Thursday, August 31, 2006

an observation from the past six years

From Wikipedia: "The New York Observer asserts to advertisers that it delivers Manhattan’s most affluent, educated and influential consumers, with the average net worth of its readership exceeding $1.7 million and 96% of readers being college graduates. It has a paid circulation of 51,000."

Guess who's part of the unpaid circulation? ME, BABY. Guess whose net worth is closer to $1.7 thousand than $1.7 million? ME, BABY.

Back in early 2000 I was working at CNN and got a phone call in the newsroom (where I was the assistant, so I had to answer a lot of phone calls) from a woman whose brother had just been diagnosed with cancer, and she was hoping I could help her track down a report on cancer that had aired on New Year's Day as part of CNN's "Millennium" coverage. She said she'd been transferred to several different departments and was getting the runaround, so could I please help? I could sympathize, so I wrote down her request, went to the CNN library, found the piece, copied it onto a videotape, and mailed it to her. When she received it, she thanked me and said she worked for the New York Observer. Would I like a free subscription? Sure, why not. Never heard of your paper, but maybe there will be some good articles. And you know what a fast reader I am, so the Observer will never pile up on my dining room* table!

Six years later I still have a subscription to the Observer. I don't know if someone at the paper screwed up or if the woman I helped out was really, really generous and marked me down for a life-long subscription. Either way I don't mind. Learning that the Observer is geared toward wealthy New Yorkers makes sense—I couldn't care less how much Ben Stiller or Kate Hudson paid for a condo on the Upper East Side, but apparently the Observer's core demographic does.

The Observer employs one of the best film critics I've read—Andrew Sarris—and one of the worst—Rex Reed. The majority of Reed's reviews start off like this: "Well, it looks like Hollywood has vomited up another wretched piece of trash." His editor must contemplate calling in sick every single day. Reed's review of Superman Returns proved that his mind was somewhere else during the movie: he thought it was silly that Lex Luthor traveled to Superman's "crystal galaxy" in a helicopter to retrieve a piece of kryptonite. Um, Luthor traveled to the North Pole, where Superman's Fortress of Solitude is located, to retrieve a green crystal. Remember later in the movie when Luthor stole kryptonite from a museum in Metropolis, Rex? Did you think that scene was also set in outer space? Or were you in the bathroom during that scene? Retire now, please.

* I don't have a dining room.

1 comment:

  1. She was probably just blown away that something was taken care of and that someone cared. People are very easily impressed these days. Most people don't give a good god damn and don't have a lick of work ethic. so you earned those papers by doing what anyone should've done, but noone will.