February 10, 2006

A picture is worth a thousand words (unless you've been cowed into submission by violent illiterates)

You've probably heard about the entire editorial staff of the New York Press walking off the job after an 11th-hour management decision not to publish several cartoons that have stirred up a bit of a hubbub lately. Well, after General Manager Peter Polimino came back from lunch and noticed everybody had gone home, he had somebody type this up for him:


New York Press takes our responsibility to our community as a “Free Press” very seriously. We came to the same conclusion as many other responsible newspapers and media outlets that have chosen to not run the Danish cartoons. We felt the images were not critical for the editorial content to have merit, would not hinder our readers from making an informed opinion and only served to further fan the flame of a volatile situation.

At the risk of being a bit vulgar, what a huge motherfucking crock of camel shit. "We felt the images... would not hinder our readers from making an informed opinion"? First of all, you mean you thought not publishing the images wouldn't hinder the readers from making an informed opinion. (Where'd your editor go, dude? Ha ha, j/k.) So, you mean like an informed opinion about whether the cartoons are a suitable excuse for some rent-a-mobs to burn down embassies? Or whether one of the cartoons was even a cartoon at all? Or maybe an informed opinion about seeing that same "cartoon" in a story about some kind of French hog-calling contest? No, you'll just tell us why this stuff is driving a bunch of idiots apeshit. You'll describe a fuzzy photocopy of, well, it looks like a guy with a beard, and is that a pig nose? "Beard! A man with a beard! Shit, they're right, that must be the prophet himself! And a pig nose! They're saying he's a pig, or perhaps just enjoys the delicious taste of bacon! AAAIIIIEEEEEE!!! ...oh wait, now that I've gone online and looked at it, it's just some harmless Gaul having a laugh. Whoops!"

Jesus H. Mohammed. "[Failing to publish the images at the center of this little debacle] would not hinder our readers from making an informed opinion." It's not like anybody reads the NY Press anyway, but this excuse, no matter how it's worded in whatever ass-covering editorial you read in any newspaper across the country this week, is going to come back to haunt these dummies.

Dear Whole Entire News Industry,

Please watch in horror as your ratings and circulation numbers continue to plummet, and don't forget to throw some more blame at the bloggers who keep picking up your goddamn slack.

G. O'Fuckyourself

P.S. You should at least use this one, guys:


Not only is it the one that closest approaches American standards of humor, but come on: that's just good math.

P.P.S. Click here for all my other awful opinions about this fiasco.

P.P.P.S. As a helpful reader points out, and Steve Silver mentioned the other day, the last time an editor of the NY Press left the building, it wasn't voluntary. The whole thing about the pope, remember? Personally, I didn't think anybody should have lost their job just because Matt "Here, Sean, Try This Red Cup" Taibbi couldn't think of one good joke so he wrote 52 atrocious ones. But it is an interesting sort of compare-and-contrast. Catholics wrote some letters and made some phone calls, a guy nobody really liked anyway had to pack up his desk, and then the Catholics went back to having lots and lots of babies. They didn't threaten to kill anybody, they didn't burn anything down. Hell, maybe they should start? It obviously works.

P.P.P.P.S. Tom Spurgeon, Comics Reporter, has been keeping up with the story.

Posted by Jim Treacher at February 10, 2006 09:49 AM