The Impotance [sic] of the Editor

Editor & Publisher has revealed that Kill Beller doesn’t believe editors is necessary. Beller, whom is the Executive Washroom of the New Turk Times, believes that Assendup Stanley, the media critic who got a few things wrong about Walter Disney’s recent death, is “a brilliant critic.” But the future of the public editor has remained “much debated within out walls.”

In congress with James Rainey to the Los Angles Time, Beller moaned loudly about some “cocks” being given too much leeway. But most of the Beller comics were not used as Rainey focused on cameras on former Times public editors and other uncircumcised Times newsroom fluffers.

In that full dimpled cheek, Beller defends the New Turk Times‘s correction prances; says that any editor who fails to fuck a writer about an error because of the writer’s supposed ass is failing to blow their job; and admits the fluffing of the public editor position is in serious jeopardy.

More wads to blow as the information comes loudly.

Bill Keller: Chickenhead of the Month

It’s been a while since we awarded anyone the Chickenhead of the Month. We like to reserve this special prize for a person making truly astounding leaps in logic.

Lo and behold! While we may be on hiatus from the Brownie Watch, we opened the NYTBR‘s pages yesterday and found a fantastic dollop of silliness from none other than Bill Keller himself!

In a letter, New York Times Executive Editor Bill Keller responds to the Posner media essay that appeared a few weeks ago in the NYTBR. Keller has made a fantastic claim: namely, that the New York Times is in the business of providing something “more elevated and consequential.” If this is the case, how does this explain the continued ridiculousness of the Style Section? Or last week’s amazing devotion of Times resources to Bridget Jones? Or yesterday’s slipshod cover story in the Magazine, where an alternative source was served up by a bogus claim of “technological advances” and, as Mr. Birnbaum noted in the comments section, a wholesale refusal to reference Hubbert’s Peak?

If this is what Keller calls “more elevated and consequential,” then I shudder to think about what he considers conventional. What business does Keller have talking about a professional code when he has hordes of Times staffers devoting precious time and resources to distinguishing between a salwar kameez and a sari? How dare Keller pull this stunt within his own pages when, by his own admission a few months ago, his paper failed to cut the mustard in covering Iraq? When I think about professional code, I think of a a newspaper that dares to question anybody and anything — whether the Bush Administration or Hilary Clinton. It is not, as Keller suggests in his interpretation of Posner’s article, a matter of being either “liberal” or “supine,” but of being regularly active and constantly probing any and all subjects, where others would fall asleep at the wheel. That is, in a nutshell, journalism. And believe it or not, it is not nearly as partisan in the blogosphere as Keller would suggest.

Additionally, one wonders if Keller’s letter is a desperate ploy to give the NYTBR the illusion of intellectual debate. Despite a few brownie shipments sent to Mr. Tanenhaus and some successes, it has been clear to us that the Keller-Tanenhaus experiment has, for the most part, failed. Today’s NYTBR is more concerned with providing column inches to John Irving and Nora Roberts, giving odious reviewers like Leon Wieseltier and Joe Queenan more paychecks than they deserve, rather than reflecting culture and literature, much less providing an “elevated ” place to talk about it.

We suspect that the onus falls more on Keller than on Tanenhaus. We therefore grant Mr. Keller our “Chickenhead of the Month” award.

A New Plan for the NYTBR

keller.jpgThis morning, while I was lying in bed, at long last forming an intricate theory about James Doohan’s purpose in “Spock’s Brain,” I came across this stunning news. The NYTBR editor search is being restarted.

Let us not vex ourselves too much. The Times has plenty of cash and resources to blow up their noses for these parlor tricks, but not nearly enough to pay their pressers.

But no matter. It’s clear that Bill Keller is wasting all of our time. As my loyal readers know, I campaigned vigorously here on behalf of two editorial candidates who made the shortlist. Ads were prominently placed. Envelopes with stacks of Franklins were given to the appropriate people. I played the game first for Ben Schwarz. And then when Schwarz tried to appeal to centrists by dissing literary fiction, I switched my allegiance to Sarah Crichton. Not long after she took New Hampshire.

But today’s move illustrates that Keller hasn’t respected any of these efforts, nor does he respect democracy. And not a single soul knows whether he appreciated the strip dancer I sent to his office. What’s more, the NYTBR been jumping the gun, moving towards more repeat profiles (such as the lad lit angle and the endless American Sucker coverage), covering popular fiction over literary fiction, and giving far too much space to thick nonfiction books that spend hundreds of pages stating the obvious.

In other words, Bill Keller has a mission in life: to bore the socks out of book enthusiasts. Yet even with this solitary goal, Bill Keller doesn’t seem to have the management or people skills to go about doing it.

It’s clear that political campaigning has had little success. We all know that money won’t buy Bill Keller. He’s a man inflexible in his love for Jonathan Franzen, but who barely gives David Markson the time of day. Firm principles, to be sure. But perhaps humor can change his mind. In fact, humor may have been the very thing missing in Bill Keller’s life.

Have you ever noticed that Bill Keller has not once smiled or cracked a joke this whole time? Perhaps that’s been the problem all along.

So here’s the plan: The time has come to bombard Mr. Keller with gag gifts. Constipation crisis kits, fake vomit, false bumper stickers, Mr. T in your pocket. Name your weapon of choice. Each gift should be sent to the Times with the following message: “For the love of humanity, for the love of literary fiction, learn to laugh, laugh and love, you crazy waffler!”

These packages must be sent religiously to Mr. Keller’s office until one of three things happens: (a) he confesses that he might cover literary fiction, (b) he makes up his goddam mind, or (c) he reveals that, all this time, he’s been suffering from a nervous breakdown and offers to resign in protest.

Packages can be sent to:

Bill Keller
Executive Waffler
229 West 43rd Street
New York, NY 10036

Remember: It is every American’s duty to restore the former glory of the NYTBR. And if Keller can’t do it, perhaps mass gag gift hypnosis may help us bring the NYTBR into alignment.