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.