A "Consumer's" Open Letter to the News Media

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by Robert Winter

To All the Nice Folks of the News Media:

I can understand how it might sound condescending to you to call me "the ordinary citizen," and I can see how "Everyman" might strike you as, well, too nineteenth-century.

But can’t you find anything better to call me than "the consumer?"

Right off the bat, you’re telling me I’m not a "customer" anymore. I liked being "always right."  Now what options do you offer me?  Even an "informed consumer" is somebody who spends all his time scurrying after detailed little pamphlets on how to buy a bar of soap or a pack of gum right.

There’s also a matter of aesthetics.  "Consumer" isn’t exactly an appealing term.  It sounds more like something you might tack onto the end of an industrial process, to deal with byproducts.  The closest animate comparison I can think of is to those catfish that people put into their aquariums to suck up gook.


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