Tuesday, October 05, 2004

The New York Times Finds Facts

The other day I learned that Michael Moore hires the former head of The New York Times’ fact finding department to check Moore’s movies before they are released. I have to admit, I’m a little shocked… who knew The New York Times had a FACT FINDING department? They should try putting some of those facts in their paper, I think readers might be interested. Though that me be asking a little much of an organization that thinks finding facts is so difficult, it requires an entire department.

Has anybody told Tom Maguire? (I am assuming, of course, that Tom Maguire is simply unaware that the organization he works for HAS a fact finding department, where he could, you know, actually get some facts, if that’s what he wanted to do. I wouldn’t want to presume that reporters at NYT would actually willfully ignore the fact finding department where they could find out things like, I don’t know, the fact that the war on terror actually exists.)

I imagine the fact finding guy (I’m assuming it’s only one guy, ‘cause, could they possibly need more than one?) at the NYT is a lot like the Maytag repair man. It’s a good job, you’ve got a lot of free time, and the editorial department doesn’t bother you much. In fact, the only rule they gave him when he was hired was, “Don’t bother Maureen Dowd.” His predecessor had made the mistake of approaching Maureen with some facts after the 2000 election, and she lit him on fire.

I’m sure he’s an earnest fellow; graduate of NYU, natch, with a degree in Post Modern Third World Feminist Economics as Seen Through the Works of The Beastie Boys – the curriculum for which consisted mainly of protesting. He had originally considered majoring in Post Capitalistic Documentary Filmmaking Without Oppressive Positivistic Propaganda Instincts; which involved making documentaries by not actually filming anything. After all, filming things suggests there is some objective reality to be represented by the act of being filmed, and editing together these images of “reality” invited the audience to make value judgments about those beings, human or otherwise, who appear in the illusion of objective reality and their actions - Besides, if you actually filmed things, who would have time for all that protesting? He had passed over a degree in Protesting the act of Protesting to Protest the Reductionist Belief in the Truth Being Protested for obvious reasons – though he had attended a protest protesting the protest degree.

He had finally settled on Post Modern Third World Feminist Economics as Seen Through the Works of The Beastie Boys because in the fourth year they actually let you read a book. He had gone even farther, and put in a lot of extra protesting time during his sophomore year so he could convince them to let him write a paper. He did, and wrote one that posited that not all straight white males were completely evil. After all, there were a few, like himself, who had managed to get a degree in Post Modern Third World Feminist Economics as Seen Through the Works of The Beastie Boys, certainly this education would reverse their destructive instincts enough so they would be neutral – he didn’t believe in the racist notion that some straight white males might actually be good. He felt he proved there were at least four or five, maybe even six, who were not completely evil.

This paper got him the job at NYT because under pressure from outside groups to be more intellectually diverse they had decided to hire some “right wingers”. He had cemented that reputation when he argued at the DNC cocktail parties that Christopher Hitchens didn’t deserve to be tortured and murdered in the middle of Times’ Square just for supporting the Iraq war. He argued that it would be sufficient to amputate Christopher’s hands and tongue – so he could no longer speak or write – and place him in solitary confinement for the rest of his life. Unfortunately Maureen Dowd overheard him, called him a, “Fascist, nazi, racist, sexist, fascist sexist, nazi racist, nazi racist fascist, republican lover”, tossed her vodka gimlet in his face, and lit him on fire.

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