News don't come for free…
France is popping. The early spring sun is flashing its tanline on Australia’s east coast. America hasn’t been overthrown by a pro-Iran/Shark/Dora troika.
Yet. The world turns.
So, I apologise in advance for doing this. But there’s something Ben Marcus said last week I want to examine. A tiny morsel of interest hidden in the OuterKnown of his plucked carcass that could, if it’s cooked the right way, deliver a tender intellectual treat.
BeachGrit’s owned by the WSL.
Yeah, I know.
The guy’s like a Jesuit priest in Tokugawa Japan, preaching his outdated scriptures to a dead-eyed audience. His roots cannot hold in this laissez-faire world.
But this particular conspiracy theory is not the craziest thing he’s ever said. In fact, he could even be right.
WSL could be funding BeachGrit. And we’d all be bit players in a grand false flag attack.
It’d fucken suck if it was true. Wouldn’t pass the pub test, or comments section, for a second.
But, in today’s media landscape it’d be no more surprising than, say, discovering Trump doesn’t write his own speeches.
News don’t come for free, baby.
Of course, BM’s way off the mark. The Wozzle is too scared of its own shadow, too risk averse, to ever consider being associated with this glorious bin fire.
And Derek and Chas strike me as many things, but Machiavellian ain’t one of them.
Yet, we know the Woz froths on a good content partnership. They love to crow about them. Show ‘em off to the world. A big green tick on some god forsaken ‘key engagement strategy pillar’ somewhere within the Santa Monica high tower.
Pay Rolling Stone money. Get positive ‘independent’ media coverage. Watch middle America come flocking.
It’s sponsored content, and everyone’s doing it.
I’ve written before about surfing’s need for a fourth estate. No, we’re not the United Nations. This isn’t life or death stuff, for the most part.
But dissent is important. Critical opinion is needed. Walls of positive noise can only hold so long. The masses are smarter than they’re given credit for, and somebody needs to keep the bastards honest.
So, who pays the bills?
For BeachGrit it’s Cheezstix. Bemboka luxury blankets. Lonely singles in your area. Yeah, those fucking annoying pop-up ads and videos are this site’s lifeblood.
And, for the best surf reporting in the free world, I reckon it’s worth it.
Sure, BG could take the road of TheInertia.
As per their media kit:
Between our website, social, and OTT channels, we’ve built a comprehensive network of surf, mountain, and health enthusiasts whom we talk to every day. We can effectively integrate your brand into our channels to ensure you’re speaking to the right audience wherever they go.
Just check out their sponsors list. Samsung. Corona. WSL. Michelob ultra lite.
What’s it mean? Every word they publish is tainted. And unless you’re a single-use plastic, there’s nary a dissenting opinion to be found.
TheInertia presents itself as an army of woke, environmentally conscious warriors. But its business model is built on the most insidious form or post capitalism out there. Paid editorial. Where church and state are no longer separated, and corporate brands are allowed to infiltrate our lives so completely that we’re no longer just consumers, but unwitting advocates in their pursuits for profit margins.
It’s crass commercialism dressed in whatever political and social trend is popular at the time.
We all make a faustian pact when we come online. Everything’s for sale, including and most especially you.
But at least on BeachGrit we’ll look you in the eyes when we fuck you.
Of course, BM could be right and BG might actually be a WSL apparatchik.
In which case, Mr Logan, I’m a skilled corporate communicator with over a decade’s experience with some of the world’s leading brands.
Please find my resume, buried under the southern lifeguard’s flag at Newcastle beach.