Hello, everyone. I've asked the proprietor(s) of this site to grant me the priviledge to throw in my opinions about Dan in a more formal manner.
I'd like to lay a few cards on the table before doing so. For what it's worth, I used to blog here for a few years. In addition to my comments here for the past year or so, it is no secret, then, that I don't like the Boston Globe.
I know a few people that work there, and while I feel a little bad that they eventually will lose their jobs, I shed no tears for the Globe's demise. One might say I'm not inclined to extinguish them in certain manners if they were set on fire. They breathlessy support and otherwise advocate for liberal / left-wing causes, policies and people, a phenomenon that spreads well past the editorial pages, where it rightfully belongs. They kiss the asses of the likes of Kennedy and Kerry while taking huge dumps on Romney or anyone with the '- R' suffix. They adore government programs of all shapes and sizes and don't seem entirely thrilled with the private sector. That infusion of liberalism across the entire newspaper is what caused me to moderate my Globe intake many moons ago.
In 1994 I used to buy the Globe, grab the sports section and throw away the rest of the paper. I believe it was 1995 when Shank was doing an interview with Wade Boggs (yes, he used to actually interview athletes!). I have searched for the transcript high and low a few times, unable to confirm the following, but here is the exchange:
Dan: "What newspapers do you read?"
Wade: "I listen to Rush Limbaugh."
Dan: "Yoooou listen to Rush Limbaugh?"
From that, I am convinced that Dan wanted Wade to tell him how freakin' wonderful the Boston Globe was. Wade didn't bite. I thought, if Shank hates Rush Limbaugh, then Rush must be cool. I've listened to Rush ever since, and I haven't bought the Globe since.
Since this time, the Boston Globe has slowly but surely lost it's shirt. The New York Times has seen it's 1.1 billion investment all but disappear after the 1993 purchase. A commenter on this board refused / failed to respond to my prediction that certain readership parameters would decline by a third. Good call on his part.
Here's the thing - why don't people pay to read the Globe anymore? It's three things. 1) an inability to attract advertising revenue, 2) it's free over the Internet, and 3) the product sucks, so why would you pay fo it? The only quibble is over the percentages assigned to each factor.
I'm not much of a Shank fan, either, but at least now you know why. I believe I was fair in my commentary of him over the past year or so as I acknowledge both good and bad articles he's written, so my intention here (if / when the question is asked, as has been in the past) is simply to carry the torch. For the Globe cheerleaders out there - think of it as public service; I'm just giving back to my community.
And now, with mike's most recent comment in the last thread, such things matter. It's fair for us to comment on what they write, and if they take issue with our commentary, that's fine, and should be welcome. That's the essence of the whole dead tree / internet debate, isn't it?
This is the type of article that Shank writes best, when he's not pissing on someone or trying his best to run them out of town.
I have to add this - I saw the Shankster on a local weekend sports show (a Sunday night 11:30+ show), and I was quite impressed. In tough markets, you need to diversify...