Monday, December 11, 2006

Truth In Advertising?

Philadelphia has a reputation for -- some would say a tradition of -- rampant municipal corruption. Perhaps it is a bit unfair, but these ideas don't materialize out of thin air, and after all, just to pick a recent example, the mayor's brother (himself a notorious former state legislator) was recently indicted on fraud and corruption charges related to his no-bid contract at the local airport.

Anyway, none of this is exactly new. I learned a lot about this stuff when I worked for these guys. F'r instance, in 1904, a muckraking journalist named Lincoln Steffens wrote a popular series of articles on corruption in most of the major cities in America. His article about Philadelphia famously called it "corrupt and contented." Ouch.

And so it was that I noticed this advertisement in the hotel we stayed in during our recent family trip to Sodom on the Schuylkill:

Is it a typo? Do they mean "Kick back (i.e., relax) with friends"? Or are they trying to market their lounge as the place to bribe local politicians during happy hour? It wouldn't be a bad business plan.

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