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Because not everyone has the gift of plumb…

i am not really joe

Yeah, it’s not nearly as euphonious as the original. But I felt left out. Finally, populist sloganeering for artards and gay guys!

Happy Friday, everyone! Feel free to continue talking about the economy or fragging zombie vampire kittehs, or whatever we were talking about…

October 24, 2008 — 5:04 pm
Comments: 46


Ohhhhhh. Ohhhhhh, yeah. That’s the schadenfreude. The New York Times is bleeding so hard, Standard & Poor cut them down to junk bond status yesterday. (You can play with the graphs yourself here. Slu was on this one, too).

I’ve been savoring this situation since I read this NewsBusters post from P.J. Gladnick a few weeks ago. It’s sweeter than it looks. It’s sweeter than Scott Tenorman‘s tears. Much as we’d all like to think the Times is dying due to egregious liberal bias, that’s only a part of the dynamic. Behold — Clusterfuck, the Bullet List:

■The Ochs/Sulzberger family is in its fifth generation. Twenty-seven people hold the controlling interest and live off the proceeds of the Times.

■’Pinch’ Sulzberger, editor and heir, has made many grievously bad business decisions. Good old-fashioned bad business decisions, like real estate and investments. This is a horrible time for print media anyway, so his incompetence is just a big fat cherry on top of the shit sundae.

■To keep the family happy, Sulzberger has been raising the dividend paid to family members even as profits have slid.

BAM. Junk bonds. Now he’s sinking in debt and he can’t raise money. But he can’t lower the dividend or all hell will break loose.

Why is this so very, very tasty? Because the Ochs/Sulzberger family has a collective terminal case of WeAreSoVeryFuckingImportant-itis and it’s totally funded by the Times.

dave golden, NYT trustafarian

“Sulzberger has said that his clan starts going to family meetings when they’re 10 years old and by 15 they understand their roles as caretakers of the New York Times. There’s also a one-day orientation session for kids turning 18 or 21—or people marrying into the family—to learn about the legacy of the Ochs-Sulzbergers.”


“Younger members of the family are also inculcated in the beliefs of the Sulzbergers on private annual retreats to places like Hawaii. One Timesman compares the indoctrination to Skull and Bones, but it seems more the stuff of summer camp. They sing songs together like “We Are Family” and keep abreast of each other’s lives through a newsletter called The Lookout.”

What have these golden people done with their subsidized lives? Zoo keeping. Novel writing. Protecting lighthouses and the rights of native Americans. Folk music. Folk music.

Dave Golden couldn’t stay at the paper mill forever. It was too tied to the family business, too laden with expectations. So he set off to find himself “in the tango halls of Argentina, on the snow-covered Berkshire border of Vermont and Massachusetts, in the halls of Oxford, in the jungles of Guatemala and even in Asia on a Fulbright,” according to his Website. In the Berkshires, he studied mountain music, and in 2004, the 26-year-old released a well-received folk record, with songs drawing from life experiences, as in “All I Never Wanted”: “I coulda been a CEO, they told me / If I could just stop holdin’ on to this ol’ dream.”

Oh. OH. My violence gland is throbbing like a buffalo-skin tom-tom from a native drum circle of the Great Plains. I suppose it’s too much to hope that individual branches of the family have been so incompetent that they will be left with nothing when the Times goes under. I doubt any of them will have to get a real job or anything. They’ll probably even walk away with a tidy sum after the fire sale.

But it’s going to hurt. And on that happy day, I want you to stop, think of this grinning douchenozzle with his frayed straw hat and his ol’ dream and share a warm schadenfreudean virtual hug with me. Sometimes, it is good to be a weasel.

— 10:09 am
Comments: 96