Friday, December 10, 2010

Bill Keller

WHO AM I: New York Times editor

I understand everybody’s fascination with Assange: he’s a master hacker who has brought a world to its knees. But I think we at New York Times deserve greater accolades. Assange has managed to escape crucifixion by his James Bond hiding tricks (though now he’s cooling his heels in jail), but we’re out in the open, under full view of the U.S. government, a very pissed off U.S. government, I may add.

President Obama called me the night before we were going to publish the story about the cables. Hillary had called half an hour earlier. Why, why, they cried, why were we doing this? Why were we bent on destroying the power that generations of our forefathers had worked so hard to establish? I told them that they should have thought about this before they discussed Putin’s toilet habits and Gaddafi’s sexual habits in their official memos. Obama kept trying to reason with me, but Hillary got a bit pushy. Threatened to gag us with charges of treason and espionage and blah blah blah. I told her, lady, you’re going to charge New York Times because they published news that made you look bad? That’s gonna make you look like China. She slammed the phone down.

We won’t be arrested like poor Julian, but that doesn’t take away from the fact that we’re going to be under enormous government pressure not to collaborate with Wikileaks exposés in the future. Already the Repubs are cornering Fox News calling us Mata Hari (they get their references so mixed up!), and that’s only going to intensify. The internet crowd thinks we’re cool, but they can’t save my job. We should be feted for holding out, being the last true bastion of print journalism, bearers of the torch of truth. But nobody seems to recognize our contributions or the fact that we’re doing the world such a favor. Everybody wants to focus on that white-haired Assange, whose only achievement seems to have been paying full attention in computer class. He doesn’t deserve to be Time Person of the Year, I do.

So, anyways, what I’d like from you bloggers is less coverage of Assange and more coverage of New York Times. Write expository pieces praising NYT’s courage, its indomitable spirit, its relentless pursuit of the truth in the face of strong-arming governments. We’ll give you the biggest Christmas gift a blogger can get: increased traffic. We’ll link to your blog in our article about articles praising us; get your server ready for millions of clicks. Who knows, you could be the next Drudge Report.

Fight for what’s right. We always do.

Bill Keller