Monday, April 10, 2006

Keep Those Page One Ads Coming In the Des Moines Register. Anything That's Good for the Hospitals, Doctors, Nurses and the Paper Is Good for Me

Hey, look, if you think I'm going to be critical of the Des Moines Register for all those Page One ads that have been running the last couple of days, forget it.

I know I might have sounded somewhat negative a week or so ago when I mentioned all the advertising that was about to be carried on the front of various sections in the paper.

But after closer inspection yesterday and today, I see absolutely nothing wrong with the decisions publisher Mary Stier has made to create a pleasant relationship between the advertising department, the newsroom and the reader.

I mean, if you for one second believe that I'm going to say something nasty about the Iowa Methodist Medical Center/John Stoddard Cancer Center ad that stretched across the bottom of Section A -- you have no idea about the close ties I have to Iowa Methodist, Iowa Lutheran and Blank Children's Hospitals.

I spent 12 days in Iowa Methodist a few years ago. It took three or four CAT scans and some lung surgery, but a doctor finally cured my pneumonia.

My 94-year-old mother was in the emergency room at Iowa Lutheran a while back, and came out as good as new.

Then there's my granddaughter, Megan. The awful leukemia she had sent her to Blank a few years ago, but the great doctors and nurses there have had her in remission a long, long time now.

We call it a miracle.

So anytime Methodist, Lutheran and Blank want to advertise on Page One of the paper, I'm all for it.

Mercy Hospital, too. I also know a lot about that place.

I joke that I've spent so much time there that they're thinking about naming a room after me.

A guy I know pretty well had a cancer scare a few years ago, but a great doctor and a great nurse at Mercy told him a scare was all it was. Another miracle.

The guy now tells me Mercy can advertise anytime it wants, on any page of the paper.

Maybe I've been hanging around in the wrong places the last couple of days. Heck, I haven't heard one person say anything nasty about the paper for putting ads on the front of the sections.

My pastor didn't say anything about it yesterday. Of course, he had more important things to deal with than newspaper ads. Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter are coming, of course, so advertising is the last thing on his mind.

Besides, the last time I checked, the pastor didn't subscribe to the paper.

Maybe I'll buy him a subscription.

The sports section had a big front-page ad for Karl Chevrolet yesterday and Iowa Lumber & Construction today.

Not a darn thing wrong with Chevies. The only new car my dad ever owned was a '37 Chevy two-door. It ran most of the time. Even had a three-speed manual transmisison, radio and heater.

I've had four Chevies, and all of 'em got me where I wanted to go.

There's certainly nothing wrong with a lumber ad. We all need lumber to build things. Iowa Lumber & Construction sounds like a great place to me. Building a better Iowa, so to speak.

Hey, we're all in this together. If those ads help the paper make its payroll this month and do something for the pension plan, that's great.

Meanwhile, I'm going to try to stay out of the hospital today.

To illustrate how strongly I feel about all of this, I'm giving Iowa Methodist, Iowa Lutheran, Blank and Mercy free ads with this column, and I'm doing the same for the paper.

That's a photo of the Register building on the right. I use a shot of the paper's logo a lot, and I'm doing it again today.

I'm feeling so good, I may even buy lunch.