I couldn't help but notice the widespread use of gratuitous, brand-specific references in your April 3 issue. In a single piece by Ryan Hurley: " Rolling around on bigger Michelins ... clearly hailed from the Winchester school of diplomacy ... Big Wine has stuffed Chesbro's Dockers with more than $24,000." ("#Buhneisback.") Not to be outdone, Grant Scott-Goforth kicks in "Your Twix just got stuck in the machine," (Blogjammin') and, in another article, "the cost of that flat screen at Target." ("Don't Get Caponed.")
Perhaps this is merely the latest cool trick they're teaching young folks at journalismschool.edu. But I have to wonder whether there might be some mutual backscratching, as I hear happens in Hollywood when labeled products just happen to fall in the camera's field of view.
In any case, I felt sufficiently inspired to fire up my ThinkPad and share this observation. (Note to Lenovo accounts payable: I'll send my account and routing numbers in a separate communique per our prior agreement.)
Richard Engel, Arcata