Oh, Freeploid, you little rascal you, trying to stir up a little trouble on a midwinter Sunday morning. Front page, Sunday paper, headline and photo reproduced in accordance with the Fair Use standard of copyright law:
See, the problem with a tabloid newspaper is you’ve got one shot to catch readers’ attention. One big story, one big picture, grab them eyeballs. If you’ve actually got a catchy story, it’s wonderful. If you don’t, and you have to manufacture one, well, you get irresponsible nonsense like TAX ON FUN.
The sad thing is, the headline sullies an otherwise fine article by Terri Hallenbeck, in which she actually explores all the issues surrounding break-open tickets and Shumlin’s proposed tax.
Here’s the problem. Well, two problems. First, governments tax fun ALL THE TIME. Alcohol taxes, amusement taxes, meals and rooms taxes. If they could get it through the legislature without laughing, they’d probably have lube-and-sex-toy taxes. (And I’d love to see the Freeploid headline about that.)
Second, if break-open tickets are your idea of “fun,” you need to get a life. A break-open ticket is a brief moment of diversion while slamming down Governor Shumlin’s Favorite Adult Beverage at a bar or social club. Go back to the Freeploid: does Grandpa look like he’s having fun?
In honor of the Freeploid’s decisive stomp over the line into yellow journalism, I offer them a new motto in the same spirit:
The Burlington Free Press: SMALLER, CRAPPIER, COSTLIER.