- An attempt to bring 'Colorado common sense' in Congress from Senator Michael Bennet
- A call for stories of Vail's ghosts and haunted houses
- Was it an alien ship, a UFO, or God who evaporated Air France flight 447?
- Part II: Large Hadron Collider will likely spell end to String Theory
- Part I: Don't expect CERN's Large Hadron Collider to reveal new dimensions of space and time
- Report: Hasan's moderate views catch conservative confab off-guard in D.C.
- The presidential politics of skiing: Did snow sports get the right guy?
- Happy New Year … but wait a second: scientists turn back time in 2008
- Happy trails to the valley's greatest weekly paper: The Vail Trail
- All Real Rhetoric Articles
April 22, 2009 — OK, I’ve been purposefully withholding comment because the whole episode is so damned amusing, but I finally have to weigh in on the Vail Daily vs. Vail Mountaineer Starbucks-gate scenario.
The details don’t really matter, but here’s a quick encapsulation because the Luddite Mountaineer, Vail’s nearly one-year-old addition to the local media scene, doesn’t believe in the Internet and therefore unless you live here you haven’t been able to keep up:
Apparently the Vail Daily -- I suspect color-blind VD ad rep Mark Bricklin, whom I worked with at the Daily Trail last time we had a full-blown newspaper war – struck a deal with the three local Starbucks stores to provide either free or deeply discounted ads in exchange for exclusive distribution in the stores.
This irked the Mountaineer to the point of writing nearly daily updates on the front page accusing the VD of all sorts of bad acts, which mostly boil down to hard-nosed, competitive sales, marketing and distribution tactics. Rather than striking a similar deal with other local coffee shops, the VM bitched like Chris Paul claiming he got worked over by the defense-deprived Denver Nuggets.
Which leads me to my point, although admittedly it’s a direct rip-off of Amy Poehler and Seth Myers on SNL’s Weekend Update: “Really?”
Really, the only news the crack staff at the VM could come up with for the front page the last few weeks was that their papers are being tossed out of Starbucks? There’s no government corruption, corporate malfeasance, human tragedy or environmental degradation going on that warrants that slot on your front page? Are you a newspaper, or a newsletter on the self interests of your publisher and your staff?
Yes, we had our moments of childish behavior at the Daily Trail – most notably our war of words over whether the Who or Roger Daltrey solo would be playing the grand opening ceremony for Blue Sky Basin (I still think we were originally right). But we buried such tirades deep within our 20 or sometimes 24 pages. Maybe that’s why the paper only lasted two and a half years.
But if that’s what it takes to win a newspaper war, who really wins? The publishers and their bank accounts or the readers thirsty for real news and the journalists struggling from check to check to deliver it to them?
It all makes me glad I’ve been relegated to the Web, where only the whole world can read my rants. And this “letter” writer who e-mailed us on the topic said it much better anyway:
An open letter to the Vail Mountaineer:
I am writing to share my disgust with such childish behavior in your personal battle against Starbucks. First, you claim to be a newspaper. Well then, shouldn’t you be reporting the news?
I can’t believe that almost every day for the past three weeks the only story in your newspaper in the entire valley is that there isn’t room for your publication inside the Starbucks. That for two days in a row last week the crisis we should all be concerned with is the fact that someone moved your “paper” from inside a store. Who really cares?
Second, this vendetta you have against Starbucks is ridiculous to say the least. As a regular at these stores I am sick of seeing the way your staff treats the employees and the delivery staff of the Daily. Verbal assaults and bad attitudes are a daily occurrence. It’s no wonder that Starbucks has asked you to not leave your “paper” lying around their stores.
I wonder what type of compromise you have offered to Starbucks to make your paper available. It seems to me that they didn’t just kick you out of the stores. I know from reading your articles that they offered you to put the papers in their newspaper recycling bin.
Instead of honoring this agreement, your staff continued to put the papers anywhere in the stores they wanted. I am sure if you offered to purchase a new or additional distributing rack, Starbucks would compromise with you.
Now, in order to get my coffee I have to be harassed on my way in and out of Starbucks. Your paper is available at all of three of these Starbuck locations right outside in a box. If people want to read it, they know where to find it, please let me get my coffee in peace!
In your constant attacks against the Vail Daily, you claim that you are a local company trying to support locals. I am aware that Starbucks is a major corporation, but the attack you have launched is only affecting three local Starbucks stores. There are 39 local employees that work in these stores, who depend on their jobs.
You are now asking people to boycott these stores at the cost of their neighbor’s jobs, while patting yourself on the back for creating three part-time, short-term jobs. Are you oblivious to the fact that the employees at these stores are not your enemy? In fact, they are locals of this valley just like you are and, in need of their jobs just as much as anyone else?
In addition to you begging fellow locals to assist you in helping these 39 friendly, hardworking people lose their jobs, you are causing them to be verbally assaulted. Because of your smear campaign I have watched your ignorant readers say unbelievably horrible things to these innocent employees.
I wonder when all is said and done what do you really hope to accomplish? If Starbucks and the Mountaineer are able to come to a compromise, what then? Will you continue to force other local companies into submission, or will the amazing people of the great valley join together and boycott you?
6 Comments on "Vail Mountaineer vs. Vail Daily Starbucks-gate: no wonder newspapers are dying"