Does Joe Schmoe like "inside baseball?"

Ah yes, it’s one of those rhetorical days so here are a few questions.

If you are a real baseball nut, do you care about all the internal goings-on of your favorite team? Yes. Most likely. Some. Maybe not but more than likely you do. Let’s say you are just a casual baseball follower. Same questions. End result: Possibly, but more than likely not. ‘Scuse me for being general here, by the way.

What if you are a political junkie, do you care about the machinations behind the choice for House majority leader or Senate minority leadership positions? The answer: See “baseball nut” above. Okay then what if you follow party politics on occasion or don’t give a damn about politics at all? See “casual baseball follower” above and perhaps even add a “Hell no!” as an answer to the question.

It’s hard for one of those tortured souls who loves politics to see the ocean for the water. Yes, I care whether Jack Murtha or Steny Hoyer was elected majority leader by their fellow Democratic House members. For those of you who don’t follow party politics that closely, the Dems elected Hoyer even though presumed House Speaker Nancy Pelosi backed Iraq War critic and Marine Jack Murtha. But in the grander scheme of life in the old U.S. of A., does it really matter who is majority leader or whip? The answer is somewhere between yes and no. “Some maybe I don’t know,” would be an honest reply.

How about who chairs the various House committees, important or not? Political junkie EFD would say: “Duh.” Casual political follower EFD would say: “Ehh.” Don’t give a rat’s ass EFD would say: “Are you out of your freaking mind?”

The point here is (let’s see, five paragraphs later?) to ask the question does Joe Schmoe care about “inside baseball?” And I’m talking about politics here to be perfectly clear. Okay, as clear as I can be. Are we clear? I made my living as a newspaper reporter for almost 20 years and I can’t say for certain that the majority of my readers ever cared about inside baseball/politics stories I wrote. But my editors cared. The readers are customers (actually the car dealers and department stores who advertise paid my salary) but the editors were my bosses and signed the time cards.

I am sure somewhere statistics exist as to the general public’s interest in the internal working of party politics. I would venture a guess (not highly educated, more like a B.A. rather than a Ph.D.) that television networks and maybe even some local TV news outlets have stats gauging viewer interest in the subject of inside party politics. But maybe not. I am also willing to bet that somewhere the same stats are available to big-time print publication poobahs. But your average small or medium-sized daily probably doesn’t have such questions in their yearly or biennial or once-a-millenium reader surveys. That’s because newspapers are generally so tight with a dollar that they will make George Washington scream like a little bitch. Hey, this is EFD talking. If you are a boss at a publication my alter ego writes for, then remember that. It’s not him/me, it’s that EFD guy.

Here I surmise. That’s a rather odd sentence don’t you think? But a lot of media people including newspaper editors and broadcast news directors are political junkies and love those inside baseball stories. When Lois Lane goes to Perry White and asks: “Why do you want me to cover the Metropolis Republican Women’s Club? No one really cares about it unless you are a member of the club.” To which Perry Smith replies, condescendingly, “Lois, I’ve been in this business for many, many years. I think I know what the readers want. And they want this look into the inner workings of the beast we call politics.” Although, Perry would probably deliver his reply in manner much more gruff than I convey here in print.

I think editors and perhaps most publishers and news executives love following what goes on in the belly of the political party beast. But I’m not so sure about Joe Schmoe or the rest of the world. I could say the same for weather stories. Yeah, if a tornado misses hitting a trailer home, then damn right I’d like to know about it. If it comes a thunderstorm on the Texas coast during the summer, no damage, maybe a little minor street flooding, that’s not news. I’m sorry. A story about such an event is a maniacal burp in some editor’s half-lobotimized brain.

So I have written a lot of words here about something that maybe should change but probably won’t — weather and inside baseball party politics stories. If the public doesn’t give a damn about such subjects, then why on Earth would they care about questioning the public’s interest in these matters? Hellifino. But what else would I write about this morning when not a whole lot of shaking is going on inside my brain? (My trembling hands, still lacking a medical diagnosis, is another matter).

It is what it is, what it is, what it is and not much I can do about it (inside baseball politics or weather stories or my befuddlement over why my hands all of a sudden one day started shaking). So you know what? I think I’m going to look over this, publish it and start writing on something that will actually make me a little money. Is that okay with you? Fine. Then that’s what I’ll do. Have a great day and thanks for stopping by the EFD Country Store where ham is still 15 cents a pound and all the bulls*it you can handle is free.

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