Monday, November 29, 2021

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The shame of shrinkage


Using objective numbers, Cityview has proven that Des Moines’ paper de jour (The Des Moines Register) is suffering readership shrinkage worse than Seinfeld’s George Costanza in a wet swimsuit. Soon the state’s once-competent gazette of record will be a soggy dribble on the shag carpet of publication history. Attempting to delay this final gurgle, its skeleton crew is scribbling front-page pieces as light as Paper Mache.

This public journal recently ran a searing report of Washington›s communication malfeasance as a sin equal to that of the Watergate break-in or the Clintongate cigar scandal. A special investigator to save the Union must be vetted! The crime? Congressional big dude John Boehner once called Iowa’s House representative Steve King an “asshole.” That’s OK by me, but who cares about simple vulgarity? Ye gads everyone, it’s over. The Huns are through the gates. Get the kids, grab the dog — don’t worry about the cat — let’s head north to Canada, because the Republic is lost because of doo-doo talk. And the capital city’s main rag editors and reporters have mastered the art of sending its readership to sleep with yesterday’s trivia today.

Why don’t those crack newsies take up their crayons and give us stories that snap with immediacy? Do these future ushers at a Pulitzer dinner know that we are still in an economic swamp? Can’t they hear the war bugles sounding in the Mideast and Asia? Someone should make a call downtown and tell the almost vacant newsroom that terror bombings and bold savagery threaten to raze the Winter Olympics in Putin’s Utopia. This might be a story. They should put the heavy dial phones down and check the Internet for news any Girl Scout knows.

Of course it’s over for Iowa’s once-preeminent newspaper. New technology has left this fold of stories as musty and dull as an old dust bunny. I hope they can fade away with class before morphing into a 10-page shopper good only for discounts of toothpaste and lining the cat box.

Gary Wilson
–Des Moines


Prep Iowa

Put on the pom-poms, and give me a ‘B?’

“Corruption and Greed” (Cityview, Jan. 16) fails to mention Governor Terry Branstad’s key role to forming ALEC, the construct which allows corporations to write their own custom laws for Congress to rubber stamp, his service for corporate agriculture, and his being above our state’s speeding laws. And the previous issue’s article of Branstad being unbeatable never once considers the fact that he might have won not because people were for him but because Culver was such a terrible governor or about his panicked reaction to the “Smokey and the Branstad” television ad which eroded his image of invincibility. 

In the matter of working and cheerleading for the “Branstad for Governor” campaign, Cityview is hardly an alternative to the Gannett Outlet Store (The Des Moines Register), so put on the pom-poms and the cheerleader skirts and, all together now, yell “Go Branstad!”

David Thrasher
–Des Moines


Send your opinions to Cityview, 414 61st Street, Des Moines, Iowa 50312. Fax us at 953-1394, or e-mail us at Please limit letters to 200 words or less. Cityview reserves the right to edit for length and clarity. The writer’s address and daytime phone number will not be printed, but must be given for verification.

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