The Death of Newspapers (cont'd)

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The good news is that auto dealers still advertise in newspapers. The bad news is that a lot of dealers are closing.

The NY Times (still clinging to life) says that GM and Chrysler plan to shut down 3,158 dealers between them, which has got to be yet another bad blow on the advertising front. Not that this dealer advertising would have lasted forever; already, I suspect, people do most of their car shopping on the Internet rather than in the Sunday paper. So sooner or later these ads would have followed help wanted, real estate, clothing and so forth into a new medium.

Yes, it's another nail in the coffin, and not a minute too soon. Once we no longer have newspapers to make us so dumb, we can rest assured that America will launch no further misguided foreign military adventures, that the president will never lie, and that corruption at City Hall in South Succotash, Neb. will cease. We'll be pretty safe from other sources of news as well, since most of the rest of the media relies on newspaper and wire service reporters (paid for by newspapers) to find out what the hell is going on. Then we can all just go on believing what we prefer, untroubled by inconvenient facts to the contrary. Like the song says: what a wonderful world it will be.

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Daniel Akst

Dan Akst is a journalist, essayist and novelist who wrote three books. His novel, The Webster Chronicle, is based on the lives of Cotton and Increase Mather. More

Dan Akst is a journalist, novelist and essayist whose work has appeared frequently in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Boston Globe, Wilson Quarterly, and many other publications.
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