The Salability of Liberal Guilt in Summer Recreation


At the end of the day, newspapers have to make money.  They have to publish things that people are willing to pay to read.  In that regard, I find myself wondering how much of a market there is for articles tweaking the guilt of while liberals and the grievance of non-white liberals.  The poobahs of the The Providence Journal demonstrably must believe the market is huge.

As the paper’s contribution to the progressive project of sowing racial discord during the lame-duck period of Barack Obama’s disastrous presidency, the paper is running an ongoing series called “Race in Rhode Island.”  This weekend’s offering — covering more than half of the Sunday edition’s front page and still at the top of the paper’s Web site — is Alisha Pina’s “The Play Gap: Summer programs in affluent communities can give kids a leg up on less privileged peers“:

A 44-page glossy South Kingstown brochure offers young people more than 100 summer recreation opportunities: pirates ahoy, riding the waves surf camp, rock band and many other activities under its motto, “Where tradition meets adventure.”

But at the other end of this tiny state, Woonsocket has just one basketball league and a four-hour “Just Play” program that runs three days a week. You can find the two programs only on fliers and Facebook.

Summer recreation opportunities are different from community to community in Rhode Island; some have millions of dollars while others have almost nothing. The Providence Journal looked at five cities and towns and found these wide disparities.

Again, is there really a market for this stuff?  And if so, does it ever get saturated?  How many people out there are just waiting to spend a chunk of their Sundays lamenting the plight of those poor, unfortunate urban children because their local governments don’t create employment for yet more public employees to increase our reliance on government to structure our lives for us?

Have no doubt that such is the meaning and purpose of this article.  Profiling five of 39 cities and towns is hardly sufficient to draw the generalized conclusion of the story’s lede.  That’s especially true considering that the profiles don’t neatly create the desired narrative.  Providence, for example, doesn’t look like it’s exactly depriving its students of the opportunity for government-subsidized activities.  Tiverton, for another example, is not among the profiled five, and the town is currently struggling to expand its summer offerings, even as it struggles to accommodate residents’ justified demand that the recently exploded tax bill be brought back under control.

In other words, this article must be about guilt and grievance, because the actual information isn’t as sold, and it doesn’t bother raising the question of whether government really needs to be taking over the summer recreation market.  An article about the factors that prevent the private sector from filling a presumed market need for summer activities might be worth reading, but then Rhode Islanders might, once again, have to face their government’s strangulation of their society.

  • Mario

    I’m pretty sure the point of the series is to earn the paper a Pulitzer.

  • ShannonEntropy

    Again, is there really a market for this stuff?

    NO …. and the Pro·Jo’s slow death is proof of that.

    The daily / Sunday circulation numbers were 164K & 231K in 2005; 94K & 129K in 2011; and 74K & 99K now. My newspaper delivery guy — who is also named George and we have the same initials — tells me his territory has doubled but his numbers keep shrinking; and he hasn’t had a new subscriber in a few years now

    The ‘Over/Under’ on their going out of business can’t be any later than 2020 if these trends continue

    Why ?? Cuz people get fed up reading all this race-baiting and all-around liberal bull carp. I only continue to get it cuz it’s the only game in town … and what a lousy game it is too. Whenever we vist the CT casinos I pick up either the Hartford Courant or The Day of New London or both; and the difference in quality between those two and our own Rhodent rag is striking

    Heck … they can’t even print the comics right anymore … the typesetter cut off half the page this past Saturday !! Doesn’t anyone proof-read over there ??

  • The Misfit

    “At the end of the day, newspapers have to make money. They have to publish things that people are willing to pay to read.” Newspapers used to make money because they were the only show in town. People would buy a paper to check houses for sale and cars for sale and apartments to rent. That was the bread and butter for newspapers. And obits. And crime and car accident reporting for the entertainment value. Newspapers are no longer relevant because the main things they had the market on are now done better by others. It never was about the news.

  • Warrington Faust

    Contrary to the posts below, I think the ProJo has identified a “core constituency” and these are the stories expected to appeal to them. Everything else is already yesterday’s news when the paper hits the street.

