News Roundup for 10/13/09

Marge Simpson Playboy cover
Playboy gets desperate

-Headline of the day-
"Marge Simpson graces Playboy cover."

Turns out the kids aren't buying Playboy anymore, mostly because you can get photos of naked ladies, reviews of liquor and stereo equipment, and interviews with the latest "Bond girl" for nuthin' these days. But sexy pictures of Marge Simpson? Now those are hard to come by. You could google for about half a second and still not find one.

According to the report, "Like nearly everything printed on paper these days, Playboy magazine has been facing tough times. Advertising pages have dropped 31 percent over the last year, newsstand sales have dried up by 25 percent, and its circulation has dipped to 2.4 million, according to publishing insider Media Industry Newsletter." The report also mentions that Playboy is trying to out-stupid Maxim -- which is a pretty hefty chore -- and poach some of their 18-to-30s.

Reaching out to the "hip" and "cool" Simpsons audience is seen as just the sort of thing that will save the magazine. "The shock value always does Playboy very good," Media Industry Newsletter online editor-in-chief Steve Cohn says. "This is a novelty one, but it's no different than a celebrity. In a sense, Marge has something in common with a woman who's never done it before, someone like Nancy Sinatra."

Of course, Maxim readers will ask, "Who the hell is Nancy Sinatra?"

CNN even woke up Hugh Hefner to make a statement. "Marge Simpson is the quintessential girl next door who stole our hearts 20 years ago and has held them captive ever since," Hefner told CNN. "We were delighted to learn she wanted to grace the pages of our magazine. Her pictorial is truly stunning."

Wait a second, Hugh knows Marge isn't real, right? Maybe not. After all, he lives in a creepy old vampire castle with a bunch of blonde clones. After a few years of that, who knows what's real anymore?

And Hugh seems to be Playboy's problem. "The reason for their audience shift can be seen in Hugh Hefner," Cohn says. "I went to college in the '70s and Hefner was in his 40s back then. He was the symbol for what kind of guy I wanted to be. Now he's in his 80s -- it's hard to identify with someone like that. That's a problem for Playboy."

Marge Simpson may have been on the teevee for twenty years, but compared to Hefner, she's brand-spankin' new.

Still, good luck out-stupiding Maxim. That'd be a real accomplishment. Even for Playboy. (CNN)

-Give these people $-
The Homosexual Menace is about to take over Maine and someone has to help them do it. The "No on 1" campaign needs just $164,000 to keep their ads on the air or the Pine Tree State goes all Mormon -- like California. No one wants that.

Send them some money, hand the religious right a loss, and make repealing the Defense of Marriage Act actually mean something. (ActBlue.com)

-Bonus HotD-
"RNC's New Website Reflecting Steele's 'Urban-Suburban Hip-Hop' Riddled With Errors, Widely Panned."

Joining Playboy in trying to attract a younger audience, the Republican National Committee is offering a new website that's "phat" and "bad" and "the bee's knees," as all the kids are saying these days.

According to the GOP, the site will "promote increased grassroots participation and innovation, better communication, improved platform compatibility and smarter marketing and fundraising tools for the GOP." In move designed to either really freak out young children or give baby-boomers acid flashbacks, the site will feature "a miniature floating Michael Steele walking onto the page with a greeting."

Michael Steele also gets his own blog, so he doesn't have to wait to go on the teevee to make a stupid statement he later has to retract. The blog is called "What's up?" because, apparently, Mike doesn't know what's going on.

Another feature of this awesome new web presence is a "Future Leaders" section, which at the moment, doesn't feature any names. You can nominate your own future GOP leaders and I totally suggest you do. I don't know how this thing works, but maybe we can get Mariah Carey or someone up there. That'd be awesome. I don't know what her politics are, but I'd rather look at her on Face the Nation than Newt Gingrich.

Also fun, the site features Jackie Robinson as a "GOP Hero" -- mostly because he campaigned for Nixon once. But Robinson also described the 1964 Republican convention this way:

That convention was one of the most unforgettable and frightening experiences of my life. The hatred I saw was unique to me because it was hatred directed against a white man [Nelson Rockefeller]. It embodied a revulsion for all he stood for, including his enlightened attitude towards black people.

A new breed of Republicans had taken over the GOP. As I watched this steamroller operation in San Francisco, I had a better understanding of how it must have felt to be a Jew in Hitler’s Germany.

I suppose you could interpret that as "Yay for Republicans!"... that is, if you'd been kicked in the head by a horse or something.

The site also doesn't list any Republican accomplishments since 2004 -- which may be the most accurate claim on the entire site. (Think Progress)

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