Ten reasons why you can’t resist reading this column
You read it here first: Readers often ask, Bites, how can you be so clever? To which Bites answers with the tried and trued reply, “Even a broken clock tells the right time twice a day.” The latest example of this uncanny omniscience? The August 9 edition of this column, “Here comes your shitty future,” in which Bites predicted an October stock-market crash reminiscent of Black Monday (1987) and Black Tuesday (1929).
“Wall Street is going down, and in a big way,” Bites wrote, noting the market’s ongoing volatility. “Mood swings like we’re presently experiencing are the norm before big crashes. Bites gives the market till October, the traditional month for America’s economic disasters.”
Bites couldn’t have nailed it closer. First there was the Dow’s manic climb to the 14,000 point level in September, followed by the inevitable fall, culminating in a 366 point plunge October 19, on—what’s this?!—the 20th anniversary of Black Monday!
As of this writing, the market has regained some stability, but don’t expect it to last. Oil is going through the roof, the dollar is going through the floor and all the ingredients are in place for a reunion with that infamous precursor to 1970s malaise, stagflation. You’ll find it readily on display at your local supermarket, where your diminishing paycheck is stretched even thinner by rising produce prices.
Edited out: Meanwhile, controversy continues to swirl around the sudden exit of Sacramento Bee executive editor Rick Rodriguez last week. To wit, why, exactly, did Rodriguez leave after a successful 25-year run with the company? What did Bee publisher and president Janis Heaphy mean when she blamed Rodriguez’s departure on “a disagreement about the future long-term direction of The Bee.”
Considering The Bee’s financial condition has been heading south ever since McClatchy Co. CEO Gary Pruitt engineered last year’s purchase of the Knight Ridder newspaper chain, Bites can sympathize with Rodriguez’s concern for the newspaper’s long-term direction. “The departure of Rick Rodriguez should remind everyone who works at The Bee that all bets are off,” notes the Sacramento Bee Guild, the union that represents Bee editorial employees. “No jobs are guaranteed.”
Hell, they don’t need a union to tell ’em that. Bites has been writing it for months. Meanwhile, the Guild doesn’t have the foggiest idea why Rodriguez really left, no one outside of The Bee’s inner sanctum appears to know what happened, and no one on the inside is talking.
Well, almost no one.
One inside source tells Bites that the “disagreement about the long-term direction” of the paper arose after Heaphy approved a new advertiser-friendly masthead without consulting Rodriguez. There are also hints that Rodriguez felt The Bee was moving its operations too quickly to the Web. But the real story? Looks like we’ll have to wait. Bee editorial employees, you know the drill: Give ol’ Bitesy a call.
Ten reasons why: Meanwhile, inquiring minds want to know what the deal is. With that in mind, Bites offers the top-10 reasons why Sacramento Bee executive editor Rick Rodriguez quit his job:
10. Scoopy costume already taken this Halloween
9. SN&R’s “¡Ask a Mexican!” cut into Bee Latino turf
8. Bee’s unisex restrooms made him “nervous”
7. Things just haven’t been the same since R.E. Graswich left
6. Snubbed by McClatchy CEO Gary Pruitt at Rolling Stones concert
5. Thought “podcast” was a fishing term
4. No menudo in Bee cafeteria
2. Forced to edit Lisa Heyamoto’s column
And finally, the No. 1 reason Sacramento Bee executive editor Rick Rodriguez quit his job:
1. It’s Rodriguez with a “g,” goddammit!