- The Washington Times - Friday, June 6, 2003

Sex not selling

“Sex sells, right? Those glossy magazine covers strategically displayed at the checkout counter not only catch our eye — with pictures of voluptuous women scantily clad and headlines that stir the imagination — but cause some of us to buy.

“More skin equals more revenue. Isn’t that how it works? …

“Hugh Hefner took that premise five decades ago and turned his magazine business into a multi-million dollar empire. But how well do skin magazines fare compared to publications that keep their clothes on?

“According to Magazine Publishers of America, or MPA, Playboy’s total circulation revenue in 2001 was nearly $109 million. But that was nothing compared to Reader’s Digest, which garnered almost $317 million the same year. …

“Maybe Hefner’s offerings are too hardcore and what readers really want is just to be tantalized, leaving much more to the imagination. Maybe they want sex tips and bodacious bedroom behavior described but not pictured.

“Really? Better Homes and Gardens boasted total circulation revenue of $150.5 million in 2001, according to MPA, while Cosmopolitan garnered $103.5 million. More women picked up Good Housekeeping ($97 million in total circulation revenue) than Glamour ($81 million).”

Angie Vineyard, writing on “Sex Sells, Right?” in FemFacts

Voyeur state

“For some strange reason, even in matters of sexuality, government feels compelled to pontificate, remonstrate and legislate. From the local to the state to the federal, politicians and bureaucrats think they know best about sex. …

“Repeated sex surveys of middle- and high-schoolers are but one example, and last year, Fairfax County, Va., took a carnal inventory of select students. …

“Among the inquiries were, ‘How old were you when you had sexual intercourse for the first time?’ …

“This is government run amok, and the appropriate answer to any educrat asking such questions is this: You can ask my daughter if I can ask your mother. …

“Government is obsessed with sex, and not just here in America. …

“Every year, the federal government spends millions shipping condoms, birth control pills and other contraceptives overseas. …

“A government that frets about ‘sex education,’ that asks your 13-year-old boy about his ‘sex life,’ or walks up to a peasant African woman and tells her she needs the pill, is a government that will do anything.”

—R. Cort Kirkwood, writing on “The State Is a Pervert,” at www.lewrockwell.com

The right books

“A new day has dawned in New York publishing. A taboo has been lifted. Liberal publishers can now make money selling conservative books.

“With tiny right-wing houses such as Regnery and WND Books cranking out mega-hits month after month, it was only a matter of time before major New York houses swallowed their pride, held their noses and did the unthinkable: tried to publish some conservative books of their own. …

“New York publishing giants Random House and Penguin have taken the lead, launching new imprints that will specialize in publishing conservative titles.

“Bestselling author Ann Coulter helped spark the new movement. It began with her harrowing ordeal trying to publish ‘Slander: Liberals Lies About the American Right.’ …

“Crown Publishing — a division of Random House — finally picked it up. With over 400,000 copies sold, Slander spent 20 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list in 2002 — eight weeks straight in the No. 1 position. …

“‘The American people like me; editors don’t,’ Coulter remarked to the New York Observer in August 2002. ‘If I were Rupert Murdoch, I think I’d fire some of the people at HarperCollins for turning down the No. 1 best-selling book of the summer for purely ideological reasons.’”

Richard Poe, writing on “Can Liberals Publish Conservative Books?” at www.richardpoe.com

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