You Know The Real Reason The New York Times Is Losing Readership (and Credibility)? The Content (Puppy Dogs Edition)!

The next time anyone in the MSM bitches and moans about having to cut back on the sort of "real" investigative reporting that takes years and years and years to complete and can only be done by, well, MSM outlets circa 1974, or about how awful it is to be closing bureaus in Ulan Bator, or whatever, point them in the direction of The New York Times, which has just unleashed a weekly series "dedicated to the challenges and satisfactions of raising a puppy through its first year of life." I am relatively confident that for the equivalent of the man-hours that went into creating the animated graphic pictured here that the Times could have foregone several rounds of staff cutbacks.

Penned by Jill Abramson, a managing editor at the Times and the co-author of Strange Justice: The Selling of Clarence Thomas, the series opener includes this cogitation on the conqueror worm and the need to keep movin' on:

Buddy, our beloved, stone-deaf, feisty-to-the-end West Highland terrier, had expired at 15 in March 2007. My two children, who grew up with him but flew the nest years before his demise, joked that Buddy was my one perfect relationship in life. I spoiled him, terribly. Houseguests often awoke to the aroma of my grilling free-range chicken for Buddy. Henry, my husband, would sometimes note, without rancor, that when I went on business trips I always asked how Buddy was doing before I inquired about his or our two children's well-being. When congestive heart failure claimed him, I was beyond brokenhearted.

And they say owners end up looking like their pets! The pooch dies of heart failure, she is beyond brokenhearted. I guess she should be glad that he didn't die of cirrhosis of the liver.

But let the dead bury the dead, along with soup bones. There's a new family member in town, gotten after trips to a breeder (no pound puppy for Abramson, despite much anguish on the matter, both in her col and the truly insufferable comments on same), named Scout.

There is the special puppy smell, much like the distinctive scent, better than perfume, of a new baby's head. There is the reflexive urge to smother with kisses. There is the getting up in the middle of the night. There is the singing of lullabies to sleep, lying next to Scout's crate as if it were a cradle. There is the arrangement of play dates for socialization. (My husband, who is doing the lion's share of the work these first weeks, jokes that the high point of his day is the 4 p.m. play date with Cyon, our friends' older golden.) There are the books written by experts (our puppy manual is by the Monks of New Skete). There is the feeling of total relief in seeing tired eyes close for a nap.

Read the whole thing here.

Speaking as a human being with (human) offspring and as a journalist who can't go a day without hearing about the death of hard news, real news, what a tragedy it was that the Rocky Mountain News went tits up, blah blah, blah, can I simply suggest that this is why the terrorists hate us? And by terrorists, I mean the dwindling universe of print subscribers. 

Hot tip: Someone should take an option out on a new version of Neil Simon's Chapter Two. Replace either James Caan or Marsha Mason with a dog and, boom, you've got bigger B.O. than Marley & Me.

Hat tip: Bill Wyman not of the Rolling Stones but of the indispensable Hitsville music-biz blog.

Related: You Know The Real Reason Time Mag is Going Down the Drain? The Content!

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  • Warty||

    Houseguests often awoke to the aroma of my grilling free-range chicken for Buddy.

    You misread it, Nick. This is clearly parody.

  • AndoDoug||

    >Houseguests often awoke to the aroma of my grilling free-range chicken for Buddy.

    >>You misread it, Nick. This is clearly parody.

    Well, not quite! What she said on the podcast was, "Sometimes guests would awake to the smell of my grilling some VEAL or chicken for him; I was a terrible, doting person around Buddy."

    When I heard this all I could think of was what a miserably unfulfilling time the dog must have had throughout that 99% of his life that he wasn't being hand fed freshly grilled veal.

  • hmm||

    I'm sure John Grogan appreciates his idea being ripped off. The NYT has stooped to new lows, ripping off other authors or columnists.

  • Kyle Jordan||

    Someone needs to plant some drugs in the owner's residence. That way, we can look forward to the heartwrenching entry about how the police shot the "vicious" dog.

    A win-win scenario.

  • ||

    Read the whole thing here.

    Not a fucking chance.

