The spoof below comes from the best thing since The Onion -- a website called Not the Los Angeles Times. And it is just that, a joke.
Actually, there still are a few employees at the Los Angeles Times, and at many other American newspapers.
BUT IT'S STILL only halfway through the week. Monday, this might not be funny anymore . . . so, for those reading this next Tuesday, I'm sorry. I didn't mean to offend.
With that said, however. . . .
For the 23rd time in 18 months, the Los Angeles Times is losing its top editor. Raul Jones, a former newsroom janitor who rose through the ranks as layoffs shrank the number of real journalists, was fired yesterday after refusing to lay off the paper's last employee – himself.COME TO THINK OF IT, none of this is very funny at all. That's because, truly, what we see as a knee slapper today is what corporate media bean counters see as reality . . . tomorrow.
In a blistering farewell e-mail sent to himself, Jones defended his stance against further cuts. "I had to draw the line," he wrote. "It's one thing to sack everybody else, but I can't countenance my own dismissal. Who's going to cover city and state government, the war in Iraq and Britney Spears? The quality of the paper will suffer."
But Tribune Co. spokesman Randy Michaels said the paper would do just fine, thanks to sophisticated new software that rewrites wire-service stories in the style of former Times reporters.
"We analyzed past articles and found that 38% of all stories began with the writer mentioning the time of day," Michaels said. [Click here for recent examples.] "Our new software will duplicate that formula."
As Michaels spoke, cleaning crews swept through the Times' newsroom, removing cobwebs and tearing down Xeroxed portraits of former publisher Mark Willes, whose smiling face had been plastered all over the building by reporters nostalgic for the "good old days."
Removing editor Jones wasn't easy. Because he was the paper's last employee and wouldn't dismiss himself, Tribune executives had to find a replacement editor from Chicago who was willing to can Jones and then promptly resign.