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      Certain Goals

      August 24, 2012
      From the column 'The Recent Unpleasantness'

      “The New York Times Company is paying its new chief executive, Mark Thompson, an annual salary of $1 million and an immediate sign-on bonus valued at $3 million.... The bonus payments are not guaranteed unless Mr. Thompson meets certain goals spelled out by the company.”

      - New York Times, 8/12/12

      REPUBLICAN VERSION

      Bonus pay will be remitted only after one continuous year of printing every barely audible snafu by any Republican candidate at any time. Bonus money will be revoked if the Times in any way addresses the fiscal and spiritual crisis that began on January 20, 2009, and which is unlike any threat this country has faced since the War of 1812.

      STOCKHOLDER VERSION

      All bonus payments are contingent on the chief executive making zero percent effort to maximize stockholder value. In shareholder meetings, any new initiatives should be accepted with a theatrical yawn and placed in the incinerator chute labeled FRESH IDEAS. Stockholders may not be addressed, except at our annual Christmas party (where they will be represented by Krugerrand-laden piñatas).

      TEA PARTY VERSION

      Bonus pay will be remitted only after one continuous year of supporting every new tax burden placed on the white man. Bonus money will be revoked if the Times in any way addresses the fiscal and spiritual crisis that began on January 20, 2009, and which is unlike any threat this planet has faced since the comet that killed the dinosaurs 6,000 years ago.

      OCCUPY VERSION

      In order to complete the transfer of funds from our secret Goldman Sachs account, the chief executive must vow, in a sworn affidavit, that the Times will ignore the obvious moral parallels between the Occupy movement and the Arab Spring, the French Resistance, and/or the Underground Railroad. Furthermore, the Times will continue mocking and marginalizing Occupy, despite Occupy having proved itself, through sheer human goodness, exempt from any ridicule whatsoever.

      RURAL TEXAN VERSION

      Bonus payments will proceed only after the chief executive pledges to continue printing gay wedding announcements, evolution fairy tales, metrosexual fashion spreads, snobby brie ads, the latest climate warming claptrap, and any other big city baloney we can cram down the throat of the working man. 

      9/11 CONSPIRACY THEORIST VERSION

      In order to receive the big cardboard check from Israel, the chief executive will need to swear, in an elaborate, 9-hour Masonic ceremony held in City Hall Park (we'll make sure no outsiders document the event) that he will not print the current undisclosed location of Michael Jackson, the Challenger and Columbia space shuttles, or either WTC tower.

      KID VERSION

      You only get your money if you swear on a bunch of Bibles to keep the newspaper really boring and put in a lot of dumb charts and stuff that nobody cares about, and make it super big so no one ever wants to read it, and never, ever have a comics section.

      BLOGGER VERSION

      The bonus will only be paid if the chief executive agrees to prop up the bizarre farce that is the New York Times paywall, which started last year as the final grasping gasps of a dying industry but has now devolved into some sort of idiotic statement we can no longer back out of. If only we’d listened to the web!

      FAILED JOURNALIST VERSION

      All bonus payments are invalidated if the Times hires Josh Tavares, despite his excellent online pieces in the Buffalo News and Artvoice, and his 3.4 GPA at SUNY Binghamton (which, obviously, would have been much higher if Michelle Tauberman hadn't dumped him three weeks before finals). The important thing here is that Mr. Tavares not be given any chance to rise up in this world, even though he tries really, really, really hard.

      Previously - Ask Mr. Ethics

      @sammcpheeters

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      Topics: mark thompson, the new york times, tea party, Occupy

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