Whoa, whoa, whoa. Hey, Detroit News? Stop. Just stop. This list? Let's stop right here. No more. I'm not here for who you think are the 50 hottest WAGs and, based on the comments, neither are the rest of your readers.
I get it. It's a competitive media landscape. I get that up until a few years ago, it was just the News and the Freep. But now you've got MLive and Deadline and Curbed and HuffPo and Muckraker and Patch all up in your neighborhood, and they're walking big traffic dogs and they're pissing all over your pageview garden. You're old Lyon Township. I get that.
I get that times are tough and now the building's for sale — the same building you had allllll to yourself before those pesky Freepsters moved in — and I get that half the staff that was there when I interned there in 2005 are gone. It's cool, because we're all making do with less around here.
I get that, once upon a time, you had Charlie LeDuff pounding the pavement getting the kinds of stories no one else was getting. But then he jumped over to Fox 2 and filling the "quirky hard-edged gumshoe shit-stirrer" position has been tough. It's fine, because someone like Charlie won't come cheap and again, we have to make do with less.
I get that the JOA is up in, whoa, two years now? And that there's a bit of uncertainty on both sides of the wall, what with both MediaNews and Gannett switching things up, down and all around. I get it.
But you're doing so well and have always done well. Francis Donnelly's folksy tales from around the Mitten? We love that! Uncovering Snyder's secret plan to screw around with public education? Gold! Pulitzer, even. Let's do more of this.
But a countdown, click-through list of most beautiful wives and girlfriends of athletes? NO. Really? It shouldn't have come to this. I get that Buzzfeed is popular because they have lists and Complex always does clicky slideshow shit like this, but they have that lane. Don't merge into that lane. It's their lane. And frankly, it works for them.
I can see the satire and half-sarcasm in the text of this post. There's even a Twitter link that takes me to @SidelineSatire — hey, look at that! But I can also feel the tinges of desperation. Like, I can feel the person who wrote this tried to cover up the obvious intent — clicks — with satire, but the motive is still visible anyway. No. No. No. You don't have to do this, DetNews! You're doing just fine.
Relax. Take a deep breath. Release. Now, we can forget this ever happened and never ever do a list like this again (and I do realize that by linking to it I'm inflating your numbers, albeit it's not genuine), or we can keep going down this endless walk of shame. It's your choice.
And just to bring it all home, back when I was just a lowly intern at the News, I had an editor tell me that if you feel even the tiniest pang that something's wrong, raise the red flag. I feel like something's wrong. I'm waving. No more WAG lists, please?