It’s been a little while since my last rant, but given the events of these last few days, I feel it’s time to opine. So here goes. I’d like to take this time to give you my thoughts on why the media’s current marketing business model is quite possibly the greatest thing ever.
But before I give you my rant – here’s a little preliminary information for you to digest:
Point #1: After it was recently announced that Elisabeth Hasselbeck was leaving her ABC show “The View” for the safety and comfort of the middle seat on Fox and Friends, Jenny McCarthy was named as the show’s new co-host.
This announcement really should come as no surprise to anyone who’s been following along at home. McCarthy has already been popping up in the co-pilot’s chair on The View for quite some time, as well as finding her way on to other ABC shows like “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition”. McCarthy also tested the hosting waters with her own short-lived VH1 show. But once her name was officially announced for The View, it immediately stirred up rage within the public domain.
The reason McCarthy stirs up a LOT of controversy is because of her views on vaccines and what she believes is its direct relationship to autism (a condition her own son suffers from). Because of her celebrity status and open promotion to not having children vaccinated when they’re young, the fear is she’ll use her chair to continue to have an open, unchallenged platform for her views.
Point #2: Rolling Stone magazine recently revealed its new cover; one that features Boston bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev in a “GQ” like pose. Considering the heinous acts he (and his late brother) allegedly perpetrated, you’d think the magazine would have some sense of decorum and sensitivity towards the victims, instead of promoting him as some sort of celebrity (on a side note: I would have much preferred had they used a picture of his face all beaten and bruised after he had been captured).
Whenever these sort of things happen within the media, there’s an immediate cry foul attitude, the threat of infinite boycott and the sending of long emails to editors whose accounts will never be checked and messages that will be unread and deleted. Although all valid and noble pursuits, my real concern is that the situations that led to such a reaction were all preplanned right from the get-go, and will quickly be forgotten by an outraged public.
Let me explain why, once again using each “point” as an example.
Point #1: Was it a coincidence that McCarthy’s name was announced a full two months before she even becomes a fixture of “The View”? I don’t think so. I’m also convinced that there will be a big bruhaha the first week or so that she’s on; with everyone hoping she’ll say something controversial. Alas, that will soon wear off and things will eventually go back to normal, but in the meantime, the show will have already achieved its goal: it got people talking.
Point #2: If you honestly believe that the editors of Rolling Stone didn’t already know that putting a hip looking Tsarnaev on the cover would cause such a reaction, I’ve got a bridge I’d like to sell you. In just 24 hours, social networks like Twitter and Facebook have been abuzz with public outcry; stores have already put out press releases refusing to carry the issue and people have threatened to never read the magazine again (as if they already did).
As far as I’m concerned, they (the head honchos at RS) knew full well what they were doing and decided to do it anyway because (although sales may suffer in the short-term), the best publicity for anything is word of mouth and once again: it got people talking.
I’m also convinced the magazine was already well prepared for what was going to happen next. How easy it is to route all of their “customer service” complaints through a call center in India. Don’t worry, I’m sure every bitch and moan will be documented and every one of them used as statistics for their next marketing campaign.
Then there’s this: Rolling Stone is a bi-monthly publication. Do you think people will still be talking about this issue six weeks from now when Jay Z or Bruno Mars are back on the cover talking about important things? You know, like the VMA Awards.
But seriously, when was the last time you remember anyone discussing The View or Rolling Stone magazine at all?