Monday, October 29, 2007

The OWH is the Kingmaker..not YOU

The Omaha World Herald is scared and threatened.

By whom, you ask?

By YOU, you blog-reader you.

The OWH says so in their Sunday editorial, printed big and bold.

Oh, you didn’t catch it, because it’s not offered free of charge to the online reader, like nearly every other major city newspaper? Well, then screw you (says the OWH). (Pay up ya freeloader.)

In said editorial, entitled “A tall order”, the OWH laments the fate of the modern candidate who – woe -- must deal with the likes of talk-radio, cable TV “chatter” and YIKES, “web logs”! (Psst. They mean blogs.)

The bickering, maneuvering and insult- throwing leave little or no room for consideration of realistic answers or constructive compromise.

This is such a new thing in American politics, you see. Now get this:

In bygone years, principled leaders would be celebrated for seeking middle ground on divisive national issues and others would be labeled opportunists for populist stances.

Digest that for a moment.

Because, what the OWH means is that they would like to go back to a time when THEY DECIDED who the “principled leaders” are. They seek a time when THEY LABELED the “opportunist”.

They don’t like that now just anyone with a blog address or a keyboard to comment can figure it out for themselves and express it.

But the OWH goes further. You see…

In an America where governing is the goal, the aim should be progress for society, not power for parties or institutions.

Yes, and progress is defined by the Omaha World Herald monopolizing the print world for as far as they can reach. It’s celebrated, as a matter of fact, on the Front Page, above-the-fold story on the glorious career of King John Gottschalk, retiring Publisher of the OWH. (A King of Aksarben, you see.)

The story tells how when King John took the reigns of the OWH, it was just the The World Herald newspaper. But now, it’s the Omaha World-Herald Co., owner of :

  • Four daily newspapers in Nebraska, including The World-Herald, and three others in Iowa.
  • Twenty-one weekly community newspapers in Nebraska and Iowa.
  • Direct marketing and product fulfillment companies in eight states.
  • Minority ownership in the largest election-services company in the country.

Will Gottschalk be muttering “Rosebud” as he exits the premises?


And look no further than the Sunday Midlands section to find the latest example of the OWH’s desire to crown kings and princes.

Yes, it’s new columnist Robert Nelson’s column (also not available gratis to you, onliner), where Nelson pens the puffiest of pieces on the bucolic life of Professor and Mrs. Scott Kleeb of Hastings, NE.

So get this line from Nelson:

The top potential Democratic candidates (for U.S. Senate) are now Omaha Mayor Mike Fahey and Kleeb, who burst onto the national political scene with his spirited near-win last year in Nebraska's ultra-Republican 3rd Congressional District.

Near win! Near win???

Can we yell this loud and freaking clear: Kleeb lost by TEN PERCENT! By nearly twenty thousand votes. In the year of the Democrat, when a Jim Esch who had no money and nearly zero media got 45% as well, please, puhleeeze stop trying to convince us that the Adrian Smith-Scott Kleeb race was NOT a blow-out. Anyone who can COUNT should be outraged by such witless palaver.

Of course, we all remember that the OWH endorsed Kleeb against Smith. And so did Gottschalk's’ boy Bob Kerrey. So while Kleeb-gasms continue, just remember the source and that they still want to be the ones who crown the princes.


Kyle Michaelis said...

I was right with you until you started whining about Robert Nelson's supposed Scott Kleeb puff piece. Nelson's a columnist and is expected to portray his subject in a particular light. What bothers me is the years of shallow and uncritical straight reporting that has left our (mostly Republican) elected representatives unchallenged and usually completely unaccounted for in the minds of our under-informed reading public.

By the way, the Kleeb-Smith race was not a blow-out. Smith had to call in a Republican President two days before the election in one of the most Republican districts in the country. That was on top of an endless stream of negative advertising and those downright desperate and illegal fraud-robo calls orchestrated by Smith's supporters.

I'm not saying it was a nail-biter, but your adopting the polar extreme only demonstrates just how scared Republicans still are (and probably should be) of Scott Kleeb.

