In what might be the most painfully funny Daily Show skit ever produced, Jason Jones visited the New York Times building in Midtown and interviewed some of the paper's staff, quite uncomfortably.
The slant of the Daily Show's skit was that the paper is sad old relic from a bygone era, or a "walking Colonial Williamsburg" as Jones put it, and he basically breezes around the place making fun of everyone and everything for being old and outdated and on the verge of death, culminating in interviews with executive editor Bill Keller and assistant managing editor Rick Berke.
It's to Berke that Jones poses the question, "Why is aged news better than real news?" When Berke contends that the Times doesn't sell "aged news" Jones counters by pointing to a copy of the paper and asks, "Show me one thing in there that happened today." Berke then spends the next few seconds looking utterly befuddled while trying to come up with an answer.
But it's Jones' sit-down interview with Keller that was the most wince-inducing part of the whole thing. Jones queries Keller about the paper's revenue stream, asking "Does it make Huffington Post money?" Keller responds by saying he doesn't know how much money HuffPo makes, but then adds, "The last time I was in Baghdad I didn't see a Huffington Post bureau or a Google bureau or a Drudge Report bureau...it's a lot easier to stay home and riff on the work that somebody else does." Jones' nodding response—"Much easier and more fun to read."
And finally Jones tells Keller an old newspaper joke with a twist in the punchline: "What's black and white and read all over?...Your balance sheets." Keller laughs but squirms around in his seat quite a bit, and we were squirming right with him the whole time.
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