Pink Slime Ruins Journalism…and the Color Pink
The uniform trousers of the paramedics in the sitcom Doc Martin, in Port Isaac, Cornwell, UK, are Kelly green. Right now cherry wood is out and white kitchens are all the rage. Blue flashing lights are installed on the roof of police cars in Chicago, and pink is sometimes painted on prison walls for its calming effects.
Yellow journalism, or sensationalism, was named after an 1890s cartoon, “Hogan’s Alley,” which featured a “Yellow Kid.” Today, Pink Slime Journalism, or shoddy journalism pushing a political agenda, gets its name from the product that is used as a filler in processed meats. Pink slime fills the cracks when community journalism is absent.
Although I understand the name, I happen to like the color pink – bubblegum and sweetness – a soft color with a bit of boyish flippancy. Too bad to see it used in such an unpleasant style.
Recently, a newspaper owned by Brian Timpone, who now lives in Western Springs, and Dan Proft, who lives in Chicago, has gained momentum in the area. The West Cook News, a local example of Pink Slime journalism, uses fake bylines, fabricated quotes, snapshots of people and misleading information. With a veil of “local” and even a “donate” button on the site, what’s missing is a phone number that reaches their offices, an address, or even an email that will get a response.
So, as a traffic warden here, I’ve fielded all kinds of calls from people in all of the communities we serve trying to reach West Cook’s head office. Their hope is that I know a real contact there. Phone call after phone call, I am encouraged that so many people are upset by the uninvited, addressed paper that arrives in their mailbox.
It reminds me of election day when great efforts were made to get fraudulent referendums on the ballot that would fill the referendum space, thereby blocking any opportunity for voters to exercise their say on video games here . Forest Parkers are more used to slimy political campaigns – Rauner’s face with fake quotes about local school board elections, suggestions that Forest Park would annex Maywood, crying children with fake political quotes, all sorts of themes immature and bizarre logic. I collect mine from a fishbowl.
The purpose of these fliers and pink-slobber journalism is to encourage distrust, to create lies, to encourage hatred and fear.
With my new friends calling vitriol over this diary, we all agree that hitting back in anger only fuels hate. One person thought it might be appropriate to send the papers back to Brian and Dan at home, or send them an unsigned note. Another suggested sending a copy of Shel Silverstein’s poem “Don’t Change on My Account”.
I’ve always wanted to build a public sculpture out of the political hate flyers that come in at election time, so consider this a productive reaction to those political candidates who strive to destroy and discourage a community.
In the meantime, I will focus on the pumpkin that grows in my garden. It’s just a wonderful gift, changing every day and turning orange with excitement. In a few weeks, she’ll be joining the scarecrow invasion outside my house, sincerely, so be sure to wave to her when you pass.