They’re all irritating but that’s not what I meant. Some companies actually go to great lengths to irritate their prospective customers, sometimes even their potentially most lucrative customers.
The all time champions at doing this are magazines like Time, Newsweek, The New Yorker and newspapers, most notably The New York Times, The Boston Globe (same thing, I suppose), The LA Times, The San Francisco Chronicle, (Houston Chronicle, too) plus the Seattle, Atlanta, Washington, Fort Lauderdale and Saint Petersburg rags. These are just the especially buffoonish operations that spring to mind.
Magazines and newspapers are losing circulation at a phenomenal clip and their publishers blame the Internet. Ha! Can it be possible they haven’t noticed that they constantly piss off at least half of their potential readership, the half that doesn’t get the news from the Internet?
How magazines and newspapers irritate prospects is simple and depressingly stupid. In the eyes of their former readers, they have stopped being normal every day dopes with left of center politics who somehow managed to get the news out with very little bias except on the editorial page and become preening, posing, pompous trendoid cretins who soak every single column inch in what polite people call liberal platitudes and really-irritated people think of as rank one-sided bullshit filled with lies, half truths and irrelevant opinion (in “news” stories or, in magazines, just plain stories). There’s no balance anymore and that is staggeringly stupid.
Check the recent election results: roughly half of the country is conservative. Half of the rest couldn’t tell the difference between the Communist Manifesto and The Bill of Rights if you ripped off the title pages and the remaining 25% is as left of center as the print medium’s writers, editors and managers.
Let us review:
Potential audience: 100%
Indifferent part of the audience: 25%
Centrists and Righties: 50%
Newspapers and magazines appeal to the Lefties and get the Indifferents by default. In the meantime, they’re pissing off Centrists and Righties who would shoot themselves before buying their products. Helllllooooo? Losing money are you? Must be the Internet.