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The Grey Lady Shrinks

August 14, 2007

The Grey Lady Shrinks

The New York Times, which raised its price by 25 percent in July, from one dollar to $1.25, narrowed its perspective by 12 percent on August 6, when it cut the width of the paper by an inch and a half to 12 inches, according to a brief, apparently truncated story that ended in the middle of a sentence in the NwYrk Times, as the paper now calls itself. The Times also revealed that it would be changing its venerable masthead slogan as well, from “€œAll the News That’s Fit to Print”€ to “€œAll the News That Fits We”€™ll Print.”€

“€œAt a time of rising costs and vanishing advertisers and plummeting readership and expanding waistlines, we had to do someth,”€ said publisher Arthur (“€œ”€œPinched”€) Sulzb, formerly known as Arthur (“€œPinch”€œ) Sulzberger Jr. Sulzb, who claims to have drastically cut his own width as well, shedding 20 pounds of fat, mostly from his head, added, “€œAdmittedly, when it comes time for the Times to funnel fake intelligence provided by anonymous government officials in order to start unnecessary wars in the Middle East, we may have less space to do it in,”€ referring to the fabricated WMD-in-Iraq stories by his close friend Judith Miller that ran prominently on the front page in 2002-03. “€œBut,”€ he continued, “€œfrom now on we”€™”€™re only going to be buying little subcompact wars, which should fit our new format nicely.”€ Sulzb also said that if the Bush administration starts a war with Iran without the paper’s help, the Times would not have any room to oppose it, but it was prepared to cover both the war and the subsequent worldwide economic meltdown and total political chaos in the Sunday “€œStyles”€ section.

In a related move, the Times published a lead editorial calling upon world leaders to agree on a global plan for reducing the amount of bad weather, riots, insurgencies, epidemics, elections, summit meetings, trends, forecasts, stock market plunges and rallies, and alarming new studies about the irreversibly harmful effects of ordinary foods and beverages by 60 percent by the year 2009. It also called for comparable reductions in the number of tediously similar exciting new upcoming neighborhoods and upscale restaurants and Broadway shows, and strict quotas on the number of boring yet newsworthy new fashion designers, artists, dancers, filmmakers, and rich people who have transformed old abandoned canning factories into cute country homes. That would make it possible, the editorial pointed out, for the Times to reduce its width even more, to about five inches, and to switch to thinner, softer paper, so that the daily edition of the paper could then be sold in handy, fluffy rolls around a cardboard cylinder, which would allow it to serve another household purpose aside from providing questionable news, and the price could be increased accordingly.

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