Monday, February 05, 2007

New York Times Columns of Cartoonish Idiocy, Perhaps Reflecting Toll Of Financial Mismanagement And Upper West Side Isolation

It's really spectacular how bad some BDS cases are. Take Stuart Elliott of the New York really, please take him and wrap his head securely in tinfoil and manage his psychoactive meds better because whoever his therapist is s/he is not doing a very good job.

In an analysis of the Super Bowl Commercials to divine the zeitgeist, he finds high levels of violence and decides that, although no overtly patriotic commercials aired this year, "the ongoing war seemed to linger just below the surface of many of this year’s commercials." To support this he lists examples of slapping, being hit in the head with a rock during a rock, paper, scissors game and a Garmin ad that is an homage to the 1960s-era Ultraman (complete with Garmin GPS as the Beta Capsule that allows the defeat of the Map Monster), which Elliott would know were he as culturally-relevant as he believes himself to be. An example:

Elliott projects his own anti-war feelings and longing for the last four years not to have happened onto the few ads that use the gimmick of awaking from a bad dream, the best of which was the "GM Robot" ad. His worst bit of projection he reserves for Prudential, who's been advertising as long as I've been alive and has stuck with the same tagline, "Get a Piece of The Rock" for, oh, ever -- Elliott assumes the Prudential is subliminally saying "Get a Piece of Iraq".

Following this line of illogic (hey, it's fun, and besides, Elliott started it), the cartoonish violence inherent in Jackass laid the groundwork for Operation Iraqi Freedom and the invasion of Afghanistan. Prudential is an obvious funder and fomenter of anti-Iraqi feelings, they've been telling us to "Get A Piece Of Iraq" for years, worming the message into our consciousness the entire time. It's all there if you want to see it, duude...The Man has been using SuperBowl Ads and MTV to push us to war forever! Cartoonish violence comes from cartoons -- from the Warner Brothers brothers cartoons and Hollywood and the neo-con Jewish elements in the Entertainment Industry! Fred Flintstone has a five-o'clock shadow and is primitive, it's not a cartoon version of The Honeymooners, it's been a tool all along to make us dislike dark-haired hirsute men! This is all planned, MAAAAN! DONTCHA SEE!

Just a few days prior to publishing Elliott's exercise in projection, embedded NYT reporters in Iraq and their US-based editors published on the Internet (and in print form in their January 29th edition) video and photographs of the mortally-wounded Staff Sergeant Hector Leija, without his consent. This violates a clearly-defined policy and responsibility of embedded reporters, to the point where the Commander of MNC-I, Lt. General Raymond Odierno, booted the reporter and photographer out of SSG Leija's unit and they're probably on rather thin ice about staying in-country to report at all. Perhaps it might occur to the stockholders of the New York Times, if not the Sulzburger family or the editors or reporters, that it's this kind of idiotic venting of the spleen and disregard of journalistic standards that has led to the NYT becoming a financial disaster.

If there really is all this anti-war sentiment in the nation, it would seem that the nation's "Newspaper of Record" hurling red meat for the anti-war and anti-Bush crowd should be reaping some benefits, right? Increased circulation, higher valuation of the company? As it turns out the answer is "not so much". In the New York Times Company's latest financial statement, NYTC was forced to write down the value of two papers it purchased, the Boston Globe and the Worchester Telegram & Gazette, by $814 millon, two assets they paid $1.4 billion for in 1993. If the Sulzberger family (which owns a controlling interest in the NYTC through its control of a minority of shares with super-voting priviliges) told scion and NYT publisher Arthur Sulzberger to spend to money on cocaine and women of loose morals, he couldn't have possibly lost that much money. The Sulzberger family has done such a poor job of running the company and strategic decision making that a Morgan Stanley investment manager challenged their operation of the company, leading the Ochs-Sulzberger family to pull their assets out of Morgan Stanley, a typical Times-ish, take-my-ball-and-go-home reply to criticism. I'm sure their stockholders, the ones that vote in the company like the peons they are under a hierarchical corporate governance structure, are willing to accept a 50% loss over the last two years in return for the Sulzberger family's enlightened editorial guardianship. Hey, they're Doing The Right Thing, it's not like The New York Times Corporation is a business or anything.

Now, in fairness, not all of the NYT's problems are the result of its anti-war, anti-Bush stance. In fact, the problem is the company's late grasp of the fact that newspapers are an increasingly irrelevant means of disseminating news. The people who are cleaning up on advertising, relatively speaking, are the Googles and Yahoos of the world. The NYT does have an online presence -- and they made the brilliant move last year of putting most of that material behind a pay-site barrier, because, you know, it worked so well for I guess there is an upside, when the Times decides to publish the secret inner workings of US government anti-terror plans, it means that terrorists will have to pony up for a NYT premium online subscription.

So basically, thanks Mr. Elliott for revealing the secret backmasked pro-war leanings of, Anheuser-Busch and Prudential. Good job! Lean over here and let me smack you in the face to demonstrate how impressed I am with your insight.

Oh, and if I were you, given your boss' ability to lose money, I'd write down that address. You never know.

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