Does Steelers Loss Point to America’s Decline?

Well, OK. That headline may be overstating things just a tad. But c’mon. If one of the most powerful nations — the Steeler Nation — comes up short in the big one, does it bode well for others trying to maintain their position at the top of the food chain? Think about it.

So the Pack is Back. Congrats. And congrats to their fans. Anyone who has the gonads to walk around with a chunk of cheese on his head deserves a win every once in a while. Just sayin.’ And I managed to sleep soundly through the second and third quarters. So the game overall wasn’t all that bad.

And recognizing that my Terrible Towel now has few tear stains on it, I’m not sure the Super Bowl was even the top news story last night.

How about The Huffington Post being acquired by AOL for $315 million. Wonder what the valuation of some of the old lamestream media properties — NYT, WaPo, Chicago Tribune, USA Today and so on — is these days?

Here’s from a NYT article:

Arianna Huffington, the cable talk show pundit, author and doyenne of the political left, will take control of all of AOL’s editorial content as president and editor in chief of a newly created Huffington Post Media Group. The arrangement will give her oversight not only of AOL’s national, local and financial news operations, but also of the company’s other media enterprises like MapQuest and Moviefone.

By handing so much control over to Ms. Huffington and making her a public face of the company, AOL, which has been seen as apolitical, risks losing its nonpartisan image. Ms. Huffington said her politics would have no bearing on how she ran the new business.

The deal has the potential to create an enterprise that could reach more than 100 million visitors in the United States each month. For The Huffington Post, which began as a liberal blog with a small staff but now draws some 25 million visitors every month, the sale represents an opportunity to reach new audiences. For AOL, which has been looking for ways to bring in new revenue as its dial-up Internet access business declines, the millions of Huffington Post readers represent millions in potential advertising dollars.

I’m sure that others will opine with more insight than I will on this, but the deal with The Huffington Post, which to a large degree is a content aggregator not content creator, strikes me as a big deal. First, it points to the fact that people, now regardless of age, get their news — if they get it at all — online or increasingly on a smartphone or iPad. Second, The Huffington Post represents a new style of opinion journalism — much less centered in the “he said she said” of traditional journalism and certainly far less boring than traditional media.

And The Huffington Post manages to combine some important news — taken amazingly enough essentially from traditional media such as the NYT and WaPo — with a large helping of celebrity information, gossip and rumors. That apparently draws audiences, online, in print and via the airwaves.

And I was actually thinking about that while watching the Sunday Today show. As many in this country may know, there is a big story brewing in Egypt and throughout the Middle East, but the story that got equal or perhaps more attention on the Today show: Lindsay Lohan and the latest incident involving this troubled celebrity. By the way. Who is Lindsay Lohan? And why is she the subject of so much national attention and angst? Opps. I digress.

Oh by the way. The Huffington Post had the story days ago. Go figure.

Anyway, I knew it was going to be a long night Sunday for those of us who believe in truth, justice and the American way when it took another celebrity, Christina Aguilera, almost two minutes to botch the national anthem.

Epic fail — from before the game started to the very end.

Sigh.

 

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