Civilians Who Run Full-Page Ads in the New York Times (Another John D. Haywood Edition)

From our Just Set Your Money on Fire desk

Over the past several years the hardworking staff has dutifully chronicled the quixotic ad campaigns waged by John D. Haywood in the New York Times. Quick recap from our last post in November, 2014:

As you splendid readers might (or more likely might not) remember, the hardworking staff has dutifully chronicled the per-ad-ulations of one John Haywood, North Carolina rich guy and erstwhile New Hampshire presidential primary candidate.

He ran a two-page ad in the New York Times a month ago that was promptly trashed by a one-page ad in the Times. Something about “Israel hatred rearing its ugly head.”

That latter ad came courtesy of self-styled “America’s Rabbi” Shmuley Boteach, who said of Haywood, among other things:




Along the way we’ve also seen Haywood launch an effort to turn “20 Now Red Texas Congressional Districts Blue” and sue two student journalists at St. Michael’s College in Vermont for accurately reporting that Haywood ran as a Democrat in New Hampshire’s 2012 presidential primary (see here for both).

Yesterday’s Times featured Haywood’s latest windmill-tilt:




Supreme Court nomineee, Affordable Care Act, Medicaid expansion, Senate filibuster, whatever – let us know if you get it sorted.

Meanwhile, Haywood has launched the Just Say No to Racism Party, which identifies itself thusly:


All those dollars and no sense, eh?


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Wall Street Journal Dads Who Play Barbie

From our Changing the Culture Is Hard! desk

Just call her Totally Daddy’s Barbie.

Full-page ad in Friday’s Wall Street Journal:





The Dads Who Play Barbie website features videos like this one.











For handy tips, check out #DADSWHOPLAYBARBIE.

Other than that, we’ve got nothin’, since the hardworking staff is a professional uncle.

Except . . .

The Missus and I once saw Totally Wet Barbie at a rain-drenched Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade, I dunno, 25 years ago.

We also sat next to a rain-drenched James Gandolfini at a Macy’s Day parade some years after.

But that’s another story.

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The Zero-Character Twitter Presidency

Donald J. Trump, America’s tweeter-in-chief, speaks in 140-character bursts. He also, to all appearances, thinks in 140-character bursts. But he acts with absolutely no character at all.

Just consider one hour in the Twitter life of the man who purports to be the leader of the free world.


Trump has almost singlehandedly rendered the term “fake news” – which once referred to misinformation (falsehoods) or disinformation (propaganda) – essentially meaningless.

Fake news, to Trump, is any news he doesn’t like, regardless of its accuracy or credibility. The man willfully – no, aggressively – lives in a fantasy information environment.

[Editor’s note: In Trumpworld, the previous sentence makes everything that follows fake news.]

P.S. The president of the United States sucking up to a suck-up cable news show is just so . . . meta. Not to mention pathetic.


Actually, the Russian connection was an attempt to paper-over the many shortcomings in Donald Trump’s campaign. Not to get technical about it.


Trump’s assault on the U.S. intelligence community is arguably his most craven action since taking office. In the past few weeks he has referred to “so-called” intelligence officials and likened them to Nazis.

In reality, a place Trump rarely occupies, most of those intelligence officials are dedicated public servants who are risking jail sentences (leaking classified information is a felony) to ensure that the American public knows what its government is doing in their name.

Some characterize the information as “revenge leaks,” but others believe the leaks are a reflection of intelligence officials’ concern that the Justice Department, headed by Trump toady Jeff Sessions, will refuse to investigate the Putin-Trump axis of ego.

P.S. The New York Times and the Washington Post are hardly failing – subscriptions for both are up substantially – and Trump knows that full well. He just chooses to ignore it – the same way he ignores how much he loved leaks during his presidential campaign.


Is this the same Donald Trump who said on CNN last August “[Putin is] not going into Ukraine, OK, just so you understand. He’s not going to go into Ukraine, all right? You can mark it down. You can put it down. You can take it anywhere you want” – even though Putin had already seized Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula?


One last thing about Donald Trump’s lack of character.

On the same day Trump’s Twitter feed featured all those tweets, he was asked at a joint press conference with Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu about the recent rise in anti-Semitic incidents across the United States.

Trump started his answer by bragging, as he so often does, about his electoral victory.