    There is the singing of lullabies to sleep, lying next to Scout's crate as if it were a cradle.

    She has fucking kids already. One might expect this out of a crazy cat lady, but WTF is with her?

  • Mad Max||

    What's the matter with you libertarians, don't you like puppies?

  • ||

    , point them in the direction of The New York Times, which has just unleashed a weekly series "dedicated to the challenges and satisfactions of raising a puppy through its first year of life."

    In Chicago, the Sun-Times has recently added an "Easy" Section.

    It's basically a section that contains columns like :

    Ask Dog Lady -- A Dear Abby for pet owners.

    Eugenia Last's Q&A -- Eugenia is one of their two staff Astrologers and she answers questions about finance love etc. based on horoscopes and Astrology.

    TV reviews : The latest reviews of TV shows (mostly reality shows) or recaps from the previous nights "American Idol", "Bachelor/ette" "So you Think You can Dance" etc.

    Betsy Hart -- A conservative mother who tells readers how they should be raising their kids

    And it also contains a bunch of classified ads.

    This was just rolled out a few months ago. They also added "Dear Abby" and another Dear Abby-like column ("Dear Cheryl")

    Apparently that's what they think people want. Fluff

  • ||

    Let's hope they don't boil it.

  • Please enter a name before sub||

    Episiarch | July 22, 2009, 12:11pm | #

    For the Win!

  • JPB||

    Speaking of remarkably shitty NYT content.

  • ||

    GAAAAAAAAAAAAHH!

    *kicks desk over, throws computer out window*

  • Cabeza de Vaca||

    WTF! That lady is out of her frickin mind.

  • ||

    What's the matter with you libertarians, don't you like puppies?

    Stewed, with lots of onions.

  • ||

    ... my grilling free-range chicken for Buddy.



    The dumbshit thought she was doing some good for the dog. Dogs are not people, they don't thrive on variety or give a shit about taste, at least in a way you and I think abut taste. If you want to treat your dog well, feed it a good quality dry dog food - the same thing day after day.

  • ||

    Henry, my husband, would sometimes note, without rancor, that when I went on business trips I always asked how Buddy was doing before I inquired about his or our two children's well-being.

    and

    My husband, who is doing the lion's share of the work

    Henry, you're one lucky bastard.

  • T||

    America's Paper of Record, people. Just you remember that!

  • ||

    If you want to treat your dog well, feed it a good quality dry dog food



    If you want your dog to be as unhealthy as the average person, feed them kibble crap. Otherwise, feed them biologically appropriate food.

    Grains are bad for humans, and even worse for dogs (and worse still for cats).

  • ||

    It's absurd how much some people pamper their pets and treat them like humans.

    They're animals. Animals. I'm against abusing them, but come on people.

    I saw a lady in San Francisco pushing her dog around in a stroller. I wanted to throw them both off the pier.

  • ||

    I'd just like to point out that she completely anthropomorphizes the dogs, to the point of putting them in cradles and feeding them food that she likes. Again, I'm fascinated as to what she's projecting on the dogs. If she didn't have children, it would be obvious, but she does have kids. So what fucking need are the dogs fulfilling?

    If I could do it without retching, and if I actually gave a shit, I'd RTFA to see if there were more clues.

  • ||

    Puppies might be the only thing keeping print news in business.

    [I'm not explaining it.]

  • ||

    So what fucking need are the dogs fulfilling?

    She never has to worry that a dog will eventually figure out she's completely looney-tunes. The husband might and the kids damn will eventually.

  • JB||

    The NYT is a rag.

  • Kyle Jordan||

    "I'd just like to point out that she completely anthropomorphizes the dogs, to the point of putting them in cradles and feeding them food that she likes. Again, I'm fascinated as to what she's projecting on the dogs. If she didn't have children, it would be obvious, but she does have kids. So what fucking need are the dogs fulfilling?"

    I'd be willing to bet that she's one of those people who had all of her child raising planned out in perfect detail and then had that plan brutally destroyed by the realities of raising children.

    Now, her new toy is fulfilling all or most of those ideas she had. I don't know how dramatized her article is but to me it reads as though it's nearing the point of detachment from reality.

