I had the opportunity to catch some local news Wednesday. I'm now considering giving it up altogether.
No matter how many times you go through it, no matter how inured you imagine you've managed to become, it's a mouthful of rue to recognize that modern local news never, ever, transcends the bourgeois worldview of the hopeful careerists who read it off teleprompters for you, something no amount of "diversity" at the news desk seems capable of budging, and when you add in a story their monied masters wish to tell--like the joys of inventory tax elimination--it's gall and wormwood. And a Coke.
And so we begin once again with the Property Tax crisis, which I swore I was done talking about for a couple of days at least, except that my nose has been rubbed in it for the last five days now. Yesterday morning the Star suddenly discovered the disparity in assessment increases for business vs. residential property. Maybe with a few more years' shoveling, or a Republican mayor, it'll discover that the new assessments, ordered by the state Supreme Court in 1998 in response to a blatantly unfair system, had always assessed business properties at closer to market value than private residences. When the die-hard anti-New Dealers at the Star start sounding like raging populists it's best to keep a firm grip on your wallet, unlock the gun cabinet, and check the facts, in that order. (Another rule of thumb: when dyed-in-the-wool partisans start urging people to "stop finger pointing" you can take any odds offered their side is to blame.)
The teevee folks aimed their cameras at former Speaker of the House, now minority leader Brian Bosma, so he could propose that "certain localities" (namely, those Indiana state capitals with Democratic mayors) agree to no spending increases for the next year. The really remarkable thing about this call for other people to sacrifice their way out of his mess is that Bosma was eventually persuaded to give up the microphone. I've forwarded my own proposal--that the city charge all former Speakers of the House $14,500 a day for parking--to his office.
Then the eye that never blinks was turned onto the tragic plight of Evil Landlords who just learned the price of Evil went up another 85%. It was the sort of investigative reporting you rarely see anymore, as the hairdo turned up two landlords whose properties were within a few blocks of each other, thereby avoiding any unfortunate lack of similarity in their stories, plus she scored a real coup in getting an industry lobbyist to admit the whole thing was unfair to her constituents, who mostly missed out on the big boondoggle of inventory tax elimination and have therefore been forced to eke out a living by taking accelerated depreciation and passing cost increases on to renters, who receive a state income tax credit for their share. Then, I suppose, it was time for lunch.
Channel 8, my choice only because it has fewer "personalities" whose voices induce blackouts, does have the distinction of being the station which does five minutes on Iraq every day. Today's story told of Democrats' efforts (this is a state whose Republican senator recently called for a troop redeployment, remember) to "effect an early withdrawal" from Iraq. An early withdrawal! Compared to what? The Crusades? This was followed by a toss to CBS' Lisa Myers, so she could inform us that "al-Qaeda will likely react to American gains", thereby packing four fictions into seven words. There's a real pro. At that rate I'd have time to watch and still get the kitchen remodeled.