The Media Guy

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Hello. Welcome to the new Media Guy column. Before we get started, I thought it would be helpful, given these soul-searching times in the media business, to clearly outline my policies regarding journalistic standards and ethics, as well as to delineate the relationship between advertising and editorial in this column. To wit:

* My anonymous-source policy: While I continue to believe that anonymous sources serve a vital and necessary role in preserving the investigative power of the Fourth Estate as well as the ability of journalists to expense-account drinks with old college buddies, I recognize that the overuse of such sources can imperil the practice of balanced journalism (especially if it's like more than three or four drinks). Therefore, Media Guy will restrict the use of anonymous sources with disgusting names like Deep Throat, and will instead only rely on sources with more appropriate names, such as Bonnie Fuller's Assistant Until Last Thursday.

* My policy regarding product placement in this column: Years ago, when I was an editor at New York Magazine, one of my writers wrote a piece for me in which he mentioned, in passing, that he had some Kiehl's moisturizer in his bathroom. Right after the piece ran, a gift bag from Kiehl's was sent to him care of me, as thanks for the mention. My policy then was to wonder, "Why doesn't anyone ever send me free shit?" and then to make the writer give me at least one thing from the gift bag. My new policy is to try to remember to mention Kiehl's in this column.

* My policy regarding Jacques Torres chocolate, Gillette M3Power razors, Calvin Klein underwear (boxers, 32-inch) and Funyons: is to wait and see what happens now that I've mentioned them.

* My Angelina & Brad and Tom & Katie policy: My coverage of the coverage of Angelina Jolie & Brad Pitt together with my coverage of the coverage of Tom Cruise & Katie Holmes shall amount to, on average, no more than 85% of this column during any given quarter.

* My conflicts-of-interest policy: Over the years, I've worked for, consulted for and/or created "content" for a disparate range of media companies including AOL, Bulfinch Press, Conde Nast, Dennis Publishing, HarperCollins, Harpo, HBO, Hearst, Primedia, Time Inc., Time Warner, Universal, Viacom and Wenner Media. My policy is to acknowledge that I know way too many people in this business, to admit that I'm hopelessly conflicted and to make fun of all of the above companies-except for Primedia, which is the most retarded media company ever in the history of the world, and everybody knows it's not nice to make fun of the "differently abled."

* My policy regarding paying for photographs: Unlike OK!, I have never, and will never, pay celebrities for photos of themselves-with the possible exception of Brad & Angelina (making out, topless), because, God, they're so totally hot together.

* My policy regarding gender issues and equality in the workplace: Years ago, I was briefly acting editor in chief of Seventeen, and cosmetic companies would send flowers addressed to "Simone Dumenco," presuming that I must be an editrix. My policy then, and now, is that, hey, if you wanna treat me like a lady and send me flowers, go right ahead.

* My policy regarding unfavorable mentions of advertisers in this column: Given recent demands by advertisers including Morgan Stanley and BP that their ads be pulled from any publication covering them negatively, my policy is to continue to print-no matter what the cost-the truth, such as the fact that Morgan Stanley's ass totally looks fat in those jeans, and BP should really think about getting a sports bra (are those "pecs" or man-tits?).

The Media Guy column appears every week in this space. Email [email protected]

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