….. Today we set a precedent for this website. After 1,250 columns, this will be our first “interview”. What a choice for our subject. ….. Six months ago FloydTurbo was “an old Johnny Carson character”. Then a local floundering newspaper began offering on-line reader comments and VOILA – FloydTurbo emerged out of the cyber ether. ….. BobLeeSays welcomes Mr. FloydTurbo.
BL: Floyd …. may I call you Floyd?
FT: I prefer Charlemagne or ArtFern, but Floyd is fine. It’s a pleasure to be here with THE BobLee …. May I call you BobLee?
BL: BobLee, JackReacher, MitchRapp, AlexHawke …. whatever works for you. You’ve been a busy fellow lately Floyd. I understand you have an announcement to make to the BobLee Buddies & Babes.
FT: Indeed. But we probably need background for your vast global audience. Our local newspaper, The News & Observer, is, like most newspapers, on late stage life support. Their revenue sources have deserted them and their editorial arrogance has alienated 50% of the market. They are trying any gimmick they can think of short of bake sales, car washes, and trick or treating thru Chavis Heights. Six months ago they began offering reader comment opportunities on their on-line edition.
BL: ….. uh oh, I think I see what’s coming. You are, like myself, a fellow of rather strong opinions. You, also, do not seem to suffer fools lightly.
FT: ….. Fools, in general, I can suffer fine. I am quite foolish myself on occasion. Pompous cowardly fools I cannot suffer at all.
BL: The News & Observer ? The same bunch that suffered worldwide embarrassment with their knee-jerk butchering of the Duke Lacrosse mess? They deified a psycho skank on the word of a certifiably insane DA …. and did all they could to ruin the lives of three young men. I wrote a few (23) columns on that subject on BobLeeSays.
A few decades ago, with men like Fred Crisp giving it integrity, The N&O was a fine newspaper. Always overtly bias in its socio-cultural views but in a reasonably civil manner. It’s credo being former owner Frank Daniels’ quote – “If we admitted all our mistakes, it might effect our credibility!”
Those days are long gone. Today the struggling tabloid takes itself a LOT more seriously than anyone else does. The N&O in 2009 is The Huffington Post with a sports section.
FT: ZINGGGG! Moving right along. They figured creating a bit of fuss ‘n feathers via reader comments might spice up their site view #s. I figured I’d help out a local business trying to make it.
BL: Excuse me Floyd. The News & Observer is NOT a local business. They are a front for a Sacramento California conglomerate. The McClatchey Corp. FWIW, all their assets are hemorrhaging red ink. Their Miami operation sold their parking lot to keep their doors open a few more weeks.
FT: I knew all that but didn’t realize your readers did.
BL: BobLee’s Buddies & Babes are among the finest, smartest folks drawing breath…..
FT: …. Oh, I know that. I’ve been a big fan of yours since that Carolina Goes NASCAR spoof years ago. Cyber genius is spelled B-o-b-L-e-e around our house. One word w/ a capital “L”.
BL: Enough about me. This is your interview. So you showed up to add a bit of spice to a struggling tabloid. It went over like a pregnant pole vaulter wearing combat boots, I’ll bet.
FT: Eventually yes …. I know your readers are familiar with Internet message boards and the board monkeys that inhabit them.
BL: We have discussed that subject a FEW times, yes. (!!!)
FT: A reader comment section on a media site has all the toxicity of a message board with one added feature. The people controlling the site (in this case The N&O) are more rabid than their most ardent commentors.
Equate it to going on The View and telling Whoopi Goldberg to her face that she will never be mistaken for Halle Berry….. and Baba Walters is Madam Skeletor. That may be absolutely true but they are going to cut you off in mid-sentence. You will be gone from the stage when they come back from commercial. …. And Whoopi, Joy and Baba will be ripping you to shreads.
Anyone can go on The N&O comment section (i.e. The View) and desecrate the memory of Jesse Helms before his body is cold saying ANYTHING no matter how obscene and it passes. Same about Geo Bush, Rush Limbaugh, Eliz Dole ….. any left-wing loon can SCREECH and the “N&O ban police” just smile declaring “free expression is a wonderful thing”. It should be.
I called out the N&O staff whose names appear in bylines. The people actually spewing out the bilge protected by “freedom of the press”. My privilege to do so was taken away.
BL: Are you saying FloydTurbo will no longer be calling out the pompous nabobs on Newsobserver.com ?
FT: Yep. It happened last week. Not quite like the final scene in Braveheart or Spartacus but close. Look, I admittedly pushed the envelope. I told Editor Drescher I would when I started. They allow all manner of blovicity that supports their agenda ….. I was one of a handful of dissenting voices.
BL: Last week? The Week That America Was Obamaized. Let me get this straight. FloydTurbo was banned from expressing his opinion in the same week that America celebrated Hope & Change. That qualifies you as ….
FT: Yessirree BobLee ….. FloydTurbo was the 1st casualty in the Freedom Of Speech Be Damned Regime of Barack Obama. There will be others but FloydTurbo will always have been THE FIRST ONE. ….. the ArchDuke Ferdinand of Hope & Change.
BL: You have quite a career achievement rap sheet. Did anything in your past prepare you for this?
FT: Back in the 11th grade me and “Big’un” stuffed Billy The Rat into a trash can in the student lounge. It went on “my permanent record”.
BL: You seemed to have survived that pretty well.
FT: So far.
BL: Among the great tragedies of the past century where will this rank?
FT: Somewhere between The Death of Floyd Collins and The Wreck of The Edmund Fitzgerald.
BL: Our self-imposed word limit is up. Could you stick around for a Part Two? Are you familiar with a Raleigh landmark known as “The Free Expression Tunnel” over at NC State?
FT: Yes to all the above. As for that infamous tunnel, the only “N” word I use is Nifong. Let me go pee and grab a Diet Dr Pepper and we can continue.
BL: …… Buddies & Babes, is this a HOOT or what?
(Butch Cassidy’s cellphone rings ….“Raindrops keep falling on….” ….. “This is Butch” …… “Butch, this is Monty Python. Never mind those Pinkertons following you and Sundance, “Who are THESE guys?” ….. “BobLee is an old buddy of Gus and Woodrow’s. Never heard of Turbo. Both sound like our kinda guys. ….. “You got that right, amigo”)
Art Fern hosted what classic Carson segment?