the Sun

Pro-Rupert Murdoch editorials have a lot in common. For starters, they’re all published in newspapers owned by or associated with Murdoch. Then, there’s everything else about them: their argumentation, their structure, their themes, their key phrases. It’s almost as if the papers are cribbing off each other, or some kind of master Murdoch defense document. To be sure, not all of the News Corp titles have editorialized in defense of their owner. For example, the New York Post is going for a “hear no evil” approach, burying News of the World scandal stories on page 35.

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And just like that, the News of the World is gone. Never mind that Rupert Murdoch’s racy tabloid was the best-selling and most profitable weekly in Britain, with a circulation of some 2.6 million.

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[Guest post by Alex Klein] Rupert Murdoch just drove the final nail into his News of the World coffin, shoving it unceremoniously out to sea like a recently deceased Al Qaeda boss. Its editor Rebekah Brooks gets to keep her post as chief executive of all News International while its reporters mill around outside of the building, levying vague threats. It’s fair to say good riddance, and rejoice that a newspaper that hacked 4,000 and bribed £100,000 will soon be moldering in the trash heap. But the fall of News of the World isn’t all good news.

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Memphis on Broadway

Memphis Shubert Theatre Million Dollar Quartet Nederlander Theatre Anyone in denial about the demise of the record business will find on Broadway these nights proof of death more conclusive than the disappearance of music stores from the malls or the elimination of DJs from radio stations. Two musicals staged this year—Memphis, which won the Tony Award for Best Musical, and Million Dollar Quartet, which is set in the same city in the same period and deals with many of the same themes—verify the extinction of the old-school music industry by showing it to exist now solely as sentimental myth.

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Sometimes a fact breaks through. When we released the Metro Program’s 2008 report “Mountain Megas” about the “megapolitan” super-metros of the Mountain West, my colleague Rob Lang and myself picked up on past work by the Maricopa Association of Governments (MAG) and began to point out that massive Phoenix and Las Vegas stand as the two largest proximate metropolitan areas not linked by an interstate. This observation might have seemed a bit abstract, but in fact it built on significant past discussion of the Mountain region’s underdeveloped transportation networks.

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The first decade of this century was a dud for job creation nationwide. With a weak recovery from the 2001 recession followed by the Great Recession, the nation as a whole gained almost no jobs during the decade (actually, there was a 0.3 percent increase). That made the aughts the first decade since the Great Depression without any substantial job growth. But as with so many national statistics, this national average hides enormous regional variation. And since, for most people, job markets are regional, this regional variation really matters for working people.

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Regionalism is too often thought to require government initiative.

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Remember when the Census Bureau released the new 2008 national poverty numbers earlier this month? Not surprisingly, the news wasn’t good, and the best guess was that the outlook would be bleakest in the Sun Belt metro areas hit hardest by the downturn in the housing market and in regions reliant on the auto manufacturing industry. Well, now the local numbers are in. Only about one-fifth of the 100 largest metro areas experienced a significant change in poverty from 2007 to 2008, and as might be expected, most of those saw their poverty rates increase.

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I remember the New York World Telegram and Sun from my childhood in New York. It was one of a species now long dead: the afternoon newspaper. Those were the days when news dribbled in on the wire all day and all night, and some papers published first, second and final editions. In the a.m. and in the p.m. Like PM, the fellow-traveling, near Communist newspaper that was owned by Marshall Field and for which I.F.

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The first real job I ever got in journalism was at the softly right-of-center New York Sun. It was an internship after the summer of my freshman year in college, and it paid (as too few newspaper internships do). I worked for both the editorial and news pages, an assignment that might seem inappropriate in today's ethics-obsessed media world but not uncommon at the Sun, which was re-birthed in 2002 on the explicit promise to revive a sort of 19th-century style advocacy journalism.

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