Workin' for a Livin'

Workin' for a livin': Buzz caught excerpts from a Hillary Clinton speech to Ohioans this week in which she was all charged up about helpin' workin' folk. She talked just like that because, you know, hourly factory workers are incapable of pronouncing a hard "G," a fact she no doubt learned at Wellesley or Yale Law School. On behalf of workin' people, she's goin' to Warshinton, where she'll be all over them corporate fat cats like a duck on a June bug.

Someone please tell us that it'll all be over soon.

But we didn't come here to bash Clinton or Mr. We Are the Hope That You Can Spare Some Change. We came to talk about workin' folk. More specifically, we mean the workin' folk who toil daily in the word mines, i.e. print reporters. Where's the love, candidates?

We ask because we read an excellent story by PRINT reporter Dave Moore at the Dallas Business Journal that said, as of late February, presidential candidates spent $26.2 million in Texas during the past two years, with about $6.6 million going to North Texas "on everything from airline tickets and photocopies to phone calls and catering."

You'd think that might be good news for struggling newspapers, but according to the Web site opensecrets.org, the various campaigns spent a paltry $1,040,683 on print media by late February, putting print dead last in the media sweepstakes. Broadcast took in $88.3 million and Internet media $13 million. (There was no comparable data from the 2004 election.) At this rate, poor Buzz will never make it to happy retirement without working for—shudder—an online blog.

We called über Dallas political consultant Carol Reed to see if maybe we were looking at the numbers wrong. Nope, she said. That sounds about right.

For the price of an ad blitz in The Dallas Morning News, she says, candidates can buy several ads on cable TV and have a good idea of what audience they're reaching. Direct mail and the Internet are even more targeted. Reed is an old-school consultant who recently learned a new word: "viral." Send an e-mail to targeted readers, she says, and you can now know automatically to whom those messages get forwarded. That's viral—and damned creepy if you think about it.

Targeted demographics are key, and demographically speaking, print is the equivalent of an Ohio steel mill. That leads Buzz to one hope: When the next Democrat takes office, maybe they'll send out large subsidy checks to support the vital print industry. (Where else can you read Love Is?) Attention Hillary and Barack: Please send our check to Buzz, care of this newspaper. About $1.3 million should do the trick.

 
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