It’s terrible news, yes. But it hasn’t happened. It ain’t a fait accompli. Here is what we must do. In order to prevent this horrible thing from happening, we must take action. We cannot just sit back and allow Bill Keller and his puppet NTYBR editor to have their way. We must let the Times know that such a move will destroy the Sunday Times reading experience. We must flood Keller with letters, with phone calls, tell this bonehead that he is eviscerating an institution and that he will face hard consequences if he tampers with something that ain’t that broke to begin with.
For one thing, I’m sure you all have subscriptions that the Times counts upon for revenue. I can tell Keller for a fact that if literary fiction reviews are removed from the Book Review, then I will cancel my subscription, and not even the allure of the crossword or Randy Cohen’s smug columns will bring me back. And I will encourage all of my book-reading friends to do the same.
So let’s hit this Philistine fucker where it hurts. Let’s pick a day and deluge the Times not with emails, but letters, phone calls, faxes, hard things to lodge into their mailboxes, a tangible protest to spell out just why this is a bad idea. Let’s take a stand right now and stop the Times from killing a vital hub for tomorrow’s writers. Nip the fuckers off at the bud and stop giving them any kind of revenue. If it goes down, cancel your subscriptions. Refuse to buy the paper. If fiction is to go, then I’m bolting over to the Post or the L.A. Times for my Sunday newspaper experience.
The Internet was used to give Howard Dean a sizable war chest. It’s been used to draw attention to things that otherwise would have remain ignored. It is a medium that’s been used to polarize. So I’m suggesting that the book blogs, and the journalists, and anyone who cares put their passion where their mouths are.
We can’t allow this to go down without a fight. And even if Keller kills the NYTBR, at least we can say we didn’t try to stop the gorgon.
So who’s with me?