New Directions in Flattery

February 23, 2009 at 12:50pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

Those of you who still read the dead tree edition of the Journal Star may have noticed something familiar about the front pages of the two “Directions” sections in Sunday’s newspaper. It was familiar enough to me that first thing Sunday morning I texted Mr. T a short message:

“You’ve been plagiarized!”

Well, no, he hadn’t really been plagiarized. But he had been imitated in a very flattering way.


Mr. T’s popular weekly Where in Lincoln series apparently inspired the front pages of the two sections. The LJS even kept the name, and they featured two of the same locations (this one and this one) that Mr. T has featured in past weeks.

Let me be clear: I’m not actually accusing the LJS of plagiarism or stealing Mr. T’s ideas or anything serious like that. I’m just having some fun at the LJS’s expense. It’s not like Mr. T was the first to take cryptic photographs of items and have people guess what they are. Personally, I think the theme is a great idea for the front of the Directions sections. However, if a local blogger were to take what has clearly become Mr. T’s niche and use the same name for it that Mr. T uses, and if he were to do so without so much as a tip of the hat to Mr. T, I think I would be justified in calling that blogger a turkey. So I’m going to do just that.

The Journal Star is a turkey.

There, I feel better already. On a more serious note, if the Journal Star really wants to get into the “Where in Lincoln” spirit they should hire Mr. T to do a weekly “Where in Lincoln” feature for the LJS itself. I think it would make a fun addition to their new 402/411 section. Any takers over there at the LJS?

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The Comments

Fletch February 23, 2009 at 1:51pm

I had the same thought. At least Mr. T doesn’t use HvVee and its surroundings as a crutch for 3 of the 10 photos.

I know that I am a harsh judge of the LJS, but with that said…

Every year (geek that I am) I actually look forward to “Directions.” Wow, speaking of turkeys, this year’s installment wasn’t worth the tiny paper it was printed on. It’s like they gave up any pretense of presenting anything of newsworthiness as a cover for an ad grab. Now, it’s clearly about 6 pages of ads (in an 8 page section) with a couple of stories about existing businesses.

Where are the listings of what’s come new since last year, and what’s coming this year? Where are the lists of all the high-dollar building permits that were issued in that section of town and what’s come of them.

There are still commercial building permits listed in the paper almost every Sunday. Surely there is some growth and some good news somewhere.

In the Northeast, how about some kind of story about the effects of there finally being a WalMart? Or, a few months in, does that Heartland Pantry matter to people?

I’ve never seen these issues so small (literally of course, but figuratively), and there was just not much of any content. Very disappointing.

I don’t know why I keep spending money on this rag.

Gene February 23, 2009 at 2:39pm

You know, Fletch, I stopped spending money on the LJS a couple years ago and I think I’m better off for it. That time spent reading it every morning really wasn’t adding any value to my day, and was actually adding some negativity I didn’t need. It’s fun to read every once in a while, but there are other ways to stay informed and other things that I’d much rather spend time on.

beerorkid February 23, 2009 at 3:27pm

Then what do you use to blot your bacon?

Mr. Wilson February 23, 2009 at 3:34pm

Dearest Mr. beerorkid,

Why does your website greet me with the scary message “Error establishing a database connection”? Did your server squirrel fall off his wheel and sprain his ankle this weekend?

beerorkid February 23, 2009 at 3:35pm

Seems my webhost moved me to a new sql server and I have no database connections right now.  Joy joy wink

Dave K February 23, 2009 at 7:29pm

Blogs have been stealing readers from newspapers, so it only makes sense that newspapers would start stealing from blogs. 

I hope the people at Lee and the LJS can understand that people don’t want to pay for agenda-driven news.  I will take mine for free, thanks.  They can blame the economy for their troubles all they want, but therein lies the fundamental problem: they don’t understand that their product sucks.  It has for many years.

But I’m not sure what would happen in a LJS-less Lincoln.  We would still need to get information somehow.  So who knows ...

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