February 22nd, 2008

Merger announced: Gray Lady in red

Just when I was thinking of taking a vow to refrain from bashing the NY Times so often (not because it’s improved—au contraire!—but because it’s getting a bit tedious to have to keep on pointing out its myriad flaws) the paper presents me with an irresistible temptation in its tale of the McCain-lobbyist affair that probably wasn’t, in which the Times takes its already dubious use of the anonymous source to new heights—or perhaps the proper word would be “depths.”

But for those of us who have long mourned the decline of the once-respected NY Times (aka the Gray Lady), help—and hope—is on the way. I have it on the up-and-up (anonymous sources, wouldn’t you know?) that a very special merger has been in the works for some time and has just been completed.

Newspapers are no stranger to mergers; that’s how the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and the Seattle Post-Intelligencer got their names, to name just two prominent examples.

And so now the NY Times has joined their ranks, about to announce a similar merger with another fine media institution that shares—and even surpasses—its own well-known devotion to accuracy, its care with sources, and its concern to publish all the news that’s fit to print. Henceforth the NY Times will be known by its new name, the National New York Times-Enquirer.

The news is so exciting that publisher “Pinch” Sulzberger is punchy with delight at the benefits to be derived. In a scoop from her previously-mentioned anonymous sources at the Times, neo-neocon has received an advance copy of a statement he plans to make in his news conference to announce the merger. Here’s an exclusive excerpt:

The Times is pleased to announce its union with another fine institution, the National Enquirer. For decades the Times, although based in New York, has aspired to be the voice—and the conscience—of the nation. Now we are exceedingly proud to announce we have achieved this goal, and solved our circulation problems as well.

Editor Bill Keller will have this to add:

From the day I became Times executive editor in 2003, it has been my privilege to serve an institution known for its adherence to the highest journalistic standards. But I’m pleased to announce that those standards are about to become even higher, if such a thing be possible.

Ever since losing a libel suit to Carol Burnett in 1961, the reformed Enquirer has been known for its strict devotion to accuracy and its broad scope in bringing us some of the most important stories of our day. After all, it was a leader in publishing some of the more lurid details of the Clinton-Lewinsky affair (no leftist/liberal bias there, as you can see), as well as certain salient points in the OJ story, and although challenged when these facts first came out, the Enquirer was vindicated in the end.

The Enquirer’s history of smearing both sides of the political spectrum equally, as well as its concern for the bottom line, can only help the Times (excuse me, the Times-Enquirer—gotta get used to the new name) to fight the good fight against undeserved accusations of political bias and to raise its sinking circulation. Yes, we can.

I look forward to the new and greatly improved Times-Enquirer, as the Gray Lady morphs into the Red Lady in hopes of becoming the Read Lady. Its theme song:

13 Responses to “Merger announced: Gray Lady in red”

  1. gcotharn Says:

    Just… how to delicately put this… maybe you should recheck your sources vis a vis “merger”. The National Enquirer is a profitable venture. I suspect hostile takeover.

  2. neo-neocon Says:

    gcotharn: No, the Times will give something to the Enquirer, as well. As Katherine Hepburn once said about Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, “He gives her class, she gives him sex appeal.”

  3. SC&A Says:


    Just what the doctor ordered on this dark dreary day.

  4. The New York Times’ Bill Keller…Is he actually Wile E. Coyote? at Amused Cynic Says:

    […] Neo-Neocon reports on the long-anticipated NYT/National Enquirer merger. […]

  5. Gray Says:

    I happened to read a NY Times recently out of curiousity.

    I noticed something odd:

    The number of pictures of downtrodden, starving, lame or wounded minorities on a page is directly proportional to the cost of the jewelry advertised on the page!

    See for yourself!

    That’s when I realized:

    “My God…. This isn’t a newspaper, it’s a cure for white-guilt! You can feel good about living lavishly as long as you feel bad for the people in these photos.”

    In that, the NY Times performes a very real service; its readers are addicted to the good feeling of guilt relief it gives them. It will never die.

  6. driver Says:

    Great comment, Gray,
    As a famous person once said:
    NY Times Headline: “GOD SAYS WORLD TO END TOMORROW—Women and minorities hardest hit.”

  7. Ike Says:


    The first two comments that came to my head were:

    1) The Enquirer will lose respectability, must be a hostile takeover

    – and –

    2) “Enquirer now with lower standards — women and minorities in checkout line hardest hit”

    You people are FAST.

  8. gcotharn Says:

    Ike, this is for you:

    Heh. Good ones!

  9. Cappy Says:

    Can the Enquirer survive the subsequent loss of credibility?

  10. J. Peden Says:

    “My God…. This isn’t a newspaper, it’s a cure for white-guilt! You can feel good about living lavishly as long as you feel bad for the people in these photos.”

    Brilliant, Gray!

    [In fact that made me feel so good, I’m going right out to get something from WalMart.]

  11. Alex Bensky Says:

    Well, I get the Times, but that’s because I like a morning paper and the alternative here in the Detroit Free Press, a gazette for which “relentlessly trivial” overstates its seriousness. Besides, the Times has a good crossword.

    But yes, it’s hard to know why they have a separate “Style” section these days when most of the paper seems to be a style section.

  12. Alex Bensky Says:

    P.S. When mentioning newspaper names created by mergers, how could you have omitted the best example: The Frostbite Falls [MN] Picayune-Intelligence?

  13. Michael Lonie Says:

    Alex, if you want a morning paper why not the Wall Street Journal? They have home delivery now you know.

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Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.

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