Its out-of-touch publisher, Elisha R. Hagenbuckle, who resembles former Times publisher Arthur "Punch" Sulzberger, is "like a rhino with cage fever . . . muttering to himself . . . a parody of a man in animated concentration." He's horrified by such Web sites as Gawker and Defamer, asking, "Where the hell did it come from, this abiding compulsion to read about the breakups and breakdowns of third-rate celebrities?"

To which his son, a takeoff on Times publisher Arthur "Pinch" Sulzberger Jr., chirps, "That's the whole point, Dad. You've got to be snarky."

The odd thing here is that Punch retired as publisher in 1992 and as chairman in 1997, half a decade before Gawker started. The exchange would make more sense between Pinch and his own twentysomething son Arthur Gregg Sulzberger. But, hey, what's the point of slapping the "fiction" veil over your former employer if you can't take some liberties?