It is sometimes disheartening for serious news aficionados to watch the public being consumed with interest in a non-story, or to see supposedly serious news outlets pandering to this interest. One way to deal with this problem is to give in to it, by using stories and pictures filled with gossip and sex as a means of luring readers to one's magazine or website. The hope is that they will stay and read the serious articles as well (or at least that these readers will be able to claim, like Playboy readers, that they are only interested in your blog for the serious articles). The Huffington Post is shamelessly good at this technique, hosting a surprising amount of fluff on its site, including lots of fashion photos, entertainment news and stories about naked celebrities. I am not knocking it, as Arianna has succeeded in gaining many readers. (I only criticize her for her sometimes harebrained ideas.) Seeing how well this method works, I sometimes wonder if I should link to more sex, gossip and sensationalism to boost my readership. Or post more pictures of scantily-clad women. (Here's another example to show that I'm not above that sort of thing.)
Rather than go full throttle down that route, which might be too distracting for me and the legions of readers whose interests I must consider, I think instead that it would be best to stick to my serious purposes and take this opportunity to remind you readers that you must turn to this blog regularly not because it offers the most titillating content (how could I possibly compete with the abundance of such material on the internet?), but rather because this site offers information that can be found nowhere else. What is that information, you may well ask? Well, obviously, this is the only site where you can find out what Joe Markowitz thinks about anything. Anytime you are wondering what Joe Markowitz thinks about a particular issue or event, you need to turn to this website. If you can't find information on a particular topic here (for example, balloon boy), that is probably because that topic is one that Joe Markowitz has not deemed worthy of comment, and maybe you should not be concerned about it either. But if something noteworthy occurs anywhere in the world that merits commentary by Joe Markowitz, you will find that information here (or on my mediation blog or my litigation blog), and perhaps no where else. Surely that is reason enough to keep visiting.
. . . We interrupt this post to advise you that police suspect that this entire post has been a hoax! Details at 11! . . . .
(American flag photo from Chive)
(balloon illustration by Irisz Agocs)