Friday Mack Attack, 2/27/09
This week I'm macking on: The Roots as Jimmy Fallon's in-house band. Because not only does it mean The Roots will be playing live music on TV every night--which in itself qualifies Fallon for at least minor sainthood--but they'll be commuting to and from Philly every day to do it. That's right, because they'd rather live here than in New York. The haters can pile on all they want. I don't even care that Fallon tweeted that his first guest is "Justin Timberlane." As far as I'm concerned, the show hasn't even started yet and he's already done this fraught nation a solid by promising to send us off to sleep with pleasant dreams and dope beats.
This week I'm hating on: the death of the Rocky Mountain News. I spend a lot of time in Colorado's high country, a place that has about as much in common with Denver as Philly has in common with Shickshinny, which is to say not much. So it was bad enough when in January the Leadville Chronicle shut its doors for good, leaving only the Leadville Herald-Democrat to cover the goings-on in the country's highest (10,200 ft.) incorporated city. Whatever you think of the end of newspapers as we know them, this much is sure--the end of the Rocky Mountain News is one more nail in the coffin of regional diversity. Rightly or wrongly, the Denver Post is perceived as being written for the Front Range, with its suburban transplants and vacation home owners, while the Rocky Mountain News was for everyone else, kind of like the blue collar/white collar Inquirer/Daily News split but spread over more and arguably rougher acreage. With one voice there's no public debate. Lose the locus for an alternate opinion, and you also lose its organized power, influence and its own tangible historical record.
The days of dueling newspapers are ending, and the sun is setting on the days of even one-paper towns. But that still doesn't make it any less of a loss.