The New York Times has, in recent months, started punching back at its critics, rather than maintaining the usual dignified silence. But with letters and memos, which, let's face it, are for wusses, right?

That, at least, is the premise of some of the PR people rounded up by the New York Observer and intent on egging the Times on toward the sort of retaliation that would make Rupert Murdoch proud.

Would Fox News chief Roger Ailes respond to an attack with a letter? Or notorious Fox flack Irena Briganti?

Prominent left-wing flack Ken Sunshine (pictured) was explicit in his advice for the paper: the Times should really consider, you know, cutting a bitch:

"Another idea would be really going after some of their detractors," he said. "Go after the Post! They go after you? You go after them! The Times shouldn't do a story, that's a little too on the nose. But there are other ways."

(Hyperlink from the original; Sunshine actually dictated the mailto OUT LOUD. Crazy, we know.)

Or maybe that's still not tough enough. Maybe it's time to let Times media columnist David Carr live out his longtime fantasy of going to war for his "posse" and lead a full-on tribal attack. The gang is already doing target practice on Twitter, after all.