There are plenty of outrages in the world for me to be incensed about.
But today I choose to focus my disgust on Oregon's largest newspaper, the Portland Oregonian -- to which we subscribe, though we live in the wilds of rural south Salem.
What doesn't boil over? I want to know! Now!
I'm holding two newspapers in my hands, the Oregonian and the Salem Statesman Journal. I haven't had a cup of coffee yet, because it's brewing while I get the papers. I don't need to start my day with this goddamn freaking advertising insert covering up half of the front page!
Yes, it's clever how neatly the top part of the insert blends with the real front page. But Safeway (and before you, Fred Meyer), here's what you should know before you spend more big bucks on this affront to journalistic decency.
And my irritation transfers over to the source of the insert.
That's you, Safeway and Fred Meyer. I have less than zero interest in what your ad says, because my anger at the medium blots out your message.
In the good old days of journalism, front page advertising was a big no-no. Now it isn't, as the American Journalism Review's "A Fading Taboo" discusses.
Given the tone of this blog post, naturally I heartily agree with this excerpt from the article:
Page-one placement can spark visceral reactions not only from journalists but also from readers. Take the case in March of the fluorescent advertising stickers (for a motor oil company and a carpet-and-flooring company) pasted atop the front page of the Hartford Courant.
Reader Representative Karen Hunter received several indignant comments on her blog. "That is disgusting to have advertising on the front page of my newspaper," wrote one woman. Said another: "This has got to stop." One reader took it further, accusing the Tribune Co., the Courant's parent, of "absolutely whoring for advertising... It screams, 'We're desperate!' It screams, 'Ethics be damned!'"
Oregonian, please can the inserts. Pretty please. Raise subscription rates a bit. Switch to cheaper coffee in the newsroom. Whatever. Just give me back an unobstructed front page.