What possessed Madison's In Business magazine to prominently feature Red Letter News on a photo collage of area businesses?
The adult bookstore, long regarded as a blight on its east-side Madison neighborhood, appears, along with the Capitol, Oscar Mayer, U.S. Bank, Epic and the Avenue Bar, on the cover of the magazine's new 2009 Book of Lists.
Is porn a growth industry for Madison? Are 24-hour "viewing booths" a way execs unwind after a long day at the office, foreclosing on victims of predatory lenders? Did the magazine think "Adult Entertainment Center" is a place people go to play indoor rugby?
Publisher Jody Glynn Patrick, who acknowledges the cover has drawn "flak," says the art department was asked to put together a snapshot of well-known icons that reflect the diversity of Madison business. And, like good publishers everywhere, she's backing her staff.
"I'm not going to make a high moral argument for this," says Patrick, who admits Red Letter News is more prominent than she realized it would be. (The collage is a two-page spread folded in half, with the porn store on the cover side.) But she suggests business diversity is a meaningless concept if it includes only businesses everyone likes.
Good point, that.