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Mistah Kurtz - he dead

THE DEATH OF A REAL NEWSMAN IN SEATTLE: I meditate tonight on the truly great people who gave their heart and soul for the Seattle P-I (THE REAL NEWSPAPER!) over my far-too-long career here - like Tom Sellers and Ed Penhale and Lenny Anderson, Phil Webber and Traynor Hansen and John O'Ryan and Jack Smith and too many living to even begin to name them all in this time and space -- and it is sad to relinquish such spirit to the clowns who dance and prance around our bones, the sound-off junkies and sycophantic philanderers about to usurp the Globe. Good luck and good riddance to the smug news of narcissistic no consequence. That cannot be the lasting legacy of the P-I, but it is our destiny all the same - sold down the road, cut off without respect or regard, by the very hand that we fed all these years of turmoil and doubt about what the future would hold.

Yes, former P-I readers and current followers of REAL NEWS NETWORK, the future of our old "real" Web home - where we started out as Seattle at Nite and The Big Blog and once fully embraced and fueled so-called new media in all its forms, where we supervised and edited and prodded and cajoled reporters to build something from nothing into an online juggernaut, where we conceived and lobbied for an all-sports blog, a police blog, where this very writer won an award for online blogging - has now been handed over to the chosen few remaining cacklers and pretenders who will give you things like:

More Foxy Knoxy, more Bachelor inside scoops, and American Idol twits and twitterers, more ambulance-chasing gang-banging, head-scratching headlines, more Facebook time and press release praises to Amazon and Starbucks and Microsofties and anything that makes most true Seattle readers puke! More fashion galleries and veiled "reader blogs" where fact and fiction and plagiarism and libel and innuendo can all be absolved with a disclaimer or just sheer disdain. Feature material supplied by typing mills. Reporters replaced by hit generators, content providers, facilitators, pawns, groveling for tidbits of jobs that have slashed salaries, reduced benefits, more work, no guarantees. You can always be replaced by another eager clown at any given moment, especially come summer when you can just get a bunch of new interns who will work for FREE. Smile, because you'll take lots of photos of yourself and post them so folks can see how cool it is to be a new-age journalist.

While journalism has come to this in some circles, aims to stand for something far different. As always, our mission is freedom of expression and artistic thought, but we will now offer up our Web site here as an alternative to the company that is about to lay us off.

Instead of announcing their above-board plans to continue a Web site with a staff of only 20 people, the chosen few who will remain at the P-I have chosen to let their scheme leak out with secret meetings and offers behind closed doors. The jobs aren't open for anyone to apply for even though the company plans on ending the jobs of 130 others and there are scores of more-qualified Web-based journalists already looking for work in the area and beyond. Seniority and skill are not even considered, and only a chosen few were even approached and told what possibilities might exist. Was age considered in not offering jobs to older workers? How many ethnic minorities were given opportunities to apply?

Is this how Hearst plans to conduct business in San Francisco, Houston, San Antonio, or any of its remaining newspapers that once made the company what it is - or isn't - to this very day? Did anyone consider that the Justice Department might have an interest in further investigating a company that openly flouts the Newspaper Preservation Act to actually kill a newspaper after gutting its supposed partner and leaving both papers all but bankrupt and ready to end all real journalism in Seattle as we know it now and may never have it again?

We are the hollow men

We are the stuffed men

Leaning together

Headpieces filled with straw. Alas!

Our dried voices, when

Whispered together

Are quiet and meaningless

Tonight, as I prepared the very real news budget for the very real newspaper for the thousands of real readers who still pay real money to get their P-I every morning, some of the newer media types were filming themselves living out the last days of the paper and babbling on about Cameron Diaz and her latest photos that were up and posted in an online gallery and what sort of splash to give Sanjaya's new book."He looks so different with his hair cut."

As the copier printed out a budget of real stories that would have to be slashed just to make it into print, I thought of when I once started at the P-I and how we probably would have been debating other things at such a moment - like what the hell the governor was going to do with the biggest fiscal crises faced by the state since the Depression; or why we have a homeless camp that keeps getting run all over the city; or why no one is challenging the mayor at the time Seattle's core seems to be falling apart at the seams; or why the P-I has been reduced to covering the Legislature with interns.

We once fought hard to bring stories like that to the light of real readers night after night after night in the pages of the P-I for over 25 years at REAL NEWS. You can trace it all online if you like and the proof lies there in the truth. Real News will seek a new truth now, one that begins here on these pages and sheds new light on what true online expression can become when fused by REAL journalism. Hope you click on some of our sponsors and help us make some money for the road ahead.

All proceeds will be put directly back into the cooperative that has always been Real News Network, and while we can't pay as much as our former employer, we certainly offer any of our former colleagues free space and free reign to write and publish and contribute anything they like to the new and the very real We will keep the Globe spinning on our own middle finger now, thank you very much!!!

Those who have crossed

With direct eyes, to death's other Kingdom

Remember us - if at all - not as lost

Violent souls, but only

As the hollow men

The stuffed men.

-- T.S. Eliot, The Hollow Men, 1925


This comes from the Central District News from a post by "JayF" that includes an interesting link below to some thoughts from one of our neighbors about what Seattle without the Post-Intelligencer and two daily newspapers will be like.

I actually gave up on regularly reading newspapers even before the web, and so I might have predicted the end of industrial age newspapers a long time ago. But, in spite of that, now that it's actually happening--and happening locally with the Seattle PI, I can't say that I ever prepared to live in a city where one might not be able to find a couple different local papers offering serious coverage of the big stories.

So, what does this have to do with the Central District? Well, in some sense, the local newspapers haven't really had a ton of attention on local issues in our neighborhoods. And, that's part of the reason why the newspapers are dying out--the newspapers aren't primarily in the news business, they are in the business of delivering us (the public) to their audience: the advertisers. And, being treated like a product by the papers is not a priority for most of us.

But, on the other hand, the PI and Seattle Times have both employed journalists who have provided some serious coverage of issues that effect us. And, however one might complain about newspapers, we've got to worry about, e.g., what shenanigans go down at city hall if there's not a couple different journalists digging into those stories and bringing them to the public.

Fortunately, we have Central District News and the other neighborhood blogs / site around Seattle. I don't know that these websites can altogether replace what we might get from the PI, but they are part of it--and, in some very local ways, we already are getting a lot better information out of them.

Mike Davidson, who works at Newsvine (a news company with offices in the PI building) wrote some of his thoughts and observations in Last Rites. And, that made me want to post something here to CDN. I don't have any answers (though Mike has some ideas--which are worth looking into).


Our dear and amazingly talented friend Dan Raley is featured tonight and Sunday on KING-TV as part of an in-depth look at the closing of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. The report follows Dan from his home to his job covering the Huskies men's basketball team and looks at how the loss of the P-I will affect his family.

Check out the great story and video here:


With our newspaper, The Seattle Post-Intelligencer, set to die at the hands and small mind of William R. Hearst's ghost by March 18 after over 150 years of publication and history here in the Pacific Northwest, please feel free to enjoy this rare glimpse inside the true heart, the enduring spirit, of our wonderfully talented staff: This video features original music and performances from a band of employees that has been making music as well as news together the past three years. It also features raw footage of Hearst Corp. CEO Steven Swartz refusing to take questions from P-I reporters when he announces the imminent closure of the paper.


On a personal note, I am deeply saddened today to hear that my newspaper, The Seattle Post-Intelligencer, will be shut down after more than a century of publication unless a buyer can be found in the next 60 days.

While we have been busy making music and entertainment here for free on these pages, the real folks at Real News Network also have been putting out the P-I day after day after day after day in Seattle for nearly a quarter of a century. We are part of the fabric of Seattle far more than Real News is a part of the universe here on the Web.
Over the next 60 days, we will chronicle the life and – quite possibly – the death of a newspaper and what it means to the future of the Real News Band and the world at large. Certainly, we ask that anyone who is able or inspired or inclined: please help support us in the future by downloading some of our songs or buy some of the CDs. We are using all the proceeds to help broker the freedom of our newspaper's history and keep REAL journalism thriving and alive in Seattle. This editor was interviewed today on National Public Radio and made an appeal to those in Seattle with money and wherewithal to step forward and help save what certainly is -- and has been -- a vital part of our wonderful community here. As our own personal REAL NEWS ORGANIZATION, we will seek over the next 60 days to design the newspaper of the future that can co-exist with the Web world we have spun and still give readers news and information and entertainment they can touch and feel, tear apart, fold up and read in the bathroom, in the easy chair, on the bus and train and the lunchrooms across our region. Since technically, we still work for the Hearst Corporation, we first would make an appeal to the ghost of William Randolph himself to wake his company up to the future of news, which is right here and right now before us. We vow to continue the real journalism we practice day in and day out for the real readers of the Seattle P-I and those that follow us all individually and collectively on these REAL NEWS pages here, as well. This is not journalism that we do here, it is music and satire and poetry and everything but real news.

The REAL NEWS, however, can no longer be silenced or ignored – the time has come for all of us to recognize that our jobs, our families, our community, our very way of life in this world is being endangered by the little white men in suits who have taken this country to the brink of economic chaos and panic. We will not panic and we will continue to bring you as much news as we can as long as we draw a breath of air here in Seattle. And since our newspaper is up for sale, REAL NEWS officially declares its intention to make a bid for the Post-Intelligencer and its operations, its name and its Globe – even its sports banquet. Those who would like to help or suggest financing plans are welcome to join the effort.

We will detail the vision over the next 60 days of how this newspaper can contract with an -- independent printing plant to produce a scaled-back tabloid version of the current bastardized broadsheet the P-I has become

-- a paper that would be published three times a week – Monday, Wednesday and Friday – and distributed for free at all major commuter corridors in the city, re-establishing some of the current home delivery circulation base through mail delivery, and maximizing new technology to deliver the paper in downloadable formats through internet subscriptions. -- advertising in the near future would be contracted to a local company already set up to handle a broad platform of new revenue-producing options currently restricted by the Joint Operating Agreement with the Seattle Times. Broken free of that agreement, the P-I could immediately independently develop new media synergy to fully capitalize on a Web site that legitimately produces over 2 million visits each and every day, yet sustain the operation through traditional print advertising revenue as well; underselling the daily newspaper competition in terms of rates and overwhelming the weekly competition with volume, circulation and national advertising.

Despite what circulation numbers show, the P-I, like REAL NEWS, has far more significance than meets the eye on a daily basis here in the cold and dreary days of one of the worst winters in history. Like the weather, the news never stops. It just changes from day to day.

In the cold winter storm today, this REAL NEWS editor went unning to the top of High Point Hill and looked out over the Space Needle to where the P-I Globe still spins at the base of Queen Anne in the distance. As the sweat poured from my body, an old Neil Young song came into my ears from the iPod. It was a song he did back many years ago from a long-lost live album:
“I’ve seen love make a fool of a man. It tried to make a loser win. Well I’ve got nothing to lose I can’t get back again.”

I’ve got nothing to lose I can’t get back again; My purpose in life. My pride. My dedication. My newspaper. You can take it away, but I will get it back, even if I have to simply do it on my own right here on these wonderful Real News pages that have brought us all together for something far greater, even more magnificent to come.

Peace and joy will be
our mission, always,


AMBIII%20and%20Real%20News%20NetworkQuantcast Create your own banner at!


REAL BLOG SEARCH: The Real Blog is looking for more bloggers, writing or other media about bloggers and blogging, or any recommendations for best and worst or most unique and unusual blogs in the universe. Want to be a part of Real News Network-- just start wrting and you're on your way. We accept any and all submissions, and even those that refuse to submit at all! Hope you find your way to contribute to the creativity. AMBIII

Visit the creative new Home of AMBIII and Real News Network at (Click links)


REAL NEWS EDITOR’S NOTE: Greetings on a sunny, glorious Friday morning in Seattle

“The Future” was recorded with the Real News Network band and features James "Harpo" Nelson on blues harmonica and AMBIII griding on the hollowbody and vocals.

The song pays tribute to Tolle’s philosophy that you cannot predict, change, or dwell on the future, neither can you change what has happened in the past -- you can only be present in the moment that is happening NOW, and what you do now affects and shapes everything to come.

Currently, we are searching across the Internet for others out here who might have short stories, music, poetry, lyrics, art, thoughts, they would like to share, so stay tuned for even more original content, and drop us a line or two if you would like to be included.

Also, if you like the work here, please visit the new branches of this blog and the central music homes of AMBIII and Real News Network:

MySpace artist's profile page and friends:

ReverbNation Internet radio and main music page:

When I waded into the sea

I hadn’t even learned how to swim

Yet still I floated as in a dream

Until the tide washed my body

Back to her beaches

When I walked into the room

I didn’t even know my name

Yet somehow I felt to blame

For everything that would happen

In the future . . .

When she smiled and took me in

I had never seen her face

Yet somehow it all fell into place

Like I had been staring forever

At her picture . . .

