Kathy Shaidle

Move Over, Underpants Gnomes: Latest Newspaper Business Plan Involves … Cheetos!

Posted on October 8 2010 5:00 pm
Kathy Shaidle blogs at FiveFeetOfFury, now entering its 11th year online. Her latest book is Acoustic Ladylandkathy shaidle, which Mark Steyn calls "a must-read."
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L.A. Times is pleased to introduce its new Ad Sales Manager! (credit: American Thinker)

Last month, I and I alone decrypted the newspaper industry’s mysterious business model. Because let’s face it: it couldn’t seriously be “publish (frequently false) information nobody cares about, and opinions nobody agrees with, packaged in an obsolete delivery system” right?

Then it hit me: newspapers had adopted the South Park “Underpants Gnome” scheme. No other explanation made sense.

But today I learned that some papers have an exciting new way to make money. It’s not so much South Park as Cheech & Chong.

The New York Times reports (while it still can):

What would happen in the many communities now allowing medical marijuana had been a subject of much hand-wringing. But few predicted this: that it would be a boon for local newspapers looking for ways to cope with the effects of the recession and the flight of advertising — especially classified listings — to Web sites like Craigslist. (…)

“Medical marijuana has been a revenue blessing over and above what we anticipated,” said John Weiss, the founder and publisher of The Independent, a free weekly. “This wasn’t in our marketing plan a year ago, and now it is about 10 percent of our paper’s revenue.”

Like many recovering alcoholics (that is: without much else to be proud of), I’m an insufferable snob about the manifest inferiority of other people’s drugs-of-choice. “Medical marijuana” is a scam, and the contraband stuff makes you lazy and stupid and P.S., Rob? You still owe me the rent money you smoked back in ’89, m’kay?

The other thing pot makes you is libertarian. Which isn’t the worst thing but seriously: pot is the abortion of libertarians. Yawn.

Anyway: it’s bad enough when street urchins are turning tricks for dope. But now newspapers are doing it. Kind of. Come on, you know what I mean.

And it isn’t just newspapers “going to pot.” The Democrats (no surprise) are totally hip to this, man! Dig:

Democratic strategists are studying a California marijuana-legalization initiative to see if similar ballot measures could energize young, liberal voters in swing states for the 2012 presidential election.

Some pollsters and party officials say Democratic candidates in California are benefiting from a surge in enthusiasm among young voters eager to back Proposition 19, which would legalize marijuana in certain quantities and permit local governments to regulate and tax it.

Because nothing quite says “energize” and “enthusiasm” like a drug that lulls you to sleep to the drone of Peter Tosh tunes, in a tiny, stuffy room “decorated” with empty pizza boxes, loose change, tri-colored Rasta doohickies and a brimming litter box. (I’m looking at you, Rob…)

Can’t wait until Democratic volunteers start knocking on doors in the next few weeks and keep hearing, “Dave’s not here, man…”

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