It's no secret that daily newspapers are getting hit hard by the New Depression. Their entire economic model relies on print advertising that is rapidly disappearing. Now, the Palm Beach Post seems to be using its news space to shill for advertisers.
How else can you explain the front page story in yesterday's Business & Local section? The headline: "10 Things To Buy During the Recession." Recommended items for sale included: household appliances, cars, iPhones, Botox, and and my personal favorite: a $1,190 Christian Dior dress. "Our bet is that you will never see a Tiffany's going-out-of-business sale," the text reads. "But if you have always hankered for designer duds, this may present an opportunity."
What kind of opportunity is that, exactly? The chance to go broke in style, like our heroes at AIG?
This article appeared in a section whose entire back page was occupied by an ad for Twery's Estate Buyers: "We pay cash for your...jewelry, diamonds, watches, sterling silver,coins, collectibles." Then there was the "Foreclosure Prevention Secrets" ad, and one for "FREE MONEY!!," touting a federal tax incentive to buy air conditioners.
My favorite line in the article was a caveat that appeared in the intro: "None of the following makes sense if your job is as shaky as the San Andreas fault."
That was just heartbreaking. Please, name one job in this economy that isn't shaky. Especially for a journalist.