When Mr. Burns is erroneously reported dead, the media reports what they truly felt about him. To prevent such a negative portrayal of his person Burns buys all the media outlets in Springfield in an attempt to control opinion.
Springfield holds a ceremony dedicating their newest national park, Geezer Rock, a rock formation which resembles a face in profile. As Lisa prepares to read a poem there, Homer notices that there is a small tree growing in the eye of the rock, and pulls it out, believing he is doing the right thing. Unfortunately, this causes Geezer Rock to fall apart, and everyone runs for their lives—except for Mr. Burns, who winds up in a landslide. Smithers fears he has lost Mr. Burns.
Lisa is sad that no one ever heard her poem, and she publishes it on Marge's suggestion. Meanwhile, it turns out that Burns survived the horrible landslide—through slithering his way out—he watches the news and Kent Brockman speaks fondly of someone who has passed on but is shocked when it turns out Kent was talking about Geezer Rock, and horrified when he finds out everyone is happy he's dead. To improve his image, he decides to acquire every media outlet in Springfield.
Lisa distributes the very first issue of her newspaper, The Red Dress Press, which is well received. She enlists the help of Bart, Milhouse, and Nelson, among others, to publish her newspaper's second issue.
Burns acquires all media outlets in Springfield except Lisa's newspaper. His views are even promoted on Itchy & Scratchy (which he now writes and directs, and it is terrible). Lisa is saddened that all the others left her, but is relieved when Bart decides to stay and help Lisa publish more issues. Later, Burns tries to bait Lisa with ponies in an attempt to acquire her newspaper, but she will not give up. Burns gets back at Lisa by cutting off the Simpsons' power. Lisa writes her next issue through an old mimeograph Principal Skinner had used in Vietnam. Mr. Burns has a talk with Homer (and even drugs him) so he can dish some dirt on Lisa. Lisa writes her final "I Give Up" edition and gives up, but Homer responds by creating his own newspaper, and other people also create their own newspapers to help her.
Burns ultimately decides that acquiring all media outlets is not so great, so rather than conceding defeat (in which he hates), he goes out on a shopping spree with Smithers.
Behind the Laughter
Postcard image, thing to see.
To think of Springfield is to think of thee.
What thoughts be-pass a'hind thy mien?
Why sky art blue? Why trees art green?
And what, pray tell, did thine eyes see?
Perchance, old friend, they gazed at me.
Brought low by nature's oafish hand,
thy crush-ed our reviewing stand.
And twixt thy stones glimpsed I the truth.
All things must pass. Thy face, my youth.