Doug’s Rant

| Doug's Rants | March 14, 2019

Glass Half Empty?

I’ve been accused of being a glass-half-empty guy since I was a kid. It started with my mom pointing out this personality trait, and now my loving wife is the first to remind me I still carry the trait around. My claim is I’m just a realist, and being a bit of a pessimist enables me to handle the calamities of life without surprise and with less of a sting when they come my way.

With that jesting aside and borrowing a phrase from Brother Bernie Sanders, “it gives me no pleasure” to write this.

Recent Headlines:

Decline in readers, ads, lead hundreds of newspapers to fold


-Gannett forecast bleak earnings for its newspaper companies

-McClatchy newspapers circling the drain?

There is even a website called Newspaper Death Watch, which chronicles the struggles of newspapers across the nation.

The cause is not hard to figure out; ad revenue declines are devastating the newspaper industry, causing 1400 cities to lose a newspaper over the past 15 years. Cost-cutting measures run rampant industry-wide as publishing companies try to balance revenue and expenses (unlike the federal government).

Newspaper advertising revenue loss is attributed to the explosion of online popularity and just plain disinterest among potential and former readers. In my opinion, a huge chunk of our population has taken an I don’t care, I don’t want to know attitude. If they do still follow current events, the news is at their fingertips on a digital device.

These factors have resulted in steep drops in newspaper circulation, and of course, less eyeballs on a paper results in less businesses spending on advertising. As one industry analyst put it: “Newspapers are getting eaten away at every level.” 

Ranter’s Note:

As I continue on with this narrative, please DO NOT equate any of it to The Signal newspaper.  While my wife and I are in a business partnership with the owner of our local paper, that partnership is a completely separate entity from The Signal’s publishing company. I am NOT privy whatsoever to their business situation.

Why Now?

I guess I’m sharing this about the industry that I’ve been part of and loved for 37 years because the situation is real and challenging, and I always tend to rant about what’s on my mind. SCV Publications (which publishes the Gazette, Canyon Country Magazine and PetMe! Magazine) faces the same battle of ad revenue decline as our brethren nationwide, but our readership remains strong, especially for this newspaper. This positive point lends itself to optimism we will weather the storm of reduced ad revenue.

But what I’d really like to point out is similar to what a friend of mine wrote when he sent me a link to one of the articles on newspaper decline.  “I know this is not news to you, but thought you might find this reporter’s take on the issue worthwhile. As I read it this morning I was taken with gratitude that SCV has two news outlets in print.”

If you are reading this rant in the print edition (if you’re reading it online, just stop and go immediately to print, just kidding … sort of), I would ask if you have the same gratitude my friend has, because so many newspaper lovers across our nation are now greatly missing a local newspaper to read.

If you are grateful for this newspaper I will ask you to send large quantities of cash our way (just kidding … sort of), but seriously, consider some things you can do to help.  Encourage those you know pick up a copy of the Gazette or have it delivered to their home. They can also subscribe to The Signal (Gazette is delivered with it on Fridays). If you know any decision makers regarding advertising for their business, please recommend us. What can really help is for readers to frequent our advertisers and utilize their products or services. Be sure and tell them you saw them in THE GAZETTE!

Some may call this a business asking for a helping hand: I see it as a community effort to help keep your local newspaper, the Santa Clarita Gazette, thriving!    

Deficit Spending at its Finest:

When details of the Trump administration’s proposed budget came out, the first thing I looked for was how much more will be spent compared to the revenue projected to come in. Guess what? It’s only $1 trillion! That’s $1 trillion more that will be added to the $22 Trillion debt we face now, plus the ginormous interest that accumulates minute by minute of every day. While that is disappointing and scary, we must realize the budget is put together with the Dem’s spending thirst in mind, because the president will not get everything he wants in the budget. Chucky Schumer already exclaimed “it’s a gut punch to the American middle class,” which gives us an indication that the slim $1 trillion projected loss will be quite a bit higher after Chuck and Nancy are through with it.

At Least it’s a Start:

The thing that gives me a glimmer of hope was the headline: “The largest proposed budget cut in the nation’s history.” That is some hope, as the federal government (Democrats and Republicans) spends way too much money on way too many things, well over the revenue that comes in from taxpayers. I’ll just never understand how the intelligent (most of them anyway) members of Congress think borrowing and deficit spending is a-okay, as long as everyone is kept happy (Can you say “socialism”?).

At least now Trump is trying to start the battle of cutting wasteful spending, as this budget includes $2.7 trillion in proposed spending cuts, which is higher than any other administration in history. Trump and his team are also trying to set “an aggressive set of policies to redefine the proper role of the Federal Government and curtail those programs that fail to efficiently and effectively deliver promised outcomes to the American people.”

