So before airing his hot-knife-in-the-buttocks takedown of the New York Times as old and slow on the Daily Show last night, Jason Jones was forced to give an interview to the NYT. It was not a fair fight.
Dave Itzkoff interviewed Jones (for a *blog*) before seeing the segment, but he tried to cover and preempt all possible criticisms. Jones, in turn, just stuck to self-deprecation, knowing his report would crush the paper very soon. For example:
When you do your on-camera interviews, you have producers on hand who help feed you questions and one-liners. Is it fair that our editors don't have the same support?
Are you suggesting I use writers for my material that looks like I just made it up on the spot? You guys have got a research department, we don't have that. You could have done your research on me, knowing how underhanded I would be in interviews. I suppose it's a fair fight. You've also got brains. I don't have those.
He ends by calling all NYT reporters pussies except for David Carr, who's a "badass," which may be the most factually accurate moment in this entire meta-story. Update: And as Kurt Anderson points out, before anyone gives the Times too much credit for having a sense of humor, they're still too timid to use the word fart. In an exchange about Keller's journalism pedigree:
You understand, he covered the collapse of the Soviet Union and the end of apartheid in South Africa?
Yes, but I can make [flatulence] noises.
The WSJ also interviewed Jones (for a *blog*), and they seemed to have a better sense of humor about their prime competitor being mocked:
What, in your opinion, are the job prospects for journalists in the future?
I would gladly enjoy being served by a journalist who has now become a barista as opposed to some high school dropout who's a barista, because that's an informed coffee pour.