  • Kyle Jordan||

    Once again, Sucralose beat me to it...

    Bastard.

  • Ska||

    Behavior like this might be the one thing that could lead me to wife beating.

  • ||

    She never has to worry that a dog will eventually figure out she's completely looney-tunes. The husband might and the kids damn will eventually.

    As Dagny point out above, she has the husband whipped harder than a Max Mosley party. I don't think that's it. My guess is total control: her level of control over the husband and kids is insufficient for her, but a dog you can control relentlessly.

  • Abdul||

    It's not fair to pick on the New York Times. Just the other day, the Seoul times also had an article about puppies. Sure, the article was mostly recipies, but the point stands.

  • ||

    I'm more offended by the legions of people trying to give the author shit for getting a dog from a breeder rather than a shelter than the Times running it in the first place. They wanted to attract readers, and they did, 90 percent of whom simply had to bloviate about how great their pound puppies are. Newsflash people-if she had adopted a shelter dog, there would still be thousands of animals who would be euthanized.

  • Rhywun||

    Read the whole thing here.



    Not on your life.

  • Abdul||

    I'd just like to point out that she completely anthropomorphizes the dogs, to the point of putting them in cradles and feeding them food that she likes.

    I knew a guy who worked in a pet store and he said 90% of customer inquires were about the pet owner's problems. "My goldfish is lonely, may cat overeats because she's depressed, my dog might be cheating on me because it hardly humps my leg anymore."

  • Rhywun||

    Shit, Epi.

  • Kyle Jordan||

    "I knew a guy who worked in a pet store and he said 90% of customer inquires were about the pet owner's problems. "My goldfish is lonely, may cat overeats because she's depressed, my dog might be cheating on me because it hardly humps my leg anymore."

    Hahahahahahahahahahahaha!!!

    Damn, that is some funny shit right there.

  • ||

    Read the whole thing here.

    Um... no.

  • ||

    Wait wait! Me too!

    Read the whole thing here.

    No freakin' way!

  • ||

    Read the whole thing here.

    NOT!

  • ||

    Shit, Epi.

    Ha ha ha ha!

    I knew a guy who worked in a pet store and he said 90% of customer inquires were about the pet owner's problems.

    So what would this woman be projecting on the dogs? A desire to be totally cared for? Some sort of regression desire?

    I'm still going with control.

  • ||

    That's what I get for posting before reading the thread.

  • Rhywun||

    We love to hate the Times for its pretension, but when it's not catering to the Upper East Side or the "women, minorities hit hardest" crowd it still knocks out a lot of good stuff. The trick is to just read it online rather than forking over good money for the hard copy.

  • ||

    Is her article better or worse than a typical Krugman piece? Hmmmmm....tough call....

  • Gunboat Diplomacy||

    "Dogs are not people, they don't thrive on variety or give a shit about taste, at least in a way you and I think abut taste. If you want to treat your dog well, feed it a good quality dry dog food"

    Bullshit.

    My dog eats everything from pistachio encrusted Copper River salmon to Pad Thai to deep-fried shimp po' boys and she absolutely enjoys it. She turns 13 in 5 weeks and is in remarkable shape for a large dog (German shepherd) her age.

  • Not an asshole||

    "If you want your dog to be as unhealthy as the average person, feed them kibble crap. Otherwise, feed them biologically appropriate food.

    Grains are bad for humans, and even worse for dogs (and worse still for cats)."

    They make high quality, grain-free kibble.

  • ||

    Gunboat, some people that smoke two packs a day live into their 90s. The fact remains that dogs are not omnivores, and in general are healthier if you feed them accordingly.

  • ||

    Most here saw this:

    NYT Comedy

    but it is very funny.

    Nick did a great job here. No amount of ridicule is enough for this "news".

  • ||

    Plus, my dog eats his own shit, and he seems to thoroughly enjoy that, too. And that's cheaper than pistachio encrusted salmon...you should look in to it...

  • ChrisO||

    Dogs are scavengers, and they'll eat just about anything organic, including shit, and like it. Actually, the worse it smells, they more they like it. The dog in question here would probably be happier if the free-range chicken was served raw and bloody.

