Heather MacDonald has an excellent article at Imprimis regarding the matter of elites emphasizing and correcting “disparate impact”. She asserts it has negated the attainment of excellence in various fields of endeavor; corrupted the arts; taken down Western Civilization with all its achievements; and caused crime to spike.

About 15-20 years ago, when it was still a viable newspaper, the Greensboro News and Record used to publish stories with extraordinary frequency highlighting various “disparities”. Indeed, it sometimes seemed like it was almost every third article that harped on these concepts. The sleazy leftists certainly knew what they were doing when they pushed this mindset.

We are now dealing with the consequences.

During recent years, it has become very difficult to find and attend performances that do not try to work these concepts into the presentation in one way or another. Nearly all of it has become garbage. This is probably the least consequential effect of this cultural contagion; but it has sullied much of what used to be authentic and beautiful and timeless. I could give examples regarding local arts organizations, but I will refrain.


2 thoughts on ““Disparities”

  1. I read Ms. McDonald’s article in Imprimis when it came in the mail last week. She is an unrivaled writer and thinker.

    Below the Fold

    North Carolina’s third-largest city, Greensboro, once had a thriving newspaper in the News & Record. What’s left after years of media-conglomerate cuts is a shell of the paper’s former self. ( BTW demolition of the old East Market building that housed the N&R , began this week )

    by Margaret Moffett
    August 9, 2022

    Ride through downtown, past the Old Guilford County Courthouse and under the 21-story Lincoln Financial tower, and there it sits: a 158,000-square-foot monument to Brutalist architecture, all sharp angles and skinny windows.

    “News & Record, Greensboro, North Carolina,” the sign out front of 200 East Market Street declares, though the paper hasn’t been there for two years.

    The building is part eyesore, part health hazard. Squatters called dibs just weeks after the paper left, smashing glass door panes to occupy a building with no power or running water. Since then, police have arrested at least nine people for breaking in, and filed three arson reports. The first-floor windows are periodically boarded up with plywood, as they are today. Piles of half-eaten fast food often clutter entryways, attracting an alarming number of rats.

    The building’s owner is the world’s fifth-richest man: Warren Buffett. BH Media, a division of Berkshire Hathaway, famously dabbled in news in the 2010s before selling the News & Record and its other holdings to Iowa-based Lee Enterprises in 2020. But BH Media hung onto the 6.6 valuable acres, which are now on the market for $11 million.

    In arrest reports, some Greensboro police officers have charitably referred to Buffett’s building as a “commercial office.” Others have called it what it is: abandoned.

    The News & Record, too, has been abandoned, mostly due to decisions made after BH Media bought the paper in 2013. At that time, it employed 23 journalists. Today, just six are left to cover the news in a city of 300,000. Once-robust bureaus in High Point, Asheboro, and Eden have shuttered. There’s still a copy desk, but it designs and edits pages for multiple newspapers each night, with fewer and fewer eyeballs checking for errors in local articles.

    In 2020, the paper left the imposing headquarters downtown, trading proximity to City Hall for a rental off the interstate, just across from Big Tex Trailers and a discount furniture outlet.

    The paper is still published seven days a week, with as daily circulation of 21,510 as of 2021. But many editions contain so few pages, subscribers joke that a stiff wind might blow it from their yards.

    “There are days when you open up the paper and find no original reporting,” said Greensboro Mayor Nancy Vaughan. “Stories are being generated, good and bad. None of them are being covered.”

    “I get the News & Record online so I can read the obituaries,” said Tom Phillips, who, as a member of the Greensboro City Council in the 1990s and 2000s, consumed the paper voraciously. “There’s generally nothing else in there of interest, or I’ve seen it days before from other news sources.”

    “The sort of high-value, high-falutin’ power of journalism is missing from this community in a lot of ways,” said Ed Cone, a former business journalist for New York-based publications who lives in Greensboro and a descendent of the city’s prominent textile barons and philanthropists. “There’s also a lack of community because there’s no town square anymore.”

    “The News & Record was a wonderful, productive organization done in by greedy hedge funds that only want to plunder assets,” said Milton Kern, who owns several buildings in downtown Greensboro and helped spur its revitalization.

    To be fair, the News & Record’s troubles didn’t begin when beaming BH Media CEO Terry Kroeger dropped in from Omaha, Nebraska, to tell editors that life under Buffett would be like winning the lottery. Mid-size dailies across the U.S. had struggled for a decade before then, staffing their newsrooms at levels more typical of community weeklies.

    And those changes, which show little regard for the media’s role as community watchdog, are having disastrous effects on American democracy.

    According to a study released in June, newspapers are shutting down at a rate of two a week, leaving one-fifth of the U.S. population with limited-to-no access to local news. In these so-called news deserts, corruption increases and voting decreases. Citizens are less engaged, more susceptible to misinformation, and more likely to fall on extreme ends of the political spectrum.

    Greensboro isn’t a news desert, despite the paper’s retreat as the region’s primary source of news. But few print dailies, at least in North Carolina, have cut their way to irrelevance as brazenly as the News & Record has under BH Media and current owner Lee Enterprises.

    In December, Toyota announced that it would build a $1.3 billion, 1,700-job battery factory on the Guilford/Randolph County line. Less than two months later, supersonic jet-maker Boom Technology said it would build a factory at Greensboro’s airport, adding another 1,700 jobs. It should have been the local newspaper’s time to shine.

    “There was more coverage of Toyota and Boom in the News & Observer than the News & Record,” Vaughan said, referring to the paper 75 miles away in Raleigh.

    How did officials with Lee react upon learning that the mayor of North Carolina’s third-largest city believes her local paper is M.I.A.? I can’t tell you, because there’s no one in the area with enough authority to speak on the paper’s behalf, and officials with Lee have been unwilling to.

    There’s also no executive editor. In February, Lee laid off Andy Morrissey, editor of the News & Record and the Winston-Salem Journal, another Lee-owned paper in the Triad. He hasn’t been replaced.

    There’s not even a local publisher. After the departure of North Carolina regional publisher Alton Brown in April, print editions of the News & Record listed an interim publisher: Paul Farrell, publisher of the Lee-owned Richmond Times-Dispatch and Lee’s group publisher for its southeast region. When Farrell didn’t return calls and emails in late July, a Google search revealed that he had, in fact, retired—though it’s unclear when.

    Since July 4, Kelly Till has handled Farrell’s duties at the Times-Dispatch and is also Lee’s vice president of sales in the southeast. It’s unclear who replaced Farrell as regional publisher. The paper stopped listing Farrell as interim publisher on July 30, one day after I contacted Till.

    In an email, Till said she oversees revenue for Lee in North Carolina, South Carolina, and Atlantic City, New Jersey. But she referred questions about the News & Record to three others: Chris White, president of Lee’s eastern media group; Paige Mudd, local news director for Lee’s east region; and News & Record managing editor Jennifer Fernandez, a 22-year newsroom veteran who, in addition to planning daily news coverage, often fills in as a reporter.

    None of them responded to multiple requests for comment.

    1. Yes, it’s pretty sad, Fred. Of course, the News and Record was never a good paper, but it was more substantial at one time.

      What are the alternatives for local news? The Rhino Times, a center-right publication. Triad City Beat, a far left publication. But I want to emphasize the local TV stations still have considerable resources and some have significant websites with news stories written up. None of them are particularly good. Even Fox8 WGHP leans leftist. But the potential is definitely there for the TV stations to do better with online reporting because they have resources.

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