    A week, or three. ago I bought a Sunday paper out of nostalgia for lazy Sunday mornings. It just wasn’t the same for us.

  • guest

    As ususal, I truly appreciate your hypocrisy…”sowing racial discord during the lame-duck period of Barack Obama”…as opposed to the baggers doing it for the first 6 years of his administration.

    “How many people out there are just waiting to spend a chunk of their Sundays lamenting the plight of those poor”? Well, I know of at least one. YOU! Who else would use a silly article based on a silly premise to attack the President of the United States (who had nothing at all to do with it? YOU!

    “accommodate residents’ justified demand that the recently exploded tax bill be brought back under control.” I thought you were recently bragging that your budget has been adopted the last few years? Are you trying to take credit for a “recently exploded tax bill, whatever that means?

    Once again you are ranting all over the map and don’t provide any suggestions for improvement. Can you at least provide the readers some examples of where privatization has led to improvements in town recreaction?

    • Justin Katz

      If you actually think I’m all over the map, I’d suggest it’s only because you read everything I write with the bitter objective of finding ways to believe that nothing I ever do, say, or write can have any redeeming qualities whatsoever. I would conjecture that you do so in order to give yourself an excuse for your abysmal behavior, online and around town.
      To respond to your points, though (if only to exercise my finger muscles):
      * Conservatives (Tea Party or otherwise) have been conspicuously not racist when it comes to our terrible president.
      * With regard to my reading the newspaper, a moment’s consideration would bring you to the observation that finding these things gives me something to write about it. I doubt, however, that the Providence Journal could support itself based on those who read it with that purpose.
      * By “recently exploded,” I mean the past 10-15 years. You know, since you and your friends pushed through millions of dollars in debt and managed the town into the ground.
      * As for my point about the private sector, I’m not here to teach you how to read. You’re missing the point.

      • Jason

        Perhaps Brian doesn’t get enough mail on his site so he needs to visit others to get some action?

    • Jim Morgan


  • GaryM

    I noticed this story had comments (9) up until mid morning on Sunday. Then the comments disappeared. The 9 comments posted had a very negative view of the story, so the Journal apparently didn’t like the public response.

    So much for journalistic debate.

  • ShannonEntropy

    Sometimes the Liberal Narrative is advanced by what the writer DOESN’T say

    Take the following story, from the St Louis Post-Dispatch, which was re-printed in the Pro·Jo’s Sunday edition — 7/19 p. F3 ¹ =►

    Notice how the author tells us that teens these days are going to space camp or volunteering at soup kitchens and that is why so few of them have summer jobs

    But he never mentions what Janet Yellen and The Fed say is THE main cause of the depressed teen labor market — IMMIGRATION

    Immigration has the new political “third rail”. Touch it only if you want to get fried alive — just ask Donald Trump

    ¹ … sorry; I get the Pro·Jo e·edition but can’t figure out how to get the URL like Justin does when he posts links to their articles

  • inRIhell

    Who even reads this rag? Certainly not the ones it’s portraying as the poor, destitute souls who are here collecting the freebies. Oh, wait, we’re not strangled enough by high taxes, no employment but part time minimum wage jobs, a stupid governor who’s primary goal is garnering her cronies a 33 percent pay hike! Maybe the self-hating white liberals will feel better if the state confiscates all the white working people’s salaries (except theirs, of course) and dole it out equally, give everyone a gray uniform, ala China, and call it a socialist mecca!
    Maybe the poor unfortunates should actually graduate high school, not have kids at 13, go to college (it would be free, of course). it’s called responsibility, but that’s not in the DumocRATs’ vocabulary!

    • Tommy Cranston

      Personally I’d like to run for Governor on a ticket of a 20% income tax surcharge on all incomes over $100,000 a couple; with revenues distributed to the welfare crowd.
      What a joy it would be to see the public union/crony thieves literally coming to blows with the welfare bum/illegal alien thieves.
      That would be a joy to bring back memories of the Iran-Iraq War. Or the bloody Stalinist-Trotskyite feud.