Failure is an Option
Jonathan Last writes that while DC Comics is once again "going to épater the heck out of la bourgeoisie, consequences be damned," this time via a transgendered character (Holy Renée Richards, Batman!), its emphasis on PR stunts means that this component of the giant Time-Warner-CNN-HBO conglomerate is forgetting its chief corporate mission:
And the transgendered Batgirl ”reveal” is just Exhibit #727 of how artistically bankrupt DC comics is right now. They have no stories to tell; only stunts to pull.
Whether or not they understand it, DC’s corporate mission isn’t to get mainstream attention for its publicity stunts–or even to sell comic books. It’s to create characters and stories which can be mined by Warner Bros. for film product. The publisher has, thus far, failed spectacularly at this task. The big question about DC is why their parent company continues to tolerate their failure.
The leftist cliche is that "the suits" inside the boardroom of a globe-girdling mega-corporation are soulless profit-obsessed automatons, but almost entirely for the sake of, as Jonthan wrote, épatering the heck out of la bourgeoisie, Time-Warner-CNN-HBO are really willing to put up with a lot of failure, aren't they? Look at the ratings for their TV networks:
- CNN and MSNBC Shows Debut In Ratings Toilet
- Bill O'Reilly's Reruns More Popular Than HBO's 'Girls'
- 'Game Change' Ratings Bust: Less than Half of 'Sarah Palin's Alaska' Debut
- Cable Ratings: Fox News 6th, MSNBC 29th, CNN 33rd
Now, CNN-international (aka, "the Anti-American Channel," as Roger Ailes once dubbed it in a 2004 C-Span interview with Brian Lamb) is quite profitable, and Warner Brothers films are guaranteed to print money with each Batman movie, but wide swatches of the Time-Warner-CNN-HBO-DC conglomerate certainly do seem geared for substantial fail -- presumably as long as they generate the appropriate épater la bourgeoisie headlines.
In a way, this willingness to accept substantial losses while generating PR "buzz" and shaping the culture war make Time-Warner-CNN-HBO an example of something Dennis Prager once said: “The Left craves power not money, and that makes it much more frightening."