents’ worth” for nothing! The only way around this would be if my voice were so distinctive that people were willing to cruise over here, not for what I have to say, but for how I say it — if I had a schtick, in other words, the way that a Milo or a Vox Day does (Vox Day also has original ideas and writes ok, but his “I am the greatest genius in all of human history” act is, for reasons that will always baffle me, really popular; it puts him over the top). I’m glad people enjoy what I write, but there are a million other sites out there doing the same thing as well or better.

      My luddism also hurts. I don’t do social media, so nobody sees that sick burn I laid on @JakeTapper and comes over here to investigate. I’m not a regular commenter on other blogs (except sometimes Z Man and House of Eratosthenes), I don’t do Disqus or stuff like that, and I wouldn’t go on Reddit with a gun to my head, so even if I had an online fan club I’d never know about it.

      Add to that the fact that I’m really lazy, and there you have it. I don’t have the work ethic to have a regular posting schedule, let alone do the kind of self-promotion that would get one a million hits on one’s blog (Stacy McCain had a how-to primer at one point called How to Get a Million Hits on Your Blog. I’m exhausted just reading that shit).

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