“Well, I just want to say that we are very honored by the victory we had. 306 Electoral College votes. We were not supposed to crack 220. You know that, right? There was no way to 221 but then they said there was no way to 270. And there’s tremendous enthusiasm out there.”

Then, on to the Jewish issue: “As far as people, Jewish people – so many friends, a daughter who happens to be here right now, a son-in-law, and three beautiful grandchildren . . .”

It was a total non-answer. Today, when essentially the same question was asked at a press conference, Trump said it was “not a fair question.” He also said of the reporter, “See, he lied and said he was going to get up and ask a very straight simple question.”

Donald Trump has no scruples, no shame, no character. Period.

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Civilians Who Run Full-Page Ads in the New York Times (Allie&Katie Buryk Tay-Sachs Edition)

Latest in a very long-running series

Yesterday’s New York Times featured this ad from twin sisters Allie and Katie Buryk, both of whom suffer from Tay-Sachs, a rare disease mostly associated with the Jewish population, but also present in the Cajun community of Louisiana — where their dad’s ancestors comes from — and in French Canadians.




For background, the hardGoogling staff found this piece from the Hilton Head Island Packet two years ago.

Hilton Head mother fundraises for Tay-Sachs cure


Katie Buryk sat stranded in her New York City apartment Monday morning as freezing rain slicked the pavement outside.

Even on a clear day, the former Hilton Head Island woman can’t jog, walk down the steps to the subway or wear high heels.

An icy sidewalk could be even more treacherous for the 26-year-old, whose muscles are weakened by late-onset Tay-Sachs disease.

Less than three months after she and her twin sister were diagnosed with the rare genetic disease, their mother has helped raise more than $100,000 from her home in Sea Pines for research to find a cure.

(Mom’s name is Alexis; dad’s is Bill; don’t know the dog’s.)

This Huffington Post piece last fall had the number up to $260,000 for the Katie & Allie Buryk Research Fund. The ad, meanwhile, says where some of the money went.




Two last things: More information here, and all best to the Buryk twins and their family.


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Nike Just Trumps It in Star-Studded ‘Equality’ Campaign

Unlike many other marketers, Nike has a long history of addressing social issues, often in its own interests, but sometimes for the right reasons.

Now comes this four-page spread in Sunday’s New York Times sports section.

First page:




Followed by this:




Followed by this:




Drive Trump nuts graf.




You can catch Nike’s whole Equality campaign here.

So right now we have worldwide brands from Nike to Starbucks to Apple – all aligned against Donald J. Trump, the most brand-conscious president ever to occupy the Oval Office.

Let’s see how Trump just does this.

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Really? We’re Now Deconstructing Donald Trump’s Neckties?

The hardworking staff couldn’t help but notice that two major newspapers yesterday addressed the eccentric neckwear practices of the President of the United States.

Exhibit A: Beth Teitell’s piece in the Boston Globe.

Trump’s ties? Now that’s a long story.

President’s neckwear goes against style and it’s not an accident

When it comes to a signature look, Donald Trump’s hair usually hogs the attention. But as his combover achieves “new normal” screen-shot-2017-02-12-at-1-49-10-amstatus, the public is now focusing on another curiosity: Trump’s remarkably long ties.

When comedian Jon Stewart recently caricatured the new president on CBS’s “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert,” he did so wearing a red tie so long it dragged on the floor.

“I thought this is how men dressed now,” Stewart quipped.

Well, one man anyway.

And then there’s the tape.

At 6-foot, 3-inches tall, Trump certainly isn’t a victim of a tie that is just too long for his torso. Rather, he intentionally ties it so it hangs long. The proof is in the Scotch tape.

screen-shot-2017-02-12-at-1-48-36-amIn December, when he was de-planing in Indianapolis to tour the Carrier plant, wind blew his red tie up to reveal that the billionaire uses tape to keep the back side in place.

The DIY trick is needed, tailors say, because Trump makes the shorter part of the tie so short — to allow for the long front — that it doesn’t reach the inner, securing loop.

Exhibit B: Motor 200 miles south, and you’ll find this smartly knotted Richard Thompson Ford op-ed in yesterday’s New York Times.




Drive Trump nuts graf.

Lost in the excitement and outrage of Donald Trump’s first three weeks as president of the United States was a minor sartorial scandal: The putative leader of the free world cannot tie a necktie properly. Compared with religious persecution at our borders and the unraveling of decades-old international alliances, this may seem trivial. But could a misbegotten (and far too shiny) necktie reflect weightier issues of self-discipline, competence and integrity?

