May 4, 2004


SALONíS PRECARIOUS FISCAL STATE has obviously become dire. The ďpremiumí subscriptions which began at, I believe, $35 a year have now been discounted down to a dollar a year. Today, this email has been making the rounds.

I felt compelled to comment:

Date: Mon, 3 May 2004 00:59:24 -0700
From: Premium Help
Subject: Renew Salon Premium for $1

Dear *****: I understand that you haven't yet renewed your subscription to Salon Premium,

Right you are, David. No more premium Salon for moi. Iíve left you forever and taken the puppy.

so I'm prepared to extend you our absolute lowest rate ever: $1 for an entire year.

One dollar? Just one buck? One small Washington?

That's right, $1.

Zowie, David. Tell me more, more, more!

To take advantage of this great rate, all you need do is renew using our no-annual-fee Salon Visa card. This offer is only valid in the United States.

I donít know. That smacks of cultural imperialism to me.

Again, the card carries no annual fee and has a low interest rate.

Sounds like a World Bank Loan to a third world country. Can I get some cash up front too?

Plus it looks fantastic.

I admit I was on the fence until you told me that. The one thing I require in credit cards is a fantastic look. The guy down at the Circle K always kicks back the ugly cards to me and demands cards that look ďfantastic.Ē Will you be doing one next year that also looks ďfabulousĒ? If so, will it go with my new Pinto print Speedo?

Just click on the following link to apply: [link deleted to keep readers of this site from swamping the Visa servers]

We both win because Salon is compensated for every credit card account we open

No kidding? And here I thought you were offering the dollar a year rate because you loved me and wanted me back desperately. David, donít tell me youíve become a Visa slut after all weíve meant to each other. How could you?

-- enabling you to support independent journalism --

Actually, I have to confess that every credit card account I do not open supports my own independent journalism, David. If you really wanted to support independent journalism, youíd pay your own journalists more and on time as well.

and you save a lot on an annual subscription that includes great new benefits like a 1-year subscription to "Wired,"

David, David, David... donít you know Wired=Tired especially now that it is edited by girls?

"National Geographic Adventure"

Yes, I really need another magazine shilling for the travel industry.

and "U.S. News and World Report"

A magazine famous for being number 4 in a grouping of 3? When Mort Zuckerman finally gets to be Secretary of the Treasury in the next Democratic administration in 2020, get back to me.

and access to reading Salon on your PDA or cell phone.

Now hereís where turning you down makes me sad. To think that I wonít be able to read Salon on my cell phone makes me misty. Promise you wonít let my refusal keep you from sending me those hot textings when weíre apart, wonít you?

Plus, great existing benefits like reading Salon in a blissfully ad-free reading environment.

David, do your paying advertisers (both of them) know youíre talking about them behind their back. If they find out you think of ad-free environments as blissful, youíre going to have some Ďsplaing to do.

Applying only takes a moment or two and gets you all the benefits of Salon Premium -- the magazines, the ad-free reading, the PDA and cell phone access, everything --for just $1.

I heard you the first time, David. Get to the point.

Without loyal subscribers like you, Salon simply couldn't afford to stay in business.

Thereís a thought.

That would silence the voice of the Web's leading independent source of unvarnished news coverage, unfettered opinion and unintimidated muckraking.

Right. Check and double check. Salon -- The No Bias web site. Got it.

Where would you turn for honest, fearless reporting on the 2004 elections?

Kind of hard to say, off hand David, since that would make me choose between about 249 sites currently residing in my favorites file. I suppose I could channel surf between about seven news channels if I go really hard up. Still, I agree thereís a real shortage of options when it comes to coverage of these elections, so letís say Iíll keep you in mind.

Time and again, Salon has outpaced the other news media to bring you the "scoops".

Thatís right, David. I think youíre shining moment last year was when you were out there in Texas running around with the web cam as the space shuttle debris rained down. That was you, wasnít it? Or were you the guys who coined the BUSH LIED meme thatís making the rounds?

I can't tell you what scandals, shams and outrages we'll cover in the year ahead.

How about the deadly email from Salon that offers a whole year for a quarter if only readers will send their bank account information to a database in Nigeria? Thatís gotta be next.

But I can tell you this: No matter what happens, Salon will be there -- probing, digging, asking all the hard questions.

Unless, of course, I donít send you the dollar. In which case, Salon might not be there.

We need you. You need us.

David, you naughty boy. If I needed you I would have stayed with you. Admit it, this isnít about my needs, but yours. Itís not me. Itís you.

Please renew your subscription for just $1 by clicking on the link below and we'll both be the better for it.

David, it didnít work the first time. Iíve moved on. You should too. If the Chronicle takes Mark Morford as resident pervert, theyíll surely hire you back. Man up, David. Itís time.

Cordially, David Talbot

ďCordially?Ē ďCordially?Ē After everything weíve been to each other?

Posted by Vanderleun at May 4, 2004 3:24 PM
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"It is impossible to speak in such a way that you cannot be misunderstood." -- Karl Popper N.B.: Comments are moderated and may not appear immediately. Comments that exceed the obscenity or stupidity limits will be either edited or expunged.

Isn't Dave the evil twin brother of Stobe Talbot, of the evil Clinton Administraton?

Posted by: Cappy at May 28, 2004 7:06 PM