web analytics
July 30, 2015 / 14 Av, 5775
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post


Home » InDepth » Monitor »

Indignation As Weapon In The Tabloid Wars



If on any given day last week you happened to chance upon the New York Post, you quite possibly assumed at first glance that the Deluge was upon us at last – until a closer look revealed that the unfolding drama which so consumed the paper’s headline writers, reporters, columnists and editorialists involved nothing more than an unfortunate misprint in a contest run by the New York Daily News.

It’s hard to think of a story more unimportant or inconsequential – except, of course, to the relatively small number of Daily News readers whose expectations of quick and easy lucre were cruelly dashed – but the Post went into full tabloid frenzy, with screaming banners atop breathless “news” accounts, solicitations of complaints from disgruntled contestants (“Have your dreams been stiffed by the Daily News? Call the Post at …”) and Andrea Peyser at her indignant best (“Look at the people who played this game, and you see the kinds of folks on whom the Daily News has long preyed. You saw hourly wage slaves. A handful of students. Immigrants. The elderly and infirm.”).

Not to begrudge the Post its admirable concern for immigrants, the elderly and the infirm, but last week’s theatrics were only in the most superficial sense about those numbers mistakenly published by the Daily News. The numbers that really concern the Post are circulation and ad revenue numbers, and the News’s contest blunder merely handed the Post an unanticipated weapon of convenience.

The two papers are engaged in what Business Week recently described as an “apocalyptic struggle” for readers and advertisers. Though the Post’s circulation has skyrocketed over the past five years while the News’s has suffered a slight decline, the News still sells more copies than the Post – by an insignificant number on weekdays but by better than a quarter-million on Sundays. And the News outsells the Post in four of the five boroughs (Manhattan’s basically a draw).

Adding to the Post’s frustration, writes Business Week’s Anthony Bianco, is skepticism in media and business circles over whether the Post “can ever be securely profitable as long as it coexists with the News.” The reason: “Only 26 percent of Post readers buy it exclusively; for the News the figure is 60 percent.” The Post, says Bianco, has become “New York’s favorite extra read,” a “status that puts off advertisers above all else.”

Bianco notes that the News is “much the stronger paper financially, earning in excess of $15 million on revenues of about $340 million in each of the past two years, according to an authoritative source.” But the Post, he writes, “has lost so much money for so long that it would have folded years ago if [parent company] News Corp. applied the same profit-making rigor to the tabloid as it does to other businesses.”

So the Post’s seizing on the News’s contest mishap and using it to mercilessly bludgeon its archrival is understandable if cheesy – and just a little hypocritical.

In his hugely entertaining 1996 book It’s Alive! How America’s Oldest Newspaper Cheated Death and Why It Matters, Steven Cuozzo, a Post lifer who’s held a variety of titles in thirty-plus years at the paper, described some problems that attended the Post’s operation of a 1980’s giveaway game called Wingo:

“…[M]ost participants were less educated and less affluent than the paper’s core readership. This was evident when occasional misprints caused players to believe mistakenly they had won a fortune. It was sometimes left for [young reporter Charles] Carillo to help smooth over the misunderstanding.

“Once, Carillo went up to our promotion firm’s midtown office where an excited mob jammed the corridor. The promotion man collared the cub reporter.

” ‘Jeez, it’s like Ellis Island in here,’ the promotion guy said, a reference to the multiethnic mix of Wingo players. It turned out a confusing promo had mixed up the rules for weekly Wingo and the instant daily version. So three hundred whooping, singing celebrants showed up on Fifth Avenue to claim nonexistent prizes. Among them was a wheelchair-bound Pennsylvania farmer who had never before left the state.

“Carillo recalls, laughing, ‘This promotion guy is standing there, waving his arms at the crowd, yelling, ‘You have not won….You have not won.’ “

About the Author: Jason Maoz is the Senior Editor of The Jewish Press. He can be contacted at jmaoz@jewishpress.com.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Indignation As Weapon In The Tabloid Wars”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
The White House will free Pollard but bar him from traveling to Israel for five years.
US Won’t Let Pollard Out of Country for Five Years
Latest Indepth Stories

By most accounts, the one person with the political muscle to swing enough Democratic votes to override a veto is Sen. Schumer.

The next day, in a speech in New York to the Council on Foreign Relations, Mr. Kerry substantially upped the ante.

In Israel, the judiciary has established itself as superior to ALL other branches of the government.

The Fifteenth Day of the month of Av became a day of national rejoicing. The moment that had seemed hopeless became the moment of Redemption.

I think the melodies in our religious services have a haunting sound to them that just permeates your guts and gets into your soul. If you have any musical inclination, I think they inspire you to compose.

Cavalier analogies to the Holocaust are unacceptable, but Huckabee’s analogy was very appropriate.

Pollard was a Jewish-head-on-a-pike for all American Jews to see and to learn the explicit lesson.

If the Iran deal passes, Obama’s WH becomes world’s leading financier of terrorism against Americans

{Originally posted to the author’s website, FirstOne Through} Some passionate and eloquent liberals have bemoaned the state of inclusiveness among Jews today. Leon Wieseltier, editor of the New Republic penned an angry piece “J Street’s Rejection Is a Scandal” about the exclusion in 2014 of J Street from the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations. […]

Magnanimity by Moshe Dayan, allowing Muslim control of the Temple Mount, led to today’s situation.

It was modeled upon a similar fund that had been set up by Sephardic Jews in Venice. But Amsterdam’s Dotar was initially more ambitious in scope.

Rav Aharon Margalit is a bestselling author – his book, As Long As I Live, has been translated into four languages – and a standing-room only lecturer. Both religious and non-religious audiences flock to hear him. What makes him so extraordinary? Rav Margalit is a Chasidic Jew who experienced incredible challenges from a very young […]

J Street is the vanguard (Jewish face)in support of Obama’s Vienna Accords Nuclear Deal with Iran

“I hold the woman’s place over that of men in every fundamental aspect of public and private life.”

More Articles from Jason Maoz
Assemblymember Bichotte speaking in the New York State Assembly.

The bills I’m proud to have sponsored are less controversial, more responsive to yeshiva and parochial school parents, and were gaining traction in the Assembly until the negative campaign began…

Zechariah Schwarzberg, z”l

Though intimately acquainted with mankind’s darkest side, he never lost his faith&love in God or man

Some of the president’s defenders took to arguing that the overwhelming majority of German military personnel interred in Bitburg were regular Wehrmacht soldiers who died on the battlefield and likely were not involved in atrocities against civilians.

Note also the response to the speech by the top Democrats in the House and Senate, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid, both of whom have been outspoken in their criticism of Netanyahu’s upcoming visit.

The New York State comptroller manages the state’s $180.7 billion pension fund, audits the spending practices of all state agencies and local governments, oversees the New York State and Local Retirement System, reviews the New York State and City budgets, and approves billions in State contracts and spending.

While not all criticism of Israel stemmed from anti-Semitism, Podhoretz contends the level of animosity towards Israel rises exponentially the farther left one moved along the spectrum.

When you grow up in a home where your parents went through what my parents went through, you realize that life has to be meaningful. You have to be there for other people.

“It’s a lousy column and a dishonest one,” Halberstam wrote. “So close it. Or you will end up just as shabby as Safire.”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/media-monitor/indignation-as-weapon-in-the-tabloid-wars/2005/03/30/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: