Good, the do-gooder magazine founded by a rich young trust funder in order to raise money for charity, is, of course, a business failure. Because who wants to read that kind of magazine, really? Last time we pointed this out, angry commenters said we should give props to Good founder Ben Goldhirsh for putting his inheritance towards a worthy cause. We do! But that doesn't mean we would pay a nickel for his magazine. Clever riposte: Good is now going the Radiohead route by letting you pay whatever you want for a subscription. Ugh, is there some kind of moral imperative now? All the subscription money goes to a charity, which you can choose. You're definitely a bad person for not subscribing now. But! You can't in fact only pay a nickel; the lowest price offered is $1! Outrageous. But pay $20, and your subscription comes with a year's free admission to Good parties. I've been to one of those and let me tell you my friend, their desserts were mad off the hook. So pay $20, go to the next party with a spare bag, and you have gourmet cookies for a month. Everybody wins. Except the magazine, which will continue its inevitable slide towards bankruptcy (sorry). [via FBNY]
Two years ago, 26-year-old publishing heir Ben Goldhirsh withdrew $2.5 million from his trust fund and exuberantly started Good, which was going to change the world by donating subscription revenues to charity, employing Al Gore's kid and writing all sorts of obnoxiously altruistic stories. Goldhirsh, who threatened to sink another $10 million into the venture over the following five years, was all too easy to mock as a spoiled vanity publisher. And, lo, he still is! Because Goldhirsh is so "stressed out" about actually making any money that he's brought in a grownup to, you know, run his business:
Earlier today, we took note of the lack of women-type people on the masthead of Good magazine. But one reader thought we were barking up the wrong tree. His name is Alexander Hamilton. His letter, in all of its white male privilege-defending glory, confusing politics and sometimes demonstrable untruthfulness, follows.
The new issue of earnest (bordering-on-sanctimonious!) magazine Good has arrived! It's the first anniversary issue, so there's a bit of self-congratulatory back-thumping and tabulations of how much money the magazine and its readers have donated to charity. That part is nice. There's also a charticle, "Girl Power," about global politics that announces, "Half of us are female, but only 10 of our leaders are." Which is funny, because a look at the Good masthead doesn't reveal too many staffers of the female persuasion, either!
When you're covering a well-mannered affair like the Good #2 launch party, there's really not much for the camera to see. Really, how many times can you record the compelling "people talking" scene? Sometimes the only alternative is to make people react to the camera itself, with positive, negative, and indifferent results. Gawker videographer Richard Blakeley thus creates this montage of visible camera sense, set to the heartfelt holiday strains of Wham! for your listening pleasure.
By now you know we have a slight fascination with Good, the magazine started by Inc. heir and man-about-town Ben Goldhirsh and backed by two generations of the Gore dynasty. Word on the street is that hotelier Andre Balazs finds Good to be "inspirational," and this is why he lent his coveted Beaver Bar for their holiday soiree. We sent shutterbug Nikola Tamindzic and Intern Stephanie to the same place where they were stalked by Richard Johnson and Lloyd Grove just two weeks ago. Bore yourself with the full gallery. After the jump, Stephanie gets three cosmos and a complimentary copy of the good-est magazine ever.
Who knew that doing good could also mean doing well? Hot on the heels of our flood-the-zone Good coverage comes word of Benefit, "a new San Francisco-based magazine, which concentrates on local philanthropy and the lifestyle of giving." And they're going to be profitable in "a few months - likely early 2007!" Or at least that's what they claim in this call for interns. Frankly, if the market can support two of these magazines, we don't see why there can't be more. We eagerly anticipate Dennis Publishing's lad mag version, Altruistic Dickhead.
And here's the full-court-press Good experience at last. The philanthropically minded mag venture celebrated its birth last night at Chelsea's Emergency Arts, and Gawker was there, and there. But wherever there is an open bar and tragically vulnerable boldface names, you can surely find Intern in Perpetuity Neel Shah. After the jump, enjoy one of Neel's trademark productions of fearless investigatory reportage, coupled with the cheerfully impolitic photography of Jennifer Snow. You got more Al Gore, more Matthew Modine, and even a few cupsful of Amanda Congdon, plus a gaggle of other well-meaning New York media mandarins.
In part the second of our efforts to flood the zone known as last night's Good magazine launch party, enjoy this more comprehensive clip documenting a little bit of Al Gore boogie, a smidge of Matthew Modine, a wodge of Demetri Martin, and a good bit of "Hey" almost immediately followed by the requisite "Ho." Early party prospects did not look promising, but the abundance of liquor and absence of food soon put the people into the right frame of mind. Munch on this while staying tuned for our full-bore but scrupulously kind party report, wherein we atone for past sins.
So last night was the Good gig. What can one say about a party where attendees included a former vice president of the United States, an iconic figure in the history of hip hop, and Amanda Congdon's boobs? Plenty, and we'll be saying it later today. For now, we'd like to cede the floor to Good founder Ben Goldhirsh, a class act and good (ha ha, get it?) sport. We asked Ben if he had anything to say to Gawker.
• Warner Music has signed a licensing agreement with YouTube; Sumner Redstone immediately rehires Tom Freston to fire him again. [NYT]
• Has Katie Couric settled on a sign-off? Apart from an under-her-breath "Fuck you, Friedman?" [TV Newser]
• There are fewer full-time journalists now than there were a decade ago, mostly because Sewell Chan is doing all of their work. [IU, via JR]
• Dicks at Gawker mock 26-year-old orphan who's just trying to make a difference, damn it. [ETP]
So we finally took a good look at Good, the magazine founded by Inc. heir Ben Goldhirsh in an attempt to do something entrepreneurial with his cash. The magazine starts of with a spread containing the message "America, love it or..." Barely able to hold our anticipation in check, we skipped to the next spread, which continues "...fix it." That's a pretty good approximation of the magazine as a whole: text-light, image heavy, and over-the-top earnest. Even the blow-in cards are ridiculous ("Recycling is GOOD," "Be GOOD, don't litter").
Say hello to Ben Goldhirsh, son of the founder of Inc. magazine. Ben inherited a large chunk of change from his pop with the intention that he do something entrepreneurial. Ben's come up with Good, a magazine for rich kids who've inherited large chunks of change and need help in figuring out how to give it away. (Suggestion: Start a magazine.) Ben and his crew (Al Gore's son is involved) of twelve, all under thirty, "are people who give a damn. We are not do-gooders. We are not soft. We are hungry." Which may be why the magazine will be sold in Whole Foods, among other outlets. But Ben appears to be right. Look at these guys: