Thursday, September 18, 2008

If this story were in print instead of on my computer screen, I know what I would do with it

This article was listed as a "Top Story" on MSNBC.com. (Read it, it's really short. Suspiciously short, in fact.)

The fuck? Does NBC own stock in Georgia Pacific or something? I don't recall Bic getting a top-of-the-page news story the last time they added another extraneous blade to their razors. Don't get me wrong, I'm as amazed as anyone at modern science's ability to finally crack the three-ply barrier. Honestly, I didn't think it could be done. I figured 2-ply had to be the ceiling, as any reasonable person would.

That's why this story probably deserves above-the-fold treatment in a trade rag (is there a Flushable Paper Products Quarterly, or maybe the edgier Xtreme Ass Wipers?), but not coverage as a "Top Story" in a national news outlet. To me this looks like a media advertising conspiracy. It's one thing to have Robert Downey, Jr. as Ironman conspicuously chomping down Whoppers in a movie; product promotion seeping into the Fourth Estate is something else altogether.

Maybe an editor at MSNBC genuinely thinks a third ply in our toilet paper is newsworthy, but I think this story stinks. (I had to get the word stinks in here somewhere, natch.) And what's with marketing the new toilet paper to women 45 and older? Correct me if I'm wrong, but shit is shit.

Trading my journalism-nerd hat for my tree hugger hat, three plies also happens to be ridiculous. It's your ass and it needs to be wiped. The less material involved the better. Toughen up, kids. (And this will be the part that gets the most comments.)

18 comments:

The Dutchess of Kickball said...

Wow, MSNBC.com totally turned into my local paper, which I check everyday and everyday hate more and more for their lameness.

Example: Last night one of the main headlines was "Hot Air Balloon Lands in Cul-de-Sac." What you need to know is that we have three local hot air balloon lift off locations and at least 30 hot air balloons go over my house every year. NOT BIG NEWS POUGHKEEPSIE JOURNAL!

sid said...

There's something wrong about the phrase "toughen up kids" when used in this context. You don't want any abrasive materials near your ass. But three-ply? Is that really break thru science?

The Modern Gal said...

MSNBC is full of crap!

Bwahahahahaha. Had to get that out there since it was a nice slowpitch softball just waiting to be hit.

surviving myself said...

I bet women 45 or older have really, really big shits. That's just a guess though.

Jacob said...

I want enough thickness to keep my fingers from poking through and touching my own soiled anus, but then I've never had an issue with that with even single ply.

Nose tissue is another story entirely. The cheap stuff just means you're ending up with mucusy hands.

Allie said...

I took a bunch of PR classes in college and we used to have to watch/read the news and spot the segments that were just barely converted press releases. This article must be a press release with just the last paragraph tacked on for good measure (probably took all of a phone call or e-mail to a contact they use for all sorts of things).

So freaking ridiculous. There is more than enough to actually report on.

Like this, for example -- http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jacob-alperinsheriff/sarah-palin-instituted-ra_b_125833.html

Heard Jon Stewart mention it in the clip on Funky Carter and had to look it up. I am so disgusted!

But sure, MSNBC, let's talk TP.

JustinS said...

"Sanctuary for quality time" might be the funniest thing I've ever read.

Vanessa said...

Sanctuary for quality time? How about straining so hard, so long because no one is getting enough fiber? Hemorrhoids! THAT'S the real reason for demanding softness!

Sarah said...

You are a shining example of conservation, and I fervently agree that this story is "asinine" (don't think that one's been used yet). However, I'm glad that you're not advocating reusable toilet paper, because, if there is a place to draw the line between going green and going overboard, I would have to say that this would surely be it.

Chris said...

Bill Schmitz is a toilet paper industry analyst? Seriously?

You're right, Mickey: this is piss-poor journalism. (ba dum dum, tst)

Courtney said...

But I need TP! TP for my bunghole!

Jacob said...

Courtney gets a point for the most appropriate response.

Chris, only girls need TP to PP, so I guess you get credit for half a pun while asinine got full credit.

Julie said...

I would have thought the adult diaper wipes had done away with any necessity for the third ply.

A Free Man said...

Right before Xmas last year I say an article on my Yahoo news home page that was something about how much crap Wal Mart was selling online for the holiday season. I'm pretty sure that if you slip a news agency a few bucks they'll throw your press release up as a "news" story. Times are tough.

nancypearlwannabe said...

Courtney's comment cracked me up.

Aaron said...

There is absolutely nothing I can add to this. Nice work, MSNBC. Thank you.

Beej said...

I just hope they don't get confused between the 3-ply TP factory and the 5 blade razor factory!

Mickey said...

Oh, Beej absolutely takes the prize!