Don't you love it when one media outlet pooh-poohs another for page views?
I had to laugh when I read Steve Ladurantaye's article in the Globe and Mail dismissing Flare magazine for putting Paulina Gretzky on the cover.
It doesn’t matter that the rest of the world has never been all that interested in the antics of the 24-year-old woman whose principal claim to fame is that her father was a really good hockey player. That’s not entirely fair – she’s probably just as well known for her provocative Instagram photos.
The article goes on to condemn Flare owner Rogers Media while liberally quoting the Great One's daughter.
I've seen this movie before on many occasions.
When downscale media jump on a story like this, the mainstream people have to copy it to stay in the game. But they do it in a superior tone to show that they're not like the other guys.
It occurred with the rise of trash TV talk shows like Maury Povich and Jerry Springer, which were the rage for a while.
Establishment publications like Newsweek or the New York Times would do a cover story about this alarming trend, while at the same time harvesting more readers.
The same thing occurred with the O.J. Simpson trial. And with the rise of Jersey Shore, the Kardashians, and all the other crap coughed up by American culture.
This week, we were treated to the looney rantings of conspiracy theorist Alex Jones on Piers Morgan's establishment-oriented talk show on CNN.
Of course, everyone was appalled by Jones, who was brought on merely to boost Morgan's ratings.
Paulina Gretzky is the latest incarnation.
She's hot. She likes being photographed in sexy poses. She hopes to launch a music career. And she has tons of Twitter followers.
It's no surprise that Flare would put her on the cover.
Nor is it a surprise that the Globe and Mail would publish an article making this choice look quite dreadful.
Flare and the Globe will each generate lots of page views, which they can package to their advertisers.
And if the truth be known, the Straight will probably do the same as a result of this post.
Ratings and page views are dictating a lot of what we're seeing in the media.
I include the idiotic, one-sided rants of Postmedia columnist Christie Blatchford and Globe and Mail writer Margaret Wente in this category.
They invariably write something wretched, knowing it will enrage large numbers of people.
Readers will line up like lemmings in the comment section to blast the writer.
And their publishers will say to themselves, "These writers really bring in the hits. Let's keep them firing away like this."
And then these writers laugh all the way to the bank.
Ultimately, the citizens lose because instead of having a reasonable discussion about public policies that affect people's lives, we end up with a bunch of noise in so-called upmarket publications that pander to people's base instincts.
I wonder if the Globe and Mail media columnist is ever going to write about that.