When I started writing newspaper editorials and columns for the Los Angeles Daily News in November 1992, I learned that “-30-” (pronounced “dash thirty dashes”) was the journalist’s code for the editor to know where his copy ended. Most media historians believe that the typographical mark originated when news was sent by telegraph. Western Union’s famous mid-19th century Abbreviated Numeric Signal Code 92 lists the meaning of “-30-” as:
“No more, the end.”
I prefer the definition in Webster’s dictionary:
“A sign of completion.”
Between 1992 and 1999, I wrote an estimated 300 autographed newspaper columns and nearly 1,000 unsigned editorials combined for the Los Angeles Daily News and Seattle Times. Since Creators Syndicate began publishing my column nationally in 1999, I have written nearly 2,000 weekly or biweekly columns for 1,177 weeks, for hundreds of print and website clients, totaling more than 1.1 million words. It’s been a blessing to work in a career I’ve loved, getting paid online to opine, as a proud “inky wretch” whose first job in high school was as a press inserter for my hometown newspaper, the Atlantic. City Press, late 1980s.
The sentimental English student in me finds it entirely appropriate to close my writing column after years of “script thirty scripts.”
Because right now? The professional and personal reasons are innumerable. In this modern age of oversharing, I’m not going to go into every single one of them. Suffice it to say that the American media landscape has changed dramatically since I entered this industry as an idealistic 22-year-old who truly believed that “the pen is mightier than the sword.” (Side note: eagle-eyed readers who followed my blog writing in the early 2000s may remember that my original website logo was a pen/knife with the phrase “pen became a bugle” from a poem by Longfellow).
It’s not just “fake news” that plagues us. It’s biased and out of print “news” that serves corporate and global special interests, not the truth. It’s a lazy, soulless and dumb opinion written by hackers who don’t give a damn about their trade. They are shady influence operations disguised as “journalism.” It is information suppression disguised as “disinformation” monitoring.
The homogenization of American journalism on both sides of the ideological spectrum has led to its collective deterioration. My colleagues at the Daily News were an eclectic bunch, including a Korean War Army veteran in his 60s, a former college math professor in his 50s who had taught English in Shanghai, and a New England politician from fashion in his 30s who had worked in DC as a press secretary.
Now, the liberal media is dominated by a host of smug, usually very pale-faced millennial high school grads, who talk about “diversity” while parroting the same well-worn set of views on whites as evil, America as oppressor, nuclear families as abnormal, and liberal democracy as sacrosanct.
The “conservative” media are not much better. It is dominated by libertarian Washington DC elites from expensive universities who slavishly promote “free market capitalism” and portray “big government” as our greatest enemy, while Silicon Valley private corporations and their nonprofit allies crush nationalist dissent, handcuff freedom of expression and eliminate platforms. freethinkers through censorship (hard and soft) and lawfare (systematic abuse of the courts to harm political critics).
Because of my peacefully expressed reports, opinions, and speeches, my family has been punished and stigmatized, my reputation has been tarnished, and my voice silenced. It is not “big government” that waged this war on my career. It’s a constellation of vengeful cops who think badly of the private sector, from the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Anti-Defamation League, to foreign newspapers and moneyed interests that have no business influencing American politics, to “conservative” swamp creatures. “and speculators like Bill Kristol. , Jonah Goldberg, Mona Charen and Ben Shapiro, and even former colleagues at Fox News Channel, who blacklisted me several years ago and told a friend of mine who was a guest on The Tucker Carlson Show not to say my name after antifa rioters attacked me and others onstage at a Back the Blue rally in Denver a few years ago. (My friend ignored the warning. God bless him.)
I have no excuses. As Paul wrote in 2 Timothy 4:7, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” I remain grateful to each and every reader for the past three decades, and will be forever inspired by all the patriots I have profiled over the years, especially ordinary parents, whistleblowers, citizen journalists, and activists who have sacrificed so much. more than me for his search for the truth and his telling the truth.
I am indebted to my early writing mentors, the late Father Edward Lyons and Debbie Collins at Holy Spirit High School in Absecon, New Jersey; my late Oberlin College English professor, Dewey Ganzel; my husband and co-conspirator in all things, Jesse; my first newspaper chief, Tom Gray; Creators Syndicate founder Rick Newcombe and his staff; and staunch supporters of JewishWorldReview.com founder Binyamin Jolkovsky, VDARE founder Peter Brimelow, Wendy McCaw of the Santa Barbara News-Press, WRKO radio host extraordinaire Jeff Kuhner, and the late KFAQ host Pat Campbell.
Above all, I want to thank my teacher mom (who taught me to express myself with passion and style) and my doctor dad (who gave me a solid foundation in science, logic, and facts). From both I inherited the zeal to stand up for what is right and true without fear, but always with humility, which I will continue to do in new ways for myself, my family, and my country.
This is an end, but not the end. The next chapter is waiting to be written.
Michelle Malkin’s email address is (email protected)