How Newspapers Die: Illustration #32,907

This is the Walmart ad — in a competing publication — that offended reporter / hoplophobe R.I. Nave.

A couple of weeks ago, a reporter for the Free Press brought the snide to his reaction to a Walmart circular offering AR-15 type rifles. In a few short paragraphs, R.L. Nave managed to refer to them as “automatic weapoms” (he, perhaps prodded by those famous editors, later made an ill-tempered correction), “assault rifles” and “machine guns” in a few hundred words. (The other errors went uncorrected. Here’s his whole piece:

Thanks to the economic downturn, it’s a buyer’s market for a lot of products: houses are cheap, food is relatively inexpensive (although experts are predicting a bacon shortage of apocalyptic proportions) and now, at Jackson-area Walmart stores, you can even get a pretty good deal on a weapon that shoots bullets faster than I can gobble down bacon, which is pretty damn fast.

Over the weekend, Walmart ran an ad in the Clarion-Ledger advertising deals on shotguns, rifles and MSRs. It’s possible that the world’s largest corporation understands that global chaos could ensue when bacon reserves dry up.

Anarchy is generally good for the gun business.

According to the ad, one might procure one of these MSRs — modern sporting rifle more commonly known as an assault rifle — for as little as $597 and as much $1,097 for a .223-caliber Colt M4 Rifle. If you’re smart, you don’t go cheap because when the bacon-takers come — and, believe me, they will come — you want a reliable weapon to protect your family’s salted meats.

At the same time, you don’t want to spend too much just to be sure you can afford to stock up on enough ammo to fend off the imminent roving hoards of pork-looters. To that end, there’s a mid-level machine gun, a Sig Sauer M400 SRP with Prismatic Scope can be had for just $897 and, according to the ad, is available only at Walmart.

via “Assault Rifles: Only at Walmart” by Jackblog | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS.

Only at Walmart indeed.

(The snide correction: “Update: I deferred to the expertise of the firearmphiles and removed a reference to automatic weapons. Again, the gun people win.”)

Even the San Francisco Bay area has had enough moonbattery. Add these numbers up, and journalism jobs there declined by about half. Good luck with that journo gig in Jackson, Mississippi.

Yep, we do, newshound. (For one thing, while we’re punctiliously polite about this point, we do have all the guns). And the reporters like you lose. Again. How’s your circulation? (Not your own sluggishly-moving blood, toxic with caffiene and cannabis, about which no one cares, but your paper’s ABC circulation). Down, isn’t it? Oh, dear. Permit us to concern-troll you on that point.

Geniuses like Nave can’t make the connection between bias and layoffs, but if you graph the two, the correlation’s pretty explicit.  (Point the arrow of causation any way for which you can adduce evidence). And given the pressure technology and market consolidation has put on print advertising, the business which pays for all those ink-stained hippies who ankle-bite business, alienating readers is probably an unwise growth strategy. And the increasing part of America that is not buying their product, doesn’t  seem to miss it.

And get this: If the Free Press was in Berkeley, CA, Cambridge, MA, or Madison, WI, Nave would be in his element (a Boyle’s-Law-defying concentration of anti-gun crazy). But it’s the Jackson Freaking Mississippi Free Press.

If you sell a newspaper to every Mayor Bloomberg fan, college professor, performance artist, and pierced-lip Starbucks barista in Jackson, how long can you run the presses?

2 thoughts on “How Newspapers Die: Illustration #32,907

  1. Rick

    That’s because the reporters are still liberals, even in the South. That’s why local papers in my area have gone to printing three days a week; no one buys their rag.

    1. Hognose Post author

      What gets me is when the local paper reporters all want to be opinion columnists. They don’t get what the net has done, Rick. The easiest thing to find is opinion; it’s cheap, it’s free. The killer app for a local paper is … drum roll… local news. My local papers get this. When we had a police chief murdered by an oxy-dealing skell, the local guys and gals were on it like ugly on an ape. In fact, CNN was taking their tweets and website updates and reporting them as CNN reports without any attribution, and there was no CNN correspondent on the scene. (But then, the Ron Burgundies of CNN always Stay Classy).

      But it’s true that, just like every soldier’s probably thought about what he’d look like in a green or tan beret, every reporter for our tidalbasin tribune sees him- or herself as Woodward and Bernstein.

      Thanks for your comment, Rick. Hope you enjoy the blog.

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