Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Great Moments in Journalism: Don't Upset the Advertisers

While I might be an NPR geek, I don't have much affection for "Click and Clack," otherwise known as Tom and Ray Magliozzi, those Massachusetts brothers whose "Car Talk" program is a mainstray of NPR. With their scratchy-voiced prattle and incessant laughter at their own jokes, a peculiar Rip Taylor-meets-Joe Pesci vibe, the Magliozzis are the only people I've ever heard who can actually mug over a car radio. Give me "The Splendid Table's" Lynne Rossetto Kasper any day, and not only because she sounds as if the perfect riesling might just trigger her G-spot.

That said, it is lamer than lame that Click and Clack's syndicated column was dropped by a Norfolk, Virginia, newspaper because of complaints from auto dealers.

Editor & Publisher reports the column cancellation was confirmed by Virginian-Pilot president and publisher Dee Carpenter:

"The president/publisher emphasized that the key to the dropping decision was that the column appeared in an advertiser-supported automotive section ... that's basically produced for car dealers. Other sections of the paper can publish material that might upset advertisers, said Carpenter.

" 'We have run stories critical of the automotive industry,' he told E&P. 'And the business section ran a story about how to buy a home without using a Realtor. Some Realtors were upset, but that's life.' "

Gosh almighty, I mean, it's not like a paper needs to go make a habit out of being independent-minded. Criminy.


At 4:49 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm surprised they even explained their rationale. Why bother?

At 6:45 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"incessant laughter at their own jokes, a peculiar Rip Taylor-meets-Joe Pesci vibe"

That nicely sums up their particular brand of creepy iritation.

At 8:40 AM, Blogger Dr. Pants said...

My personal favorite ads vs. journalism moment was back at my college paper, when our publisher had a "crisis of conscience" over whether to run the story about the OVER 100 HEALTH CODE VIOLATIONS at one of our top advertiser's restaurants. (Hint: it was Inuit Joe's)

We had to wrangle all the journalism faculty to come in and force this guy not to be a dick and kill a big story because he was worried about ad money. What a bag of douche.

At 10:51 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

scratchy? i think not. rather, you okies, i fear, have an anti-east coast bent. as does the rest of the red country. sad.


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