Morning Call. But if you say Yes, then aren't you insulting many other fine reporters and columnists at The Express Times, WFMZ-TV69 and at Patch?
MC Publisher Timmy Ryan dropped in from Baltimore to say that, starting October 10, it will cost you to read The Morning Call on line. Even print subscribers will have to pay something for online access, and that's so the paper can claim two subscriptions from one person. That way, the paper can artificially increase the number of paid subscribers.
The Morning Call must have forgotten to allow people to weigh in on the paper's new business model. No comments are being accepted. So I'll ask you, is The Morning Call worth 35 cents a day online?
I say No, and here's why. For most of us in the Lehigh Valley, we can find out what we need to know from other news sources, except in downtown Allentown. The Express Times's reach does not extend to Allentown, and Patch avoids it, too. So the only place where there might be an information gap is downtown Allentown. But guess what? There's already an information gap in Allentown because, with notable exceptions like former reporter Jarrett Renshaw, the paper refuses to take a hard look at City government.
That's why somebody like J.B. Reilly, a big Pawlowski campaign contributor, just happens to have 8 parcels around the proposed hockey arena, including three properties he bought in March. To you and me, this is insider trading. To King Edwin, it's coincidence.
Or take a look at Jeff Vaughan, who just happens to be Reilly's brother-in-law. He bought 723 W Hamilton in March for $215,000 and then flipped it to the ACIDA, just four months later, for $246,738. In April, he bought 709 W Hamilton for $150,000, and sold that property in July, again to ACIDA, for $174,487.
In four months, Vaughn was able to earn a $56,225 profit on a $365,000. That's 15.4% profit, better than most loansharks.
Now it could very well be that there's a reasonable explanation for all of this, but asking the questions is what I would expect from a newspaper that really covers Allentown. If I've heard about this in Nazareth, my guess is that The Morning Call has heard it, too.
The paper digs in Easton or Bethlehem, where it has friendly competition. In Allentown, however, where it is the only game in town, the paper seems to be on automatic pilot. Blogger Michael Molovinsky, fortunately, does his best at keeping local government honest. Many of his stories later appear in The Morning Call.
Because The Morning Call fails to cover the one area where it basically has a monopoly, I think an online subscription is a waste of money.
Will I subscribe anyway? If I do, it will be because I really enjoy the columns written by Bill White, our LV Mark Twain, and consumer watchdog Paul Mushick, who has been very impressive since he got a column.
Oh yeah, then there's Matt Assad, too, a reporter whose hard-hitting style might make him more reviled than me. I'll still want to read him.
Of course, I'd miss Scott Kraus, too. He can make a complete ass out of someone while trying to appear objective.
He's done it to me many times.
I liked Spencer Soper's Amazon expose, too, even though another blogger had him beat by about six months.
Who am I kidding? I'll be subscribing for online access. I just wish print subscribers got the online subscription as part of their package.
I wonder if my blog droppings are worth a dollar a day?