When I opened up the door

I heard someone call out a name

Yet it never did sound the same

As when she called to tell me

There was no future . . .

Reflections of a thousand years

She has left me here with no tears

No fears

She has painted me into a corner

To drift alone at morning

To float along in mourning

When I waded into the sea

I heard someone call out a name

I knew I would take the blame

For everything that would happen

In the future .

New: Download AMBIII and the Real News Network at

How do you feel about the future of your world and the world around you? Sound off:


Dear serious journalists,

Let me fully explain the mission of The Real Blog -- a place where personal blogs on Yahoo 360 and MySpace and MyBlogger and Real News Network are gathered in one central location that hopefully will grow into a blog all about the art of blogging. Real News Network is not a real media company; it is virtual reality, whatever you dream it to be.

The Real Blog is not serious journalism – it is the Spinal Tap of blogs. Excuse me if you do not fully understand the editorial philosophy since it seems some serious-minded journalists are scratching their heads wondering what AMBIII is up to these days, even though we have been up and running daily since 2003.

For reference, see National Lampoon, or Mad Magazine, Gulliver’s Travels, the writings of Ben Franklin, Mark Twain, Lenny Bruce, or even previous postings on the Tornado Board.

Our editorial opinion is not to be taken as REAL. We realize satire and parody are dangerous tools if taken seriously, and we wouldn’t want that at Real News Network, where we really are all about the love of music, writing, art, and free expression.

Real News is this and this only -- an ongoing writing and music project that is based on a fictional character working as the editor for a fictional news operation, who becomes a REAL songwriter through the virtual reality world of the Internet, even though it is written, produced, performed, projected, even edited, in REAL TIME on the Web, by a REAL person who just happens to work in real journalism. Our network, however, is very real, and we truly thank those who have responded to the music and the art and the themes we hold true to our heart and soul.

If you want to find real news, this is not the place. In fact, we seem to make more news than we actually report.

My vow to is to keep Real News unfettered in the face of the real news that can cloud the real-world visions of many working in real journalism today, even my own at times. I know that our REAL READERS long ago have connected because they REALLY do get the point and understand the concept.

“Well you know something is happening, but you don’t know what it is. Do you, Mister Jones?”

In closing, and in keeping with our love theme and in light of this Valentine’s week being about love and all – and because of that last Dylan quote, The Real Blog presents our epic love song in homage to the master with “Song of Johanna.”

Now I know most serious journalists looking for clues will understand that one of the key songs on Blonde on Blonde was “Visions of Johanna.” So since I seem to have to fully explain myself these days, yes, this song was written as a tribute to that original epic love song with even an attempt to recreate the sweeping sound that is the heart of one of Dylan’s greatest compositions of that era.

Any other allusions to the REAL LIFE of AMBIII are purely illusionary.

Song Of Johanna (click to play)

I called into the wind, the name of Johanna.
I called into the wind and blew her a kiss.
I dream at night I've been touched by Johanna,
I dream at night no matter how I resist
I slept in her bed, right next to Johanna,
I slept in the bed and tasted her heart.
I cry at night for the tears of Johanna,
I run all day to make a new start.

Face of the angels, spirit of a virgin dove,
I breathe her name to sing her praises
I follow . . . every trace of her wandering love.

I search the world for words of Johanna,
I search the world for flowers for her soul.
I plant all day, seeds for Johanna,
I pray all night and as dawn unfolds.
I shout to God, the name of Johanna,
I write her words to sing to the stars.
I live and breathe for a word from Johanna,
I live again to make a new start.

Heart of the angels, skin of a virgin dove,
I write her name to bring her praises
I trace. . . every step of her exquisite love.

I came inside the gates with Johanna,
I came inside and came back for more.
I came inside the walls of Johanna,
I came inside and slept on her floor
I came inside the home of Johanna.
I came inside and now wait at her door.

Soul of the angels, wings of a virgin dove,
I call her name to chant her praises
I trace. . . every step of her fleeting love.

I write every day in the name of Johanna,
I write every day to speak to her mind.
I look everywhere for signs of Johanna,
I look everywhere, what she allows me to find.
I work so hard for glances from Johanna
I work at night and into the sun.
I wander the earth in search of Johanna,
I wander the earth in search of her love.
I believe in life because of Johanna,
I believe in hope in the nights that I dream
I believe in love with thoughts of Johanna,
I believe I shall never know such love again.

AMBIII and Real News Network