Channeling Rob Long in Seattle

MEMORANDUM

TO: The Like Minded
FROM: NYT Management and  Key Stakeholders in Various Organizations of Significance
RE: The ’09 Agenda

Dear Progressives:

Congratulations on Job #1. Everyone pulled together on this and the results show.

It’s time to transition to memes that will have appropriate impact over the next 4 years. The following have been deemed to be of key importance:

Restore Credibility

In our enthusiasm to cover the historic story we may have overreached occasionally. This is a good time to remind ourselves that as the newspaper of record, working with Key Stakeholders in Various Organizations of Significance, we have an obligation to set our strongly held bias aside and be seen as objective. The timing is good here, as this will like have little impact on Job #1. Again, congratulations.

Back Peddle

It was a historic time. An uplifting time. Almost a spiritual time. We feel it. We know you feel it. The people feel it, … er, where was I? Oh, yes, expectations are high. Very high. And as we know, change is hard. Very hard. The road will be long. And hard. There’s a story here. The long, hard, slow road to change.

The Historical Narrative

As we all know, the seeds of doom have been planted for a long eight years and the roots, trunks and leaves are strong. Indeed, some historians believe that the seeds may be as old as 1781. Change will be hard. And slow. As we travel down the long, hard, slow, road of change, it will be helpful to not lose sight of the “shackles of history” that dog us. There are many stories here, and a great deal of legwork has been done over the last eight years.

Keep The Hope Alive

It’s been a long eight years. We’ve suffered through imaginary terrorism, the disdain of European progressive elitists, artists and intellectuals, wars, the systemic oppression of women and minorities, the debasement of science, authoritarian Christians, economic collapse and environmental disaster. Frankly people want Change. And we’ve done our part to document the stories that this anguish was as planned by that swaggering Texan fool [ see style guide, “Bias” –ed ] the outgoing administration. We will work closely with KSIVOOS to find stories that uplift. Stories of Hope. Stories of Change. Stories of Hope and Change, not Hate. Again, congratulations. Except in the appropriate context of the historical narrative (above), it’s time to de-emphasize things like waterboarding, gitmo, Iraq, Iran, Russia, North Korea, nuclear weapons. Since we have an obligation to report the straight facts, we feel there’s still some legroom on Gaza, AIDs and other diseases which have a disproportionate impact on women and minorities. There is no change on the standing guidance re Africa – paid advertising continues to put pressure on the space above the fold.

Understand the Marketplace:

As you are probably aware, fewer and fewer people actually buy or read the NYT with each passing day. Research shows that people are being confused by a plethora of low quality “unaligned” reporting on the web, in addition to the juggernaut of AM talk radio. Be assured that we will work all angles on this one, with the full support of KSIVOOS.

Thanks, and again. Congratulations.

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