You’ve probably heard the alternative term for tabloid: “rag.”
It’s a good word for summing up shoddy, cheap newspapers or magazines that prey on easy targets and stir up sensationalism and drama in order to make a quick buck.
Outfits like this have existed for a long time. Witness the old sideshow carnivals with their so-called “barkers.” These individuals would noisily grab the attention of passersby, hoping to lure them into their lair of bearded ladies, elephant men and various other “freaks.”
Curiosity did the rest: people would come from far and wide to feast their eyes on these “wares.”
Well into the 21st century, this tradition is, unfortunately, very much still with us. The small-scale carnivals have discarded their tents and graduated to high-rises in Manhattan. The tent canvas has been supplanted by stone walls and the dusty, grimy stalls are now filled with fine furniture and cushiony carpets. But the product remains the same: pushing sensationalism and shock in order to make a fast buck, even if it means lying through their very pointy teeth, besmirching the notion of free press and dragging morality and decency through the dirt.
Since when does a “standard of purity” entail wholesale backing of hate-ridden dirty rags?
A360 Media (formerly known as American Media Inc.) has been spewing hate, intolerance and lies for years, fabulating sensationalistic stories (clickbait) to land money in its coffers. Blatant lies about celebrities and hateful untruths about Scientologists, to name a few, have been daubed across their rags (National Enquirer, Us Weekly and OK!, among others) for a long time.
To be associated with such low-life barkers through advertising puts the advertiser virtually on a par with the perpetrator. I have often, in the past, bought Arm & Hammer products (for my laundry and my cat) but, having recently learned that Church & Dwight supports A360 with its advertising dollars, I have replaced the muscles in my washing machine with a softer, competitive alternative; my cat also seems to be faring very well with the “tidy” replacement in her litter tray.
A number of (now former) A360 Media advertisers have confirmed they are pulling their money from this hate-peddling machine that operates under the guise of a “media group.” They got the memo and, to their credit, acted upon it. However, despite writing twice to Church & Dwight to impress upon them the importance of not supporting this bigoted outfit, I have received no reply.
I find this shrug-off despicable: surely with a little intelligence and/or respect, the execs I addressed would compute that their pooh-poohing attitude is likely to lose them further customers. There are millions of Scientologists like me and droves more people who abhor bigotry as much as I do. The hypocrisy of Arm & Hammer’s purported motto sticks out like a sore thumb: since when does a “standard of purity” entail wholesale backing of hate-ridden dirty rags?
It’s about time A360 Media went full circle back to the ranks of the small-town carnival rabble-rousers of yesteryear, where it belongs. And as for you, Arm & Hammer’s advertising execs, may I suggest you start living up to your logo—“The Standard of Purity”—practicing what you preach, and leave A360 to wallow in its own self-dug dirt.
Failing to do so is already dragging you down with them.