Anony said...

They also gave Congressman Terry a "back-handed" endorsement by listing Esch as a qualified opponent.If Kylie thinks the weirdherald leaves pols alone he should check out how many times the reign maker has printed the entire deligation has voted against SCHIP.  Doesn't it seem more like the Republican's from our state are voting the way their constituents want them to?  Ben seems to be the only one that forgot his constituents when he went to D.C.

Street Sweeper said...


Paint us SHOCKED that you don't agree with a criticism of your savior Prof. Kleeb.

And if "blow out" is too strong a term for you, then lets try "hammering", "jewel-kicking" or the ever popular "swirly-giving".

For Nelson to promote the idea (and it is PURE promotion) that the race was close or for gawds sake a "near win" is ridiculous. And the fact that Smith was able to solidify such an “ear-boxing” in the Year of the Dem is even further testament to the strength of his victory.

And spare us your WHINING that you’ve been doing since Election Day about the Kleeb robo-calls. Show us ONE SINGLE voter who switched their votes after they received the recording of Kleeb’s call. Can’t? Didn’t think so.

And it’s a shame the President came in for him, huh? And gee, Scott could have maybe reached within eight percent if Adrian had just stopped putting up those yard signs with his name on them. And then had stopped shaking voters’ hands. And then if he’d just stayed in his basement in the dark. THEN Kleeb could have gotten within SEVEN percent and really showed what a moral victory it was.

Thanks for the reading and nice photo.


Anonymous said...

The OWH reminds me of a five year old who just realized that with the birth of their little sister that they aren't the favored child anymore, rather, just one more in the family.

Whine somemore OWH and welcome to the brave new world of increased freedom of speech.

One Out In The Third said...


Go easy on Kyle, the tight box that he lives in is squeezing his brain.

Maybe if Kleeb would have told the San Franciscans and plethora of other out-of-staters parked outside his campaign headquarters to park down the street he would have gained another 1 percent.

1 or 2 percent is a narrow margin son, not 10. And as far as a comeback for Kleeb, Smith has gained two years of experience, and conservative Nebraskans for the most part are liking what they see in where he stands on the war and illegals overrunning our borders. Another great thing is he listens and responds. Even Lisa H. probably likes his stand on illegals.

Two years of Kleeb and all we hear from him and his camp of followers is "Bad Smith, Bad Smith. He is the Devil." Kyle, Where's the beef???? One would think the wandering cowpoke would understand "beef" by now.

The problem with Dems today is that although they are too well-organized, which is scary in itself, they don't have a platform that the average working American/Nebraskan can stomach.

Face it Kyle, a loss of even two percent will be a bigger loss for Kleeb the next go around. Have you tried voter registration drives at any of the cemeteries yet?

Tompaine said...

The World Herald is worse than just a wannabe king maker.

The World Herald alters every signed political opinion it publishes. No opinions are left unedited and editing cannot but inject the paper’s own subtle slant.

The World Herald could easily publish other's opinions “as is” or refuse to publish them at all. Instead, the paper edits every signed opinion, usually without permission, always changing meaning, sometimes even to the opposite argument. The newspaper removes and adds its own words and emphasis in an editing process that is invisible to readers.

The World Herald rewrites 100% of the citizen opinions it publishes.

What the newspaper openly says in its editorials is not nearly as worrisome as what it injects into everybody else's signed opinions.

The OWH believes it is unbiased and a champion of freedom. Its delusions do not make it any less tyrannical.

Omaha needs another newspaper.

Anonymous said...

I don't mind paying for the OWH online. I just wish I could get teh stuff without having to get the newspaper too.

I'll pay the subscription rate.

Just let me read the paper online and not have it clutter my house or office.

Street Sweeper said...

If you keep making sense like that we'll call the cops on you!

JK said...

Who's John Gottschalk? And who cares???!

snowblwr said...


Remember that the OWH editorial board did not simply endorse Scott Kleeb. They did so with a page-long, two-column gushing editorial that appeared 25 days before last year's general election. It appeared several days before any other endorsement of state or local candidates.

