EDITORIAL: Prized Magazine ‘Newsweek’ Acquired For $1; Publishing Continues To Bleed — Even As Autosurf Cheerleaders Say They Have The Answer To Lagging Ad Sales

The Associated Press reported yesterday that the Washington Post sold Newsweek magazine — an American treasure — for $1. The Post also absorbed $10 million in debt for Newsweek, which lost nearly $30 million last year.

How much is $30 million? Well, it’s about $1.6 million less than AdSurfDaily President Andy Bowdoin had in a single bank account from his alleged “advertising” Ponzi scheme. It’s also less than one-half the total sum ($65.8 million) the U.S. Secret Service seized from 10 Bowdoin bank accounts.

This is painful to watch on a couple of levels: First, American publishing companies continue to bleed profusely, leading to a situation in which American treasures are being sold for $1 and skilled administrative, management, editorial, production, sales and advertising professionals are losing their jobs or working for far less money.

Second, problems in the U.S. economy in general are providing a launching ground for hucksters who would have you believe that Newsweek, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer and many other cherished publications could have saved themselves a lot of heartache by turning to the “autosurf” business model.

In the autosurf business model as practiced by ASD, a company such as Microsoft that perhaps had relied on Newsweek  to advertise in print could have paid ASD $1 million to advertise online. ASD would have placed Microsoft’s ad in its magical advertising rotator. From that $1 million, Microsoft would have “earned” $10,000 a day more or less for the next 125 days, thus not only “earning” back the full $1 million, but also fetching a “profit” in the neighborhood of $250,000 on top of it.

And Microsoft also would have sold a bunch of software by advertising on ASD, which purported to have a “captive” audience consisting of advertisers it was paying to view the ads of their fellow ASD advertisers. With Microsoft as a theoretical ASD advertiser, it could have boosted its bottom line by watching ads from a theoretical Apple, for example. The “rebates” Microsoft earned — coupled with the profits from the sale of software products displayed in ASD’s rotator — would have made both Microsoft and America happy, according to ASD’s devoted flock of commission-based, MLM salespeople.

ASD, its fans said, had the perfect solution: Microsoft would have been paid more money than it spent, meaning it would have emerged in a better cash position within 125 days of doing business with ASD.  The ASD salesperson who recruited Microsoft also would have been paid — $100,000 for the $1 million sale alone. ASD would have made money. The U.S. economy would have continued to gain steam.

Except it was not perfect, of course. In fact, is was all a colossal lie, according to the U.S. Secret Service, which accused ASD in August 2008 of operating a massive Ponzi scheme. Any money that ASD advertisers received from ASD came from other advertisers.

So, it is plain to see that ASD was not a good deal for “advertisers” — theoretical or otherwise. ASD could have killed off Microsoft had its management been uninformed enough or desperate enough to trust a single word ASD ever said. Horror of horrors: Why would Microsoft want to limit its ASD ad spend to $1 million? Why not $10 million or $100 million — or more? Why not plow its “profits” right back into ASD, which advertised dramatically higher profits than, say, Bernard Madoff?

After ASD killed off Microsoft, it would have killed off that MLM salesperson, the one who was paid $100,000 for Microsoft’s $1 million in business while Microsoft itself was paid $1.25 million more or less.

Indeed, like Microsoft, the ASD MLM salesperson pitching ASD’s cancer would have had to return the “profit” he was paid from the proceeds of a criminal enterprise, even if it meant selling his home to raise the cash.

But how to sell a home in this economic environment — you know, with all the foreclosures and such, all the bank failures and such — and all of the falling prices of real estate and such because of all the foreclosures and such?

Want to add an extra layer to the ASD madness? Some ASD promoters who declared themselves committed, free-market Capitalists insisted that companies such as Microsoft would not be interested in profits, that they’d be happy enough just to display their ads and not get paid.

The corporate benevolence of companies such as Microsoft would have resulted in ASD profits that were redistributed to smaller companies and Mom-and-Pop advertisers, thus creating wealth across the social spectrum. Some of the very same Capitalists who made these claims later complained about what they described as the Socialist redistribution schemes of the U.S. government.

It also seemed not to occur to the autosurfing Capitalists who were rooting for a Socialist redistribution scheme — a scheme whereby big companies such as Microsoft would finance the profits of smaller players — that companies such as Microsoft could have started an autosurf at any time they wanted and crushed ASD like a bug.

It’s a pretty safe bet that Microsoft, unlike ASD, could have kept its autosurfing site from going offine and could have produced a site that didn’t look as though it had been assembled by amateurs using a script kit. Meanwhile, it’s also a pretty safe bet that Microsoft wouldn’t have been looking for ways, say, to peel off cash to put Bill Gates in a new Lincoln or a relative of Bill Gates in a sporty, new Honda.

Along those lines, it’s also a pretty safe bet that Microsoft would not have been seeking ways, say, to route millions of dollars offshore so it could be retrieved later by “management” who suddenly found themselves cash poor and without a country.

Ay, just another day in Ponzi America, a country that has more than a few people who believe the business cure for what ails America is an ASD-like scheme that runs 24/7/365. You can read all about such schemes on the Ponzi boards — and you can induce people into the schemes and get paid a commission, which you can deposit into your FDIC-insured bank.

Newsweek, like the Post Intelligencer, didn’t go the autosurf route, despite the fact it could have done exactly what ASD did: Lied to its advertisers by telling them that NewsweekDailyProSurf.com was the cure for all their ills, a cure that would have returned 125 percent more or less in 125 days more or less.

No, Newsweek sold itself for $1 in a bid to save itself. We wish this American treasure the best as it seeks to retool.

Finally, did you hear that the affiliate braintrust pitching the purported MPB Today “grocery” program on the ASA Monitor Ponzi and criminals’ forum is promoting an MPB Today “rebate” program?

Read the AP story on the sale of Newsweek for $1.

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