For a long time many colleagues and I have joked that sex and superstition would sell more newspapers than government coverage and sports. Something way beyond lingerie ads and horoscopes would have that bottom line sizzling.
Sex has raked in piles of cash for how many millenia now? Is it time for cash-starved mainstream media to chomp into that apple and freshen that staid old image of principled propriety and "family"-mindedness that we've tried to maintain for decades? Maybe so from the online looks of a new entertainment-focused print product -- DFW.com Ink Edition.
Consider this graf in the product announcement: "At DFW.com Ink Edition, we’re sophisticated and shallow. Observe this week’s cover story: a crash course for ladies on how to find the one-night Lothario of their dreams — the kind of guy who likes to 'hit it and quit it.' But you’ll also find romantic advice, style commentary, sports nuggets, and tips on how (and why) to make use of yourself through volunteerism. (This is the Era of Responsibility, after all.)"
OK, so I'm rubbing my eyes and wondering, "Am I really reading real-sex stuff from a mainstream daily?" Stuff like tips on one-night stands? And other rowdy topics like "who we'd like to eff..." And that's an ad there online for a "gentlemen's club" replete with a topless fox with arms crossed just so ...
And the print version's available, as it says, "in bars and bathroom stalls throughout DFW."
First reaction: Gutsy. Except for something called "untrue horoscopes" (dud idea without a sexy label), this will probably sell. Hits the public squarely in its hypocritically secret appetite. Like one view of casinos, the product stoops to feed off baser drives. But when starvation's the alternative, skin looks pretty tasty.
What's next? Well, why not a nude calendar of sources, staffers and readers? Easy idea to develop, and there's plenty of guidance, like, from Ireland, on dropping one's modesty for charity and other revenue needs. What's next? What do you think?