What Our World Needs Is Media Control

Checking out gun control news I was surprised by a cigaraette ad. This one offered a brand new Cessna four seater in return for only three million Sir Walter Raleigh packs. Empty, with attached tax stamps.

Back in the 1940’s I read of several huge prized to be gained by turning in cigarette “proof of purchases” in the form of an empty pack. Since it would take a two pack a day smoker more than 4,000 years to accumulate enough packs for the Cessna I did not switch, but I knew several who did.

But that brought this often heard comment on human nature.

which tickled the “memory bank roulette” to spin and the ball to drop in a slot containing a Chicago Tribune explaining where the two cent cover price of a daily newspaper went.

To the carrier, who made forty cents a month delivering dailies and forty five cents if the customer subscrimed to the “ten cent Sunday” edition as well.

That’s right. The Trib essentially gave its newspapers to the people in the distribution system. There is no profit in giveaways, so how did the Trib make money? Advertising.

The Chicago Tribune had a paid circulation, including news stand sales, of over a half million, on nothing but advertising revenue!

While the details are different, the broadcast news industry operates on a similar model, with a “so much per subscriber” charge when the broadcast signal is delivered by a cable network.

Either way, the single most important person at a modern media outlet is not the publisher or station manager, not the editor or the News Director, but the Advertising manager.

A media outlet firing a ad manager generally does not make headlines, but when it happens it signals a real disaster for the outlet.

Which brings up a memory from Robert Heinlein’s “Take Back Our Government.” Yes, the prolific science fiction writer once stood for public office, was run over by the local political machine, and thanks to Ross perot was more than eager to tell Americans how to take back their government and get some respect from the media.

How can our community get some honest reporting from the media? By working on their weak point – the people who pay the bills.

Starting with becoming a tire-kicker. That disparaging term describes “a looker, not a buyer” in almost every retail establishment other than a bar.

and when you are tired of wasting some sales person’s time, tell them you appreciate their effort but you will not buy from him because his company advertises in the Daily Blat and you do not like their gun ban propaganda.

Human nature being what it is, the salesperson will turn in a beef the first time it happens. The Daily Blat’s ad manager will hear about it after the third or fourth customer walks.

and the editor or news director will have an ear full, often from the owner, shortly after that.

And yes, it is dirty pool. Very dirty pool. It sure is.

But not nearly as dirty as offering money to blacken the name of pro-gun candidates.

While two wrongs never make a right, there are occasions in which a second wrong can help neutralize a first wrong.


About Stranger

Extranos Alley is a Collaborate effort to provide up to information on the relationship between restrictive gun laws and violent crime; as well as other related topics. While emphasis is on United States gun laws and crime, we also provide data on crime trends world wide.
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