Larry Flynt pays his writers well and delivers the checks promptly. He is one boss who doesn't have disgruntled employees bad mouthing him behind his back. Current and former employees of Larry Flynt Publications always speak well of him. Hugh Heffner made Playboy magazine the highest ranked potential market for freelance writers and also made some remarkable profits with his philosophy about paying generously. Unfortunately, Hefner was so successful at making his magazine an attractive prospect for freelancer writers he had to close down the golden opportunity. Playboy articles are now all done on assignment (according to a reliable source who is a former boss) only basis. Neither freelance query letters nor submissions are accepted.
William Randolph Hearst assembled a remarkably talented posse of writers by offering them more money to work for him than other newspaper publishers could. Hearst was the source of the term "lobster shift" (AKA "lob-shift") and caused his biographer W. A. Swanberg (Citizen Hearst Bantam Books paperback p-83) to write: "The Examiner office was a madhouse inhabited by talented and erratic young, men drunk with life in a city that never existed before or since. They had a mad boss, one who flung away money, lived like the ruler of a late Empire . . . and cheered them on as they made newspaper history." Hearst was not a sexist. He did hire a red haired chorus girl, Winifred Sweet, who became a successful reporter.
Republicans, perhaps thanks to the book "Rich Dad, Poor Dad," believe that they should pay their workers as little as possible for the most amount of work they can ring out of their workers.
Wouldn't it be funny if a famous conservative made a bet with a wealthy Republican owner of a word plantation that she would do better than get the prols to work cheap? What if she made a bet that she could get writers to clamor for the chance to work for free? She could pose as a liberal, start up something cheap, and then get talented tree-huggers to embrace her "you don't need a paycheck" response to the idea of paying writers generously by giving them a big audience as an "ego-stroke." Then to prove that she deserved to win the bet she could sell her publication for a shipload of money and "cry all the way to the bank" with her profit. She could collect on such a hpothetical bet she had just won.
What if her writers were true ballsy Democrats who believed in workers' rights and they all went on strike during the same week she collected her sales windfall?
What if on the same day they all tuned in something that was in the public domain? Is the "Modest Proposal" essay in the public domain? Come to think of it, a strike did fatally cripple Hearst's L. A. newspaper.
On the same day the sale was announced, a friend suggested that this columnist could improve the quality of his words if he would spend more time fact-checking and double checking for spelling errors. A good city editor can turn one spelling mistake into a mortifying city room ordeal, but if it takes a goodly amount of time to turn out a contribution to the Internets done in a slap dash fashion, why should any extra time and effort be made? Fox News' personnel (Is Fox a farm club for the stand up comedian circuit?) are backed by a court decision that says they don't have to report news that is "true." If they don't waste time and money on fact checking, then why should a rogue columnist do it?
It is one thing for a Hunter S. Thompson wannabe to spend some personal funds to go to Fremantle in the W. A. (Western Australia) and spread the Gospel of online Gonzo Journalism, but it is a different thing entirely to see a Berkeley CA based web site owner and operator urge his work for free keystorkers: "We have to go out and work harder for Democrats in the next election cycle." As Tonto once said; "What do you mean "we' . . . ?" Couldn't an imaginative writer cook up a wild conspiracy theory about such an order?
We seem to recall an issue of Paul Krassner's "The Realist" which proclaimed that the Republican and Democratic parties were twins separated at birth. At the time, it sounded absurd to us. It seems we may have had the opportunity to naively question Krassner about that belief in a composing room encounter in the early Seventies, but deadlines are relentless and we didn't have time to seize that chance. We now believe that Krassner was "spot-on" with that Sixties assertion.
If the next election is a choice between a Reagan Democrat incumbent and JEB, then maybe it's time to double check and see if we can still cross post our material on Digihitch because the extent of our efforts over the next two years will be along the lines of doing a random bit of voter trend spotting in the automobile museums of Germany. If that doesn't help Obama very much . . . oh well . . . at least there will be photos in the e-scrapbook to remind the writer when he gets old of just how much fun it was to do the "Europe on 5$ a day" routine in the second half of Obama's first (and only?) term in office.
This year Germany is celebrating the 125th year of automotive history. Sounds like a fun thing for this columnist to cover. Once, long before we sent our first news tip to Ray Wert, we talked our way into a top rate automobile museum on a day when it was closed. We'd like to think Mr. Hearst would give us a "well done" on that stunt.
W. A. Swanberg (Ibid page 57) wrote that Hearst regarded journalism as: "an enchanted playground in which giants and dragons were to be slain simply for the fun of the thing." Wouldn't it be funny if Hunter S. Thompson read that book before choosing journalism for his career?
Yeah, it was great fun the one time we saw our efforts mentioned on Mike's Blog Report. It made us feel like we might some day get a membership card and bragging rights that we were "in with the "in' crowd," but it was more fun when Time magazine's Reagan era White House correspondent entered our apartment in Marina del Rey (many years ago) and exclaimed: "My God, Bob, it is a hovel!" We'll have to work that moment into our memoirs . . . if we ever get around to finishing that project.
Would it be funny if a TSA employee said "turn your head and cough" during a pat-down?
The Daily Curser used to plug good blog postings. They are long gone, but still listed on a list of other blogs at a certain high profile liberal pundit aggregator site. Did the Cursor ever mention our efforts? What blogger holds the record for "talking shop" with the most winners of a Pulitzer Prize? Is four a good number?
Swanberg succinctly captured the hippie commune non-judgmental democratic atmosphere of a newsroom (Ibid page 70) in one sentence: "The Examiner had drinkers of all categories, moderate, steady, intermittent and inert, and the staff was so flexibly arranged that when a member fell from grace another would take his place without comment."