The timing of the editorial gave Kleeb time to use the endorsement as a door-to-door flyer and in a TV ad.

It's widely known that Bob Kerrey (a Kleeb campaign chairman) and Gottschalk are long-time chums and old college beer buddies. Take this into consideration and, suddenly, the OWH endorsement of Kleeb is more offensive than the NY Times giving its discount rate for advertising. Worse, the OWH gave the Kleebies free advertising.

This misstep was one of the keys to the OWH's recent loss of credibility and influence. The days of the old media -- and the OWH -- are numbered. I promise.

Aquaracer2009 said...

If anyone has read the Daily Nebraskan (free of charge online) you will notice the most idiotic editorial in support of Kleeb ever written. This kid, I applaud his faith in the system, believes that Kleeb can actually defeat Johanns. This narrow minded Clintonian ventures to say Bob Kerrey's New University is "one of the nation's premier up-and-coming institutions in one of the greatest cities in the world". Would you know about this school is Cosmic Bob wasn't there? NO Have you ever been to New York City kid? As a former resident I can say it is a dump. The Kleeb groupies will continue to beat their drum, but their call will fall on deaf ears!

Eric said...

How dare a newspaper in this state endorse a Democrat!

You know, if you don't like the editorial content of a newspaper, there is something you can do about it. In the case of the OWH, it's easy, just read the paper online. And seriously, we're going to start complaining about college newspapers now? In that case, I have some grievances about the UNO gateway.

Neal Obermeyer said...

Let me get this straight.

Are people actually trying to claim that the OMAHA WORLD-HERALD has a liberal bias?

snowblwr said...

Hey, Neal dude ... there's more to a newspaper than just the editorial cartoon, man. Like, check out all those words in print. They can be more interesting than the pictures...

Long live the blogs -- the king (the left-leaning OWH) is dead!

Eliot Ness said...

Good work on this piece. Corporate monopolies like the OWH would print almost anything just to fill space and sell more ads.

Kyle - have you ever had the chance to meet Congressman Smith?

Blowout or no blowout, the people of the 3rd elected him, and for the most part, the voice of the people is the voice of the divine, and collectively, people are not as dumb as both the republican and democratic elitists think. Pretty Boy Scottie is really not the 3rd. He'd be better off challenging Patrick Kennedy in a primary.

Adrian, as much learning and growing up he needs to do in Congress, is by far much better representative of what the 3rd stands for.

Also, one thing I've always wondered about Kleeb. You have a PhD from Yale - and you go and start working as a ranch hand. Does that make sense? (This by no means is intended to be a cheap personal shot on Scott - this is still a free country, and people can do whatever their heart desires, but the whole thing with doing this and then wanting to catapult yourself to Congress is just a bit strange).

Anonymous said...

Kleeb = All hat, no cattle.

Neal said...

Okay, snowblwr, if that's even your real you have any words from the World-Herald to prove this absurd "liberal bias" claim? Or is all you need a one-year-old endorsement of Scott Kleeb or an exaggeration from an opinion column?

You could, perhaps, try to argue against some of the points in their Kleeb endorsement if you were attempting to prove some kind of "liberal" bias. Their editorial writers relied on Smith's record. Did they lie?

Did they unanimously endorse Democrats? Or does endorsing Kleeb make you have a "liberal bias" and endorsing Republicans makes you fair?

I mean, look at these very comments. "anony" thinks they have a liberal bias because they report reality on the SCHIP vote.

Then "Eliot Ness" calls them a corporate monopoly that will do anything to sell ads. This might be the first time a business-friendly newspaper has been condemned as disgustingly liberal.

It may surprise you to learn that there are actually liberal blogs too. I was surprised at how this ed has been interpreted as being so partisan, considering it targets all citizen journalists. I took it as a snobby glare down the nose at those who would chip away at their empire, no matter where they fall on the political spectrum.

I mean for crying out loud, the OWH ran a staff ed recently that solely attributed high Democratic fund raising dollars to pure hate, citing some book or study (I forget what exactly) about terrorists and the ability of terrorist groups to use hate to raise funds.

