Instead of going out to and stimulating the economy with your lunch money today, you might want to consider bailing out the New York Times. As of this writing, the Old Gray Lady’s stock price is hovering at around $4.50 per share. Given its steep decline from its 52 week high of $21 per share, it doesn’t have far to fall before the “newspaper of record” finds itself listed with penny stocks like Ford.

At least Ford has the 2010 Mustang on the way. There’s hope for that stock. The New York Times? I can’t say it has a product worth buying.

As evidence for this pronouncement, I give you Judith Warner’s op-ed piece published in the February 5 edition of the New York Times entitled “Sometimes a President Is Just a President” where she starts off with relating one of her recent dreams:

The other night I dreamt of Barack Obama. He was taking a shower right when I needed to get into the bathroom to shave my legs…

You may now wipe whatever you were drinking from your computer monitor. No. I am not making this up. Stop laughing. Continues Warner:

As we all know, in journalism, two anecdotes are just one short of a national trend. I figured that my friend and I couldn’t possibly be the only ones dreaming, brooding or otherwise obsessing about the Obamas. Were other people, I wondered, being possessed by our new first family?

Now there’s a new one, quite possibly a valid explanation as to how Team Obama won the White House – through “possession”. But I digress. Warner decided to email a few people to find out if her experience was unique. Of course, in her circle of cyber-friends, it wasn’t.

Many women — not too surprisingly — were dreaming about sex with the president.

I’m pretty sure I’ve seen this story before. Where’s my copy of the Starr Report?

There was some daydreaming too, much of it a collective fantasy about the still-hot Obama marriage. “Barack and Michelle Obama look like they have sex. They look like they like having sex,” a Los Angeles woman wrote to me, summing up the comments of many. “Often. With each other…”

Oh. With each other. Well that changes everything.

One woman wrote that when she couldn’t get to sleep at night, she “lay in bed and thought about the Obama girls in their rooms at the White House. I thought about Marian Robinson up on the third floor. And about Barack and Michelle, a couple who clearly have a ‘thing’ for each other, spooning together in bed. It helped me relax.”

Who needs Tylenol PM? Obama is here! But wait, there’s more!

“I keep thinking about how I squandered my education and youth,” the New York lawyer wrote to me. “I went off to college from high school being completely community-minded, doing a lot of volunteer work for the homeless and for hunger and tutoring poor kids. Then I got to college and forgot my ideals. Barack was my year at Columbia. Why wasn’t I hanging out with him and being serious and following my ideals instead of hanging out in clubs? Same with law school. I partied my way through instead of taking advantage of all that I could have. Both Obamas were there when I was. I feel like if I’d been a better person I would have gotten to know them.”

John Greenleaf Whittier once said “For all the sad things of tongue or pen, the worst are these – It might have been”. Obviously that New York lawyer missed Obama’s references to his “enthusiastic” experimentation with booze and drugs during his “youth”. Had said lawyer partied it up with Barry at Columbia and Harvard, he might well be the new Attorney General in place of Eric Holder. Oh well.

This, dear reader, is what passes for serious journalism at the New York Times. And the bean counters sit with their green eye shades and pocket protectors wondering if the Times’ market cap can sink any further. With content like this, I’d venture a guess that they haven’t seen the end of the slide yet.

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