Chapter 6: A Social and Political Model for the Gambling Industry
INTRODUCTION The Mod Squad met at Bert’s every Wednesday, or Friday, or Tuesday, or whenever. They needed each other the way people in support groups do: between them there were no illusions. They could count on each other. They called themselves the Mod Squad (‘Merchants of Death’) Since they consisted of the chief spokespeople for the tobacco, alcohol, and firearms industries, it seemed fit. They might as well call themselves that since it was surely the name the press would give them if they ever got wind of their little circle. Thank You for Smoking, p. 18 The protagonists in Christopher Buckley’s hilarious Thank You for Smoking seemed to face the ultimate challenge in defending their corporations from endless public scrutiny. Defending the tobacco, alcohol and firearms industries would seem to be a thankless and fruitless task. ‘Paying the Mortgage’ was the rationale that the Mod Squad used to justify their task. Yet while the problems facing the Mod Squad and their respective industries are particularly difficult, they are hardly unique. Certainly, spokespersons for the gambling/gaming industries face almost as intense public scrutiny. The onslaughts to the reputation of their corporate images are nearly as devastating as those faced by these Merchants of Death. Perhaps a new association should be formed, namely MOCE (Most Oppressed Corporation Ever), where industries could vie with one another for having the most difficult public relations. There is little doubt that Charlton Heston would make the ideal keynote speaker for MOCE’s first annual dinner and...
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