Dear Valued Subscriber,
For a mere $39.99 a month, about what you pay your Guatemalan nanny, you depend on us for thought-provoking personal reassurance, award-winning arrogance, hard-hitting sycophancy, and up-to-the-minute coverage of Orange Man – who is very, very bad.
The New York Times remains the world’s most prestigious Viewpoint Validation Service because we understand the crippling emptiness permeating the wealthy liberal soul – we are that emptiness – and you entrust us to make you feel good, smart and worthy every day.
While News and Opinion whisper watered-down postgrad nothings in your ear, Style and Dining guarantee you’ll be validated on the outside, as well as inside. Style and Dining remain committed to informing you on exactly what Brooklyn thought was cool three years ago. While the city that is our namesake – and the place you’ve built your entire identity around – might be a dead, stale cultural wasteland that no one cares about anymore, our Travel section reminds you that you’re a global citizen. Times subscribers don’t have homes, they have bases.
But even the pre-eminent VVS is vulnerable to mistakes.
As some of you are aware, we failed in our commitment to ferociously guard the sanctity of your echo chamber this week. A headline appeared on our front page suggesting Orange Man spoke against racism. While the headline was factual, it was a flagrant betrayal of the service you expect us to provide and we literally stopped the presses to fix it.
We listened to our readers on how to proceed from there. The headline writer was an elderly holdover from the days when we were a newspaper. But today’s lovepaper business is different. Inspired by the Texas revolutionary Joaquin Castro, our editorial board decided to take out a full page ad in our own paper to publish his home address and pictures of his family. Then we mobilized our 52,247 interns to brigade his employer, us, with phone calls to report that we have a racist in our ranks. The writer was immediately fired. Our interns, known as TimesHelpers, chucked milkshakes at him as he sadly strolled through the lobby with his little NPR tote bag full of desktop knick knacks. Just as he reached the door we unchained Sarah Jeong and watched gleefully as she dismembered and ate him alive.
Our customers’ pomposity and fragility are important to us. We don’t use words like ‘neurotic’ and ‘repellant’ to describe our readers the way shopkeepers, waiters, and dry-cleaners might. We think your quirkiness is the natural byproduct of the cosmopolitan, emotionally lavish life that you lead.
We know if we aren’t delivering our best, every hour of every day, somewhere a Yale grad might lose an argument if she can’t reference our content as the final authority. The Times subscriber understands that reading about something makes you a better person than doing something. You depend on us to be informed daily about the wretched lives of blacks and immigrants as a fair tradeoff for keeping them out of your own communities and schools.
Point of privilege, when tens of thousands of you threatened to cancel your subscription this week, we had a chuckle. You were never going to leave. Our authority is the only thing that gives you authority. And, besides, where else would you go, the Washington Post? That lovepaper is named after a slave owner. And it’s not like you’re going to subscribe to the Wall Street Nazi.
But we still listened to your grievances. Because of your diverse needs, on Monday we will launch the most intimate Viewpoint Validation Service on earth with TimesPersonal. Our new premium service will give platinum members the option to select how they’d like to see a story reported before they read it. Platinum members will be able to pick from options like, ‘Skip to the white nationalism,’ ‘What’s the real estate value,’ and ‘Trump’s fault.’ TimesPersonal comes with our new TimesTrauma feature that algorithmically eliminates potentially triggering content from your personal edition of the Times. Going forward, subscribers can log-in to our TimesRapeWhistle portal to flag content they feel may have been published without consent from the greater Times community.
We know that from the first day you picked up our product, you’ve seen us as not just a newspaper but a social status accelerant. We will never forget our commitment to selling our subscribers more than just words, but personal brand and identity. In these dark and divided times, where 63 million white supremacists use the internet to ridicule their moral superiors with things called ‘memes,’ we have an even more important calling: to protect your truth.
Minister of Feels, The New York Times Viewpoint Validation Service