The rest of the news 

New briefs worth further comment:

• Item: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette publisher Walter Hussman told a national meeting of editorial writers in Little Rock last week that newspapers were being ruined by providing news free on the Internet. It's a failed business model to give your product away, he said.

Really? Hussman established a monopoly in Little Rock's daily newspaper market by, among other strategies, 1) littering the city with millions of free newspapers once a week for years; 2) “gracing,” or continuing to deliver without payment, thousands of other newspapers on a daily basis, and 3) giving away millions of dollars in free classified advertising under the smart belief that it builds readership and brings other advertisers. He also 1) has started a free weekly newspaper, Sync; 2) has started a free monthly magazine, Arkansas Living, and 3) provides all the news and features in his Northwest Arkansas newspapers for free on the web at nwanews.com.

Think about it. Hussman perfected a print version of Craigslist (free want-ads) years before free on-line ads started playing hell with newspapers. New media models have curbed Hussman's plans to cash in on his print monopoly. He's just tasting a bit of his own bitter medicine.

• Item: The Conway Log Cabin Democrat reported last week that Republican Sen. Gilbert Baker's use of a University of Central Arkansas tent for a campaign fund-raiser at the home of UCA trustee Michael Stanton did not “throw up any red flags” in an Arkansas Ethics Commission advisory opinion. Baker was quoted as being “thrilled” with the opinion.

Further comment: The opinion did not investigate Baker's use of the tent. It only offered general advice, including strong urging that  public officials be cautious about campaign use of public property. If public property is available to all on an equal basis, then it might be legal.

Baker, who didn't pay for the UCA tent until after the Arkansas Times began making inquiries, neglected to mention that there's no record of anybody but Baker's campaign ever renting the tent. Sound equal to you?

The Log Cabin didn't trouble to ask Baker why he couldn't rent a tent elsewhere. It also could have asked about that special UCA housing for Baker's son. It also could have asked about how UCA contributed money to Baker when he was a paid fund-raiser for a foundation headed by a woman Baker was grooming to run for political office.

Red flags? I see them all over.

• Item: Rep. Clark Hall of Marvell led the charge at a legislative committee last week for a back-to-school sales tax holiday. He contends Arkansas retailers are being harmed by similar holidays in surrounding states. National chain retailers — Dillard's, Wal-Mart — have no objections because they get the business wherever the shopper goes.

The they-all-do-it argument seems popular with legislators. But if Arkansans are now flocking out of state for sales tax holiday sales, they need to go back to school.

Take Hall. He'd have to drive about 150 miles for a round-trip to Memphis. The cost of that drive is about $75, including depreciation. You'd have to spend $1,000 or more before your tax savings would recoup the cost. Gas alone for a Ford F-150 would require about $500 in purchases to break even. Competing holidays, if a problem, are primarily an issue in a handful of border cities.




Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

  • Federal investigation uncovers foster parent's abuse of at least five children

    U.S. Attorney Kenneth Elser announced today Clarence Garretson, 65, of Van Burean had pleaded guilty in federal court today to five counts of interstate transportation of a child with intention engage in criminal activity.
    • Oct 25, 2016
  • Identity released in Little Rock police shooting

    Roy Lee Richards, 46, who lived in apartments on Green Mountain Drive, has been identified by police as the man fatally shot about 12:37 a.m. this morning by officers responding to a disturbance call about a man with a long gun in the 500 block of East 8th Street.
    • Oct 25, 2016
  • Zoo announces death of 22-year-old lion

    The Little Rock Zoo announced today the death of Sidney, a 22-year-old female lion. The lion was euthanized after a corneal graft on her eye deteriorated.
    • Oct 25, 2016
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • The education legislature

    Republican political control in Arkansas means many things: lots of gun bills, lots of anti-abortion bills, lots of efforts to make religious belief law, such as discrimination against gay people.
    • Mar 10, 2015
  • Supremely discredited

    Arkansas Supreme Court Justice Rhonda Wood and her allies continue to discredit the state's highest court.
    • Jul 30, 2015
  • Hutchinson pulls Faubus move

    I don't know what if anything might arise or be planned in the future relative to Gov. Asa Hutchinson's order to end Medicaid reimbursement for medical services (not abortion) provided by Planned Parenthood in Arkansas.
    • Aug 20, 2015

Most Shared

Latest in Max Brantley

  • Trumped in Arkansas

    After two solid debates and the release of a video and corroborating testimony that further confirmed the misogyny of Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton is favored to win the presidential election Nov. 8
    • Oct 20, 2016
  • So many provocations...

    Another bad week demands a Worst Of listing.
    • Oct 6, 2016
  • State university secrets

    Today's subject: lack of accountability at state universities.
    • Sep 29, 2016
  • More »

Visit Arkansas

Searching for diamonds at Crater of Diamonds State Park

Searching for diamonds at Crater of Diamonds State Park

A venture to this state park is on the must-do list for many, the park being the only spot in North America where you can dig for diamonds and other gemstones and keep your finds.

Event Calendar

« »


2 3 4 5 6 7 8
9 10 11 12 13 14 15
16 17 18 19 20 21 22
23 24 25 26 27 28 29
30 31  

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: Trumped in Arkansas

    • What a funny article, I hope sarcasm was your intent! First, since this was written…

    • on October 23, 2016
  • Re: The big loser

    • We are leaving in 3 hours. An I never said that anybody said I DID…

    • on October 22, 2016

© 2016 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation