A Special Message from Bill Keller

keller.jpg3/10/04 12:24:06 PM


I’m excited to report that we’ve managed to fool everybody all the time. Not only was Sam Tanenhaus selected four months ago, but we deliberately allowed people to believe that there was actually a major race here. Some folks actually thought that their votes and their sentiments counted. Well, I assure you that nothing could be further from the truth.

Not only was Chip McGrath quietly ushered out of the building months ago, collecting his box with all the terrible grace of a mall Santa heading to a dive, but Sam’s been the man editing the NYTBR all along. This grand announcement is yet another stone that we should add to Chip’s cairn. And what a grand display it is. But what was the poor bastard thinking leaving us like that?

Well, I’ll tell you exactly what he was thinking. Profit and attention. Now every book freak has a Tiger Beat spread of Chip cater-cornered to their Proust set. He is, as we all secretly knew and planned all along, hotter than Justin Timberlake. Now that Chip’s left, his approval rating in the polls is now, for the first time ever, higher than both Randy Cohen and Maureen Dowd combined! Yes, we here at the Gray Lady watch these demographics like a hawk. And the fact that these foolish journalists and bloggers got all excited about the Book Review (including those silly Book Babes), well, let’s just say that I’m getting some special service tonight.

The time has come for endless boasting and complete subservience. I don’t just want you to love me. I want you to pledge your firstborn. I want to see your children here at the Times as indentured servants.

Rest assured, you will love Sam. Just as you loved Chip. I will see to it that you will not stop submitting to the Gray Lady.

Your beautiful overlord,


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