John O'Connor, editorial director, McKnight's Long-Term Care News

A wise editor once told me successful magazines need to target two basic human emotions: fear and greed.

Over the years, that advice has proven remarkably resilient. And it’s a pretty rare day we don’t run an item that relates to one — or both — of those motivators.

From possible funding cuts to new business opportunities, we do a pretty good job of providing a cornucopia of angst-inducing content.

But an occasional story will break the rules. And in its aftermath, we so-called media experts are left to wonder if we really have a clue.

For it turns out that one of our best-read pieces of the last week is not about Medicare funding, Medicaid rules, activities of daily living or anything of that ilk.

Instead, it’s about a guy who dressed up like a clown and tried to rob a West Virginia nursing home. I swear I am not making this up.

OK, maybe it can be argued that armed robbery appeals to fear. But do you really think this failed heist is likely to inspire other copycats?

Look, we all have guilty pleasures. But who would have guessed that long-term care operators secretly pine for more information about gun-toting clowns?

Maybe you and your colleagues just wanted something a bit different from the usual. Or maybe you needed reassurance that all the clowns trying to rip off nursing homes are not in Washington.

Regardless, I’ve learned my lesson. It’s clear we need to write less about policy developments, regulatory shifts and other marketplace trends. Instead, we need to pay more attention to the truly bizarre.

So I hate to cut this short, but I’ve got to cover some breaking news. Apparently a guy in Texas was just arrested for riding his unicycle in the nude. With a little luck, he might have been headed to or from a nursing home and this might just be our most popular story ever!