The Times welcomed The Daily Show with Jon Stewart into its headquarters last night.
“It’s always been one of the higher aspirations in the business to work for The New York Times,” said Bill Keller in his opening remarks to The Daily Show‘s Jason Jones.
That’s true! But that’s also where the segment started going inevitably downhill for The Times. Mr. Keller said that The Times feels like “in many ways” the last ship afloat.
“But your lifeboat is made of paper?” shot back Mr. Jones.
The most cringe-inducing performance was Mr. Jones’ interview with Rick Berke, The Times‘ assistant managing editor.
“Why is aged news better than real news?” said Mr. Jones.
“I’ve never heard the term aged news,” said Mr. Berke, giving off an air of superiority, even if it was a feeble attempt at being funny.
Mr. Jones said “aged news” is the news of newspapers; it’s old. Not necessarily, said Mr. Berke.
“Give me one thing there,” said Mr. Jones as Mr. Berke looked at the paper, “that happened today.”
Mr. Berke looked bewildered and put his hand to his face. It was the money shot. The pause was too long and painful.
Most definitiely, Mr. Berke was taking a stab at being funny. He tried to be the snooty straight man to Mr. Jones’ backward, Huffington Post–loving boor. That backfired. Mr. Keller actually admirably volleyed with Mr. Jones, but Mr. Berke looked like a wonky, holed-up and out-of-touch Times editor, and to a large portion of Mr. Stewart’s audience, there’s no place more out-of-touch than The New York Times.
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