This week Al Neuharth is celebrating USA Today’s quarter-century of turning trees into the intellectual lowest common denominator. It’s hard to believe that it was just 25 years ago that virtually overnight Americans went from being human beings with complex lives to being collective cyphers in brightly colored charts and graphs.
‘This is a lot of interesting bullshit.’
â€” Al Neuharth
USA Today did for the newspaper business what Kevin Federline did for rap music. OK, maybe not quite that bad, but you know what I mean.
You have to hand it to him, though, Neuharth says he still reads five or six newspapers a day, apparently with a straight face. And, it would seem from comments he made yesterday at a luncheon in his honor, that he’s an avid reader of Pensito Review:
He also reads blogs â€” “more than I’d care to mention” â€” but doesn’t have a particularly high regard for them. “Most of them, when I read them, I say, ‘This is a lot of interesting bullshit,'” he says. “But what bothers me about bloggers is there’s a growing sentiment that maybe the government should exercise some control over them. I’m totally opposed to that.” He likens today’s bloggers to the pamphleteers whose incendiary writing helped bring about the American Revolution.
That said, he has no interest in joining their ranks. “I use the internet to retrieve information, not to peddle information or gossip.”
It’s that “interesting bullshit” comment that leads me to believe Pensito Review is among the exaggerated number of blogs Neuharth reads. That’s how I usually describe my co-editors’ posts on this site, so it must be the case. And the “information or gossip” reference seals it.
I’m pretty sure Neuharth comments fairly regularly, too, as firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hey, Al, congrats on the silver anniversary. According to a pie chart, there’s a 21.37 percent chance that you’ll continue to read Pensito Review.