I say good luck with that, as the Dem’s responses are already coming in loud and clear: “The president’s budget is divorced from reality. It is not worth the paper it is printed on, and it will be rejected by Congress.”  “President Trump’s budget once again lays out an irresponsible and cynical vision for our country, without any regard for its human cost.”  “It is disheartening to see a budget that would dismantle so many programs that people rely on every day.” (Can you say “socialism”?)

I’m thinking they don’t like proposals, such as mandatory work requirements for millions of people who receive welfare assistance, or the plan that seeks deep cuts from agencies like the Department of Health and Human Services, the Environmental Protection Agency and the State Department. BUT, what the Dems really don’t like is the $8.6 billion slated for a border wall with Mexico.

It’s going to be a long, drawn-out battle to see who has the upper hand to gain a budget victory, but the Dems will for sure not have one iota of cost-cutting on their minds. The big loser in this one will be our kids and grandkids in the not-too-distant future and God forbid it will be like Venezuela is today!

Speaking of Venezuela:

Over the last couple of years, we have heard Trump-haters compare our president to Hitler.  Why don’t we hear these same people comparing the evil dictator of Venezuela to Hitler? Why do Bernie Sanders and his ultra liberal guy and gal friends make such vile comments about our president, but won’t say a damn thing against the selfish monster putting his people through complete hell?

He won’t let food, medicine or other supplies into the country, and on top of that, they haven’t had electricity for several days. It’s gut-wrenching to watch those poor folks using buckets to scoop up sewer water for their families to drink, just so they can live. It’s a sad state of affairs when Bernie and the libs put their love of socialism and their hate for Trump over their concern for the well-being of suffering people.

Facebook Follies:

“Can I get my Signal without the Right-wing rag included?”

“If you could, the paper would look like an indictment from Mueller’s office; mostly blacked out.”

“I didn’t mind until they started printing the Memes. Clearly left bashing and frankly broader-line hate speech. And none of which I ever see online. That is not journalism and the Gazette is not a newspaper.”   

“If you truly read the Gazette you would find one or more left wing op-eds in every issue. Many issues have a left leaning “letter to the editor.” We strive to be fair and balanced.”  (This one was from me, the Ranter.)

Quips Quotes & Headlines:

“Impeachment is so divisive to the country that unless there’s something so compelling and overwhelming and bipartisan, I don’t think we should go down that path, because it divides the country, and he’s just not worth it.” (Nancy Pelosi)

*Rut-roh, Nancy’s rookies aren’t going to like this one little bit!

“For Republicans crying socialism is a political strategy to attempt to distract voters from their growing dissatisfaction with an economy that doesn’t work for them while they work harder and have a harder time making ends meet as they make less money.”  (Mary Anne Marsh, Fox News)

*Not sure where she’s getting this from, when recent economic reports show that wages are rising. She isn’t touting socialism is she?   (Me)

“One of the reasons America is the greatest country on earth is because of competition. We can compete and beat anyone. But when the deck is stacked decidedly against hard-working Americans, then it’s time to reset the rules so everyone can compete again.”  (Mary Anne Marsh)

*Wait, she is touting socialism. (Me)

“Her boss is the American people in the 14th District of New York, and I’m willing to bet that she won’t be around very long if she continues to go farther and farther and farther left, because guess what?  These policies aren’t going to work.” (Madison Gesiotto, former Miss Ohio referring to Alexandria Ocasio Cortez)

“2000 miles of wall is a monument to stupidity.”  (Gavin Newsom)

Illegal border crossings hit a decade-long high in February. (Headline)

*I’m thinking the stupidity is in the governor’s statement. (Me)

Letter to the Ranter:


Can’t say enough how refreshing it is to receive your gazette with my Signal subscription.  The articles, opinions, commentaries, local stories, ads, and especially Memes of the Week are well chosen and all reflect an honest, realistic, conservative and wonderfully humorous grasp on life in the SCV and beyond. 

Thanks for not being afraid to say what needs to be said.  As the rest of the world seems to embrace with blindness the moral, political and ethical decay rampant around us, I have come to welcome the voice of your publication.I just had to say I for one appreciate your attempts to stand for truth and unashamedly proclaim to the world, “The emperor has no clothes on!”

Sincerely,   Peter



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About Doug Sutton

Doug Sutton is the publisher of Santa Clarita Gazette, Canyon Country and Pet Me Magazine. Doug is active in Rotary Club of Santa Clarita, Heart of the Canyons Church, and a past board member of the local Chamber of Commerce. Doug and Jeannie have been married for 35 years, living in the Santa Clarita Valley for over 20 years, raising their 3 sons here.

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