Would the Daily Planet Survive in Today's Environment?

Larry E Lambert

The demise of the newspaper industry is well chronicled. A number of reasons are cited as causes for the demise of the printed page, but let's take a look at one potential problem. We home in on the fictional Daily Planet and take a look at one potential factor in the decline of newspapers.

The already beleaguered newspaper industry took another hit with the shutting down of another formerly high-profile paper. The Daily Planet announced it was ceasing publication immediately. Prior to shutting down the Daily Planet was the Three Times a Week Planet and then the Weekly Planet. The final nail in the Planet’s coffin was when the paper missed the unveiling of Superman’s identity.

Despite the fact that Superman worked at the Planet for years, “ace” reporter and Superman’s girlfriend, Lois Lane, was unable to ascertain that Clark Kent was Superman. Instead, Superman’s true identity came to light in a high school kid’s blog. When asked how he was able to establish that Clark Kent was Superman the young man explained, “Duh, isn’t it obvious?”

Missed opportunities

Lois Lane, when pressed on her failure to put two and two together, explained, “Those glasses were pretty thick.” In addition to a lame disguise, Daily Planet reporters missed other clues.

On one occasion, soon after Ms. Lane and 35-year-old “cub” reporter, Jimmy Olsen, had been rescued by Superman for the 37th time, the two intrepid then Daily Planet reporters were visiting Clark Kent at his apartment. There they failed to follow-up on an obvious clue as to Superman’s identity. Ms. Lane explains:

“Jimmy and I noticed some crumpled tights and cape in a corner but didn’t want to say anything about it. After all, Clark is entitled to his personal life. Jimmy and I just thought Clark had a flamboyant side.”

An honest assessment

Daily Planet editor, Perry White, was less than understanding about the missed opportunity stating, “Those clowns, Lane and Olsen couldn’t find their own butts with two hands. Lois Lane is pulling down top money for a newspaper reporter, nearly $20,000 a year, and she misses that opportunity. As for Jimmy Olsen, he can now concentrate on giving live updates from his mother’s basement.”

Troubling questions

The revelation that Clark Kent is Superman may also have shed some light on some of Kent’s editorial views. In retrospect, Kent’s liberal views on immigration may have been influenced by the fact he wasn’t born in the United States.

The demise of the Daily Planet highlights the difficulties newspapers face. If Superman can’t keep a newspaper afloat, who can?

What now?

The key players from the Daily Planet are now going their separate ways. As mentioned before, Jimmy Olsen is hunkered down in his mother’s basement waiting for his next opportunity. Perry White is retiring and plans to write the occasional article for AARP. Clark Kent/Superman is getting into mobile advertising. As for Lois Lane, she’s concentrating on her new relationship with billionaire playboy, Bruce Wayne. Said Ms. Lane of the relationship, “After being with Clark Kent, I’m ready for a relationship with no surprises.”

If history is any indicator, if Mr. Wayne has any secrets, they’re safe with Lois Lane.

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You probably don't know my name, but you've likely seen or heard my work. I've written for various syndicated cartoonists and TV standups. My gags have appeared in such publications as The Wall Street Journal, Better Homes and Gardens, Barron's, Parade Magazine, and the Saturday Evening Post. The comedians I've sold to include Jay Leno for the Tonight Show. In addition, I've written for radio stations and ad agencies. I hope you enjoy my work.

Largo, FL

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