Hard to know what’s sadder here: Trump’s phallic coverage, or the news media’s Trump coverage.

Coin flip, yeah?

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New York Times Editing Slashback: ‘What Driver’s Want’ Edition

Latest in what we expect will be a long-running series

As the hardworking staff noted earlier this week, the New York Times is jettisoning its “low-value line editing” and replacing it with “bespoke editing.”

Or, more likely, “be-broke editing.”

Exhibit B, from yesterday’s Business section.

Trouble Turning a Corner


TOKYO — Yoshihiro Masui’s growling Ford hot-rod, its sides adorned with the Stars and Stripes, attests to his love of American cars — an unusual passion in Japan, where Toyota, Honda and other domestic brands rule the roads.

“Japanese cars don’t break down, but they’re boring,” said Mr. Masui, 67, a semiretired music producer. Besides the hot-rod — a replica Model T with a racecar’s engine — he owns a gleaming white Ford Thunderbird, the latest of nearly 70 Detroit-made vehicles he figures he has bought and sold over the years.

“You definitely stand out,” he said.

Detroit pines for a day when the sight of an American car on a Japanese street is not so notable.

That’s all well and good, but check out the pull quote from the piece.




What driver’s want?


What Times readers want is “be-woke editing” – some sense that a sentient being is patrolling the content the Times cranks out every day.

Isn’t that what Times home delivery subscribers, for instance, pay over $1000 a year to receive?

Considering that print circulation revenue represents roughly 50% of the Grey Lady’s annual take, that’s the least she could deliver, yeah?

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CFA Society Boston Should Just Set Its Ad Money on Fire

The hardworking staff has to admit that we’d never heard of CFA Society Boston until it start running full-page newspaper ads like this one in yesterday’s Boston Globe.




The group also ran an ad in Monday’s Wall Street Journal that labeled the Brooklyn Bridge “a fine bridge” and the Zakim “the finest bridge.”




All due respect to the redoubtable Lenny Zakim, we strenuously disagree.

Regardless, here’s the text of the Globe ad.




Question: After reading that, do you have any idea what CFA Society Boston actually does?

Us neither. Something about investment management and . . . whatever.

To summarize: There’s a fine line between good advertising and bad advertising.

CFA Society Boston is on the wrong side of it.

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New York Times Editing Slashback: You Reap What You ‘Sew’

As CNN’s Brian Stelter noted yesterday, “fascinating public editor column by Liz Spayd, all about the NYT editing processes.”

Readying The Times for Editing 3.0


THE NEW YORK TIMES has a reputation for impeccable editing. Not just because it can turn one particular story into a showpiece, but because it achieves a high level of consistency and polish across its entire report. It’s part of what readers pay for, and what they’ve come to expect.

Its editing architecture, originally constructed in the bountiful days of print, allows for multiple layers of editing that help keep copy clean and errors to a minimum. Except for breaking news, most stories are reviewed by three editors, with up to six or more if the article is headed for home page prominence or A1.

Soon this conveyor will be replaced by a bespoke editing system built primarily around digital.

Bespoke editing. Bestill, my heart.

Unfortunately, as Spayd pointed out, that means “sizable cuts in the editing ranks” and a reduction in “low-value line editing.”

Yeah but . . .

Consider the current state of the Grey Lady’s editing, as evidenced two pages later in the latest column from Times Op-It Girl Maureen Dowd. She likened Trump whisperer Steve Bannon to




The online edition amended that wayward verb to “sows,” but really, the corn was off the cob by then.

Sew . . .

The post-editing era at the New York Times has officially begun.

Sow sad, as the tweeter-in-chief might say.

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Civilians Who Run Full-Page Ads in the New York Times (“Zappy” Zapolin Edition)

From our All Those Dollars and No Sense desk

It’s amazing the number of people who will shell out six figures to run a New York Times ad that no one will read.

Yesterday’s Times featured the latest sucker who should have just set his money on fire.




The ad addresses opioid addiction and its medical solutions. Here’s the lede.




And who exactly is the author of this plea to a president who doesn’t give a damn?




You can learn more about Zappy here (his version) or here (Google News version). Presumably, bad news for Suboxone would be good business for Zapolin, Inc.

Either way, he’s an adiot.

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