How do those of you who have convinced yourself of the World-Herald's liberal bias rationalize away eds like that? Do they just occasionally "get it right" every once in a while?

Why can't a newspaper just be stubborn, foolish, sometimes incompetent, occasionally erroneous, and often condescending without trying to blame it on a political party or extreme partisanship?

I'm sure there are cases of bias in journalism, but Democrats will probably find more people to vote for Scott Kleeb than you'll find people to agree that the OWH has a liberal slant. They hired the governor's spokesman to be one of their editorial writers! Did Heineman secretly have a dirty lib working for him? And how would those World-Herald folks know Sanderford could spew their leftist propaganda?

If they do something incorrect, disagree with it. I think SS and Kyle at NNN both do a good job of filling in the cracks left by incomplete reports.

All these cries of "bias" do is make you look like you're afraid of reality or incapable of disputing the message, so you have to discredit the messenger.

Anonymous said...

Congrats to Scott Lautenbaugh for being appointed to the Unicameral. I am sure you will serve your state proudly. I look forward to spirited debates between Sen. Chambers and Lautenbaugh.

macdaddy said...

Just a few comments:
Since Abe's picks up recycling only twice a month, the OWH had to go. Plus, why pay money for something that takes 5 minutes to read? Next, the editorial page should be embarrassed for its ignorance of American political history. This is the land of William Jennings Bryan for TO's sake! There have been rare times in our history when we have been united by our political leaders: at our founding, WWII, and 9/11-9/12, 2001. The OWH editorial page is most definitely liberal-leaning as evidenced by the endorsements, selection of letters to the editor, and editing of those letters. (Tompaine hit the nail on the head) Lastly, if Scott Kleeb couldn't get it done in 2006, he might as well forget about 2008 especially if Hillary is running strongly. Gone are the issues of corrupt Republicans in charge as well as the war in Iraq going poorly. Anybody in the entire state of Nebraska want to give Pelosi 2 more years of wasting our time and money? Also, Adrian Smith is an incumbent (assuming Kleeb wants to start his career in the House). Not a great hand he's been dealt, but then he should expect that, being a cowboy and all. You know, your horse could step in a gopher hole or a rattler could spook your horse and suddenly your luck ain't so good anymore. But then, that's life in the Sandhills.

Lisa Hannah said...

SS-I'll agree with Kyle in that you had me until the end.

I'll just say that I don't like extremes of either party. I don't like the political spin. Just the facts.

Taking away the vitrolic hatred by the far-right in this state for Kleeb, you have to admit some things whether you want to or not. What he did was impressive. He went from a complete unknown, had an inexperienced staff that had a lot of heart, got to a point where polls did she he got ahead, and it was only then at the DCCC stepped in. He got as much as he did on his own with no support from the national party.

On the other hand, Smith had constant support from the RNC, NRCC, and Club for Growth. For Kleeb to have gotten as far as he did in a very pro-Bush district is a credit to him. That last week, the 3 groups put out nearly $500,000 in commericals and other support for Smith. They saturated the airwaves. Kleeb had one ad from the DCCC and his own, done on his own.

Anyway, I'll step away now from your site and leave you to be, but where I can admit Smith knew all the triggers to hit to get the reactionary votes (they are all over this country, that's for sure), you do have to admit that what Kleeb accomplished was noteworthy.

Happy Halloween......


Anonymous said...

Good to see the Kleeb Campaign is still up and running.

Sandy Scofield had a better chance of being a Congressman that Scott Kleeb. After all she nearly beat the Former Speaker of the Legislature Bill Barret (1% margin) in 1990. Scott was 1/10 the candidate Sandy was. Their positions likely would have been the same though.

Street Sweeper said...

Thanks for dropping by, but the only "note" that matters is the one that says Kleeb lost by 10% on Election Day.

Anonymous said...

This thread contains more ignorance about the Nebraska political scene, the premises of journalism and the search for truth than any one person should be asked to swallow.

Street Sweeper said...

And yet here you are commenting on a post that's seven months old...
Thanks for reading!