The media is hungry for corporate excess

March 13, 2009

Guess where the paparazzi are training their lenses these days? For those of you who missed it, The New York Times writes that gossip rags have all but abandoned Britney Spears for the thrill of capturing corporate excesses on camera. From the paper:

The tabloid media, of course, have always peered into the excesses of the rich and famous with a mix of puritan disapproval and voyeurism. But these outlets and other news organizations are now recording troubling uses of taxpayer money at country clubs, private airports and glamorous retreats and, in so doing, explicitly tapping into a fierce populist anger at corporate America, and even pressuring Congress to hold companies accountable.

Populist indignation apart, perhaps people also feel a sense of glee when watching or reading about the severe scaling back of corporate budgets that once supported lavish lifestyles. Gawker may have captured the glee best in this biting account of The Wall Street Journal story on Goldman Sachs executives being asked to stay at Embassy Suites rather than the Ritz.

Reporters are often sent to capture nuggets of corporate excess, the more outrageous the better. An affinity for $40 crab legs? Flying to DC in private jets to ask for bailout money? Poolside sales conferences with six-figure tabs? The media loves writing about this stuff almost as much as people enjoy reading it. So if you’ve got any tips, let us know.

Keep an eye on:

  • New AOL CEO Tim Armstrong sees a lot of options for AOL’s future. (All Things Digital)
  • Alibaba seeks partnerships with U.S. companies. (Reuters)
  • Carl Icahn says he doesn’t intend to push for a sale of Lions Gate. (Reuters)

(Photo: Reuters)

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