    I think dogs are great, but I certainly wouldn't pay to read a bunch of navel-gazing crap about the subject in the "Paper of Record."

    Sadly, I'm sure that newspapers have all kinds of market research showing that this is the kind of schlock that their readers want.

  • Gunboat Diplomacy||

    "Plus, my dog eats his own shit, and he seems to thoroughly enjoy that, too. And that's cheaper than pistachio encrusted salmon...you should look in to it..."

    I've heard that a dog eats his own shit to combat a deficient diet.

  • ||

    We love to hate the Times for its pretension, but when it's not catering to the Upper East Side or the "women, minorities hit hardest" crowd

    Hmm, it's more of an Upper West Side catering, if we want to split hairs.

  • ||

    As soon as I typed that, I figured I'd get grief for it...the comment was in jest. There are actually several reasons for coprophagia, deficient diet is only one possible reason. For ours it probably stems from the fact that he is a rescue from a research lab. More likely mental/emotional than physical reasons.

  • ||

    Hmm, it's more of an Upper West Side catering, if we want to split hairs.

    I'm so glad I'm not the only one with nipple hair.

  • ||

    *menaces Sugarfree doll with needle*

  • ev||

    *The Simpsons bring Santa's Little Helper to a pet shop to find out why he's so fucked:

    Hmm...let me try a canine-human mind meld. It's an incredibly rare psychic power possessed only by me and three other clerks at
    this store.
    [puts his hands on SLH's face]
    OK...bruff! Bruff! Bruff! [groans] I'm bored...I'm restless. Need change in life...ruff!...like imported leather leash,
    ruff!...Er, blue contact lenses, ruff!...200-volt shock training collar...

  • Michael||

    She never has to worry that a dog will eventually figure out she's completely looney-tunes. The husband might and the kids damn will eventually.

    According to the article her kids already left home, presumably via hastily dug tunnel at first opportunity.

  • joe boyle||

    Guys, dogs are people too. They deserve a universal coverage.

  • ||

    Joe Boyle I agree. I also think we need to invade South Korea so we can spread our doggy freedoms all over the doggy world. Sure it will take some collateral damage and some sacrifices, but freedom is just too important and I'll be damned if you short-sighted nationalist libertarians are gonna stop me from giving freedom to everything!

  • ||

    And then someone I don't like fucked a dog in the ass and shit was everywhere and someone else I don't like licked it up. I have a creative writing degree. Whee!

  • ||

    Aww, someone is trying to mock NutraSweet. Isn't that cute.

  • ||

    poop ass poop cock fart

  • ||

    *ZING* Wow...they really nailed ya there SF. I imagine you're now wallowing in self pity and shame, and won't be back to post here again for fear of more scathing ridicule. We'll be sorry to see you go.

  • ||

    She "often" grilled free-range chicken for her dog, and she had the gall to call Clarence Thomas strange?

  • jtuf||

    This years readership numbers are in. The most read English language paper online and offline is the Times of India. The New York Times is good for its historic archives, but not much else.

  • lawn gnome||

    I love my cats, but a pet is a pet, and a baby is a baby - the NYT should encourage being able to distinguish between the two in the interest of social responsibility. I can only imagine the type of person this article would appeal to - maybe those who want to watch a pretentious train wreck of a life? Why would the NYT editors and readers want to encourage this creepiness? The fact that she thinks her puppy smells like a baby's head (and in fact, treats the puppy like a baby) is truly twisted, as is the fact that the NYT wastes its money and time publishing this drivel in the belief that we are the least bit interested....

  • Rhywun||

    Hmm, it's more of an Upper West Side catering, if we want to split hairs.



    Yeah, I was toying with both but went with East. You're probably right. Maybe the Observer is the UES rag.

  • Rhywun||

    My cats refuse all food that isn't the same old dry food they seem to be perfectly content to eat day in, day out. Fortunately this doesn't mean they neglect their bug-chasing duties, but they just leave the carcasses lying around for me to take care of.

    PS. I dunno about dogs, but it's true that cats should not eat grain. Meat is the only requirement - to the point where some people buy specially-prepared cuts which resemble their natural diet--chunks of offal and such.

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