Craigslist Kills Again
Craigslist.com is the Ted Bundy of web sites. Over the past few years, hundreds of local newspapers have shut down due to declining classifieds revenue. The Chrislip Record-Leader is the most recent example. Where will Chrislip’s considerable computer illiterate population turn to sell their folk art gourds painted to look like penguins and swans? How will waitresses sell the cemetery plots purchased for their now ex-husbands? Or their slightly-used wedding dresses?
Like many small towns, Chrislip was once home to two thriving newspapers. Ten years ago, with both publications on the verge of bankruptcy, the Journal embraced the Internet. The fact that we are writing our competitor’s obituary points to the correctness of our decision.
The Record-Leader did not and was soon sold to local conservative William P. Gordon, Chrislip College’s Political Science professor. He immediately turned a serious newsroom into the National Enquirer’s impersonation of the Drudge Report. Soon thereafter, every birth of a two-headed calf was blamed on President Obama’s healthcare legislation. (Ironically, two-headed calves are the one thing not addressed in the 2,700 page bill.) When a young boy was reprimanded for bringing his dad’s gun to school, this was evidence of a creeping liberal agenda poisoning our children. Supporting this hate-filled screed were local classified ads, which had become the only reason to buy what had become a tabloid rag. Craigslist put an end to that.
Missing the Record-Leader most of all will be 83-year old retiree Betty Kessler, who used the publication to supplement her food stamps. She was rushed to St. Luke’s Hospital last week with an intestinal blockage. After viewing her x-rays, her doctors asked her if she was eating her newspaper. “Not all of it,” admitted Ms. Kessler. “I need Tabasco to stomach Mr. Gordon’s columns. Stories with color pictures go best with maple syrup. But the rest is kitty litter. I just never developed a taste for black ink.”
To you, Ms. Kessler, we offer a bottle of ketchup and a free one-month subscription to Chrislip’s remaining newspaper, The Journal. Bon appétit.