Wednesday, April 20, 2005
Time to rip a page out of the Right Wing handbook:
If you and your readers are truly as insulted and mortified as I am by seeing the Shrill Blonde Harpy on the cover of Time, and even worse, deified in a propaganda piece inside -- then do something about it: Vote with your feet -- and your checkbook.
Before some damn fool writes in complaining about Freedom of Speech -- just because someone says something, doesn't mean you have to support it financially. Your readers may only be 49% of the voting public, but that's a significant consumer bloc. We do not need a 2nd Fox Network, and TWX better learn that damn fast.
First off: Anyone with as subscription to Time magazine should cancel it. After you do, send a letter in to the magazine explaining why.
Given the absurd nature of the Time story, that in and of itself is insufficient. So the second thing to do is sell any TimeWarner (TWX) stock you own. Again, a letter to TWX Investor Relations explaining why you sold makes the gesture more significant. Trust me when I tell you, this is a very easy thing to do from an investing standpoint: Between the cooked books, the horrific acquisitions, and the dysfunctional nature of the company, you will not be missing anything.
But to really crank this up, go to Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism, and look at CJR's complete list of AOL Time Warner properties. Then follow the same routine: Cancel any subscriptions you may have, and follow it with a letter explaining why.
Start with Time Warner Cable; Replace it with Dish or Direct TV (more channels for less money hardly seems like a bad deal).
On to AOL: Same routine: Cancel AOL, send a letter. From personal experience, I can tell you that when you call to cancel, they throw you into a "customer retention specialist" -- tell that person EXACTLY why you are canceling also. INSIST on an immediate cancellation, and threaten an FCC letter if they refuse to do so immediately (they will pull the used car salesman routine, and attempt to keep you on the phone for a while). Demand a fax number and follow up with a fax cancellation.
Do the same if you are one of the 47 people left in the nation who still uses Compuserve (another fabulous acquisition by AOL/Time Warner).
On to the dead tree magazines: Cancel any and all of the following: In addition to Time, they also publish: Fortune, All You, Business 2.0, Life, Sports Illustrated, Sports, Money, Your Company, Your Future, People, Entertainment Weekly, The Ticket, In Style, Southern Living,
Progressive Farmer, Southern Accents, Cooking Light, The Parent Group, Parenting, Baby Talk, Baby on the Way, This Old House, Sunset, Sunset Garden Guide, The Health Publishing Group, Health, Hippocrates, Coastal Living, Weight Watchers, Real Simple, Asiaweek, President (Japanese business monthly), Dancyu (Japanese cooking), Wallpaper (U.K.), Field & Stream, Freeze, Golf Magazine, Outdoor Life, Popular Science, Salt Water Sportsman, Ski, Skiing Magazine, Skiing Trade News, SNAP, Snowboard Life, Ride BMX, Today's Homeowner, TransWorld Skateboarding, TransWorld Snowboarding, Verge, Yachting Magazine, Warp, Travel & Leisure, Food & Wine, Your Company, Departures, SkyGuide, DC Comics, Vertigo, Paradox, Milestone, Mad Magazine.
Cancel 'em all, then let them know why.
Time Warner also owns MapQuest -- which is an inferior product to Google Maps. That's a real easy cancellation --just lose the bookmark. They own the Atlanta Braves -- so if you are an Atlanta local, don't buy any tickets to home games.
If you are a Nielsen family, do not watch the following channels: TBS Superstation, Turner Network Television (TNT), Turner South, Cartoon Network, Turner Classic Movies.
I'm not sure which is the worst crime -- the horrific factual inaccuracies of Time Magazine -- or the fact that the Shrill Blonde Harpie's 15 minutes was just about up prior to the cover story. Let's hope that Krugman's bon mots are as true for Time as they are for Bizweek: "He that the Gods destroy, they first put on the cover of Business Week."
Otherwise, the damn clock starts all over again.
I couldn't have said it any better myself . . .
UPDATE: April 22, 2005 3:24pm
Apparently, quite a few people have been cancelling their Time subscriptions, according to Altercation's email.
It would be ironic if this Time magazine cover issue is looked at in the future as a the media equivalent of New Coke -- which celebrates its 20th anniveersary today.
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