Daily Archives: December 1, 2015

Sharing the scraps from VPR’s table

Today is Giving Tuesday, part of our ongoing parade of post-Black Friday “Days” for this or that. Eventually, every day till Christmas will be spoken for.

In honor of the event, our state’s least needy nonprofit is doing its best to cash in. Vermont Public Radio has a special two-fer-Tuesday deal: give your dollars to VPR and another, much needier, charity will get some spare change.

It’s Giving Tuesday, and for every gift to VPR today only, a generous supporter from Shelburne will donate 15 meals to the Vermont Foodbank.

Okay, this bothers me. And I’ll try to explain why.

VPR has an immense advantage over every other nonprofit in the state: a perpetually open direct line to its constituents. It can interrupt service at any time for fundraising messages.

Imagine if a nonprofit called you on the phone and you couldn’t hang up until they let you. Or it could interrupt your mail service until you read its latest pitch.

So here we are on Giving Tuesday, and VPR is generously lending its megaphone to a worthy cause.

Or it’s cashing in on the occasion and borrowing the Vermont Foodbank’s image for its own benefit. After all, who gets the bulk of the proceeds?

VPR does.

Continue reading

Welp, I guess we know who the Free Press is backing for governor

bfp/PhilFor no particular reason, the Burlington Free Press chose to give over its November 28 front page to the smiling mug of Lt. Gov. Phil Scott.

News hook? Well, it was Small Business Saturday, the traditional bleat of locality that follows the irresistible onrush of Black Friday. The Freeploid could have marked the occasion by profiling some local gift creators or counting down its Top Ten Vermont Gift Ideas or some such retail puffery. Instead, it provided some invaluable servicing to Scott.

The pretext? Well, he’s got these faux-tiedyed stickers urging folks to “Buy Local — It’s Not Just for Hippies Anymore.”

Stickers he’s been giving out for YEARS. Stickers that are not, in any way, fresh or new or newsworthy. Stickers that emit a faint undertone of contempt for alternative lifestyles.

Besides, when the hell was “Buy Local” only for hippies?

Vermont Teddy Bear. Lake Champlain Chocolates. Beer, beer, beer, beer, cider, beer. Cheese. Hundreds, if not thousands, of artists, artisans and craftspeople. (Never mind; they’re all hippies.) Farm-Way. King Arthur Flour. The Vermont Country Store. Food products from Vermont farmers, the very bedrock of our imagined self — and of the Republican Party, come to think of it.

I’ll stop arguing with Phil Scott’s stickers and get back to the main point: the Free Press is in the tank for Phil.

Continue reading