Tuesday, May 25, 2004
Arthur Sulzberger, Jr.
Chairman and Publisher
The New York Times Company
229 West 43rd Street
New York, NY 10036
Dear Mr. Sulzberger,
It’s ok. We all make mistakes.
Almost all of us anyway. Our President never makes mistakes, but that’s why He’s Our President and I’m just a grocer and you just run a paper.
But mistakes were made, and the important thing is, you admitted it. You said you “fell for misinformation” about Iraq. You said, “It looks as if we, along with the administration, were taken in.”
Don’t worry about it! Our President wasn’t “taken in.” He doesn’t even read the New York Times or any other paper! Neither does Rumsfeld. They said so. Fortunately, nothing you wrote ever reached Our President, so you can put the Sleep-Eze back in your medicine cabinet tonight--you didn’t start the Iraq war!
If you were USA Today or FOX News, I’d be a little more worried. Our President might have glanced at USA Today when they slipped it under His door in His motel room, or maybe He caught some FOX News once when he was flipping to a football game. But if a little news from FOX or USA got to Him, I think we can still breathe easy--those guys always tell the truth!
Maybe you’re worried about giving bogus information to your readers, too. Put it behind you! Water under the bridge! Don’t you know WMD(s) don’t matter anymore? Who cares about a “pattern of misinformation?” The important thing is we got rid of the Evil Dictator who attacked us on 9/11! Iraq is free! Democracy lives! That’s all we need to know. Just give us the facts!
But don’t give us too many facts. I get a little bit worried when you say, “And we fully intend to continue aggressive reporting aimed at setting the record straight.” What do you mean by that?! If you start snooping around too much, Our President might end up going on trial for war crimes, and then where will we be? I think you should just continue to report what Our President tells you, and then we’ll all be safe.
But don’t report everything He tells you. Just report what He meant to tell you. If He says “nuc-u-ler,” call it “nuclear.” If He says “Ah-boo (uh, uh) Gay-Reb,” just say, “Abu Ghraeb.” Clean it up! If He says, "I know how hard it is for you to put food on your family," fix it so it reads: “We’re making progress!” (Be sure to say making, not makin’.)
Anyway, stop worrying! Nobody reads your paper except a few liberal elitist eggheads who probably aren’t going to vote for Our President anyway. Sometimes we’re our own worst critics. The important thing is you apologized, you learned from your mistakes, and after Our President gets re-elected, He will give you much clearer directions so you won’t always be wondering what to say.
All the news that’s fit to print!