'Not the New York Times' from 1978 remains the best NYT parody

New York Times

"It was a pitch-perfect replica, spiritually and physically," Jim Dwyer wrote a few years ago. "At that point, the actual newspaper had not been published for two months because of a strike, and the Internet did not yet exist."

Not The New York Times was masterminded by Christopher Cerf — a man of many talents, none mightier than as the composer of such “Sesame Street” classics as “Put Down the Duckie” — and the writers George Plimpton, Freddy Plimpton, Rusty Unger and Tony Hendra, who posed for the front-page picture of the short-lived pope from Liverpool. Among the contributors were Carl Bernstein, Frances FitzGerald, Michael Arlen, Jerzy Kosinski, Terry Southern and Nora Ephron.

Not the New York Times occasionally shows up on eBay; it sold for $20 in March.

The latest Times parody -- "The Final Edition -- is getting mixed reviews. Veteran Timesman John Markoff tweets: "Not Funny!", while his colleague David Carr says it's "all belly, no laugh." Time's Kate Pickert writes:: "I find Slate's parody of dead NYT boring. Am I alone? Fakes like this made every time s/o quits a journo print job." The Guardian's Declan Walsh likes the "wonderful detail ... down to the ads for 'starbucks: the fragrance.'" Mark Hemingway of The Weekly Standard wonders if there's a personal vendetta behind the parody.

> The Final Edition’s version of Timescast is anchored by Mike the Intern

  • Jim Romenesko

    From 1999 to 2011, Jim Romenesko maintained the Romenesko page for the Poynter Institute, a Florida-based non-profit school for journalists. Poynter hired him in August of 1999, after seeing his MediaGossip.com, a hobby site he started in May of 1999.


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