Ed Driscoll

NYT Editor: Our Subscribers are Such Morons!

Hicks in sticks are dumb as bricks!

At least when H. L. Mencken coined the phrase “the Booboisie” 75 years ago, he wasn’t attempting to insult his own readers:

The New York Times cultivates an image as the preferred read of the intellectual elite, but at least one of the paper’s higher-ups seems to think its customers aren’t all that bright.

During a panel discussion at the Digital Hollywood New York conference, Gerald Marzorati, the Times’s assistant managing editor for new media and strategic initiatives, explained why the paper’s print business is still robust. “We have north of 800,000 subscribers paying north of $700 a year for home delivery,” Marzorati said. “Of course, they don’t seem to know that.”

As evidence that Times subscribers don’t realize how much a subscription costs, he pointed to what happened when the paper raised its home-delivery price by 5 percent during the recession: Only 0.01 percent of subscribers canceled. “I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that they’re literally not understanding what they’re paying,” he said. “That’s the beauty of the credit card.”

Next up, a Democratic presidential candidate says his fellow Democrats are bitter and cling to outdated notions, a liberal movie director will call potential ticket buyers racists, and an Obama-supporting news anchor will refer to her viewers as “the great unwashed.”

Oh wait, those things already happened? Never mind then.

Think of it all, as a certain Mr. Alexander deLarge would say, as old age, having a go at youth.

And for a detailed look at how the Times went off the rails, don’t miss Bill McGowan’s new book, Gray Lady Down. Watch this space for our upcoming interview with him.