The Lincoln Plawg - the blog with footnotes

Politics and law from a British perspective (hence Politics LAW BloG): ''People who like this sort of thing...'' as the Great Man said

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Monday, January 10, 2005
 

The New York Times and the nigger-joke


Having shlepped through every graf of the Rathergate Report - of which more later - I turn for light relief to my old friend Romenesko - who, as usual, fails to disappoint:

Recently, the NYT Co agreed to take a 49% stake in the Boston edition of the Metro freesheet; MediaChannel reports that a sales conference near Rome was entertained by
Steve Nylundh, the global newspaper chain's leading North America executive
at a gala dinner.

It seems that
tradition has it that someone at each table sing a song or tell a joke before dessert, as a means of breaking the ice and helping everyone bond.

Nylundh's [1] contribution - as described by former Boston Metro editor John Wilpers - was as follows:
Nylund's "joke" came in the form of a toast that centered on the length of the sexual organs of black males, whom he referred to as "niggers."

"It concerned the depth of a pool of water and the length of their penises," Wilpers says.

"Nylund began by saying, 'There were two niggers standing by a pool, and they took their dicks out,'" another participant recalls. "He went on about how one said the pool was too cold, and the other said it was too deep..."


Oh dear.

The reaction?
"All the Americans and the southern Europeans gasped," says Wilpers. "Someone at my table said, 'I can't believe he said that!' But the Nordics all laughed."

Whoda thunkit! Those pinko commies with their socialised everything, laughing at a nigger-joke.

The Metro, it seems, is owned by Investment AB Kinnevik, a Swedish company [CORRECTION in January 17 piece]. One senses that a Nordic aesthetic may dominate the corporate culture.

Did the NYT Co research this angle before they committed to their Boston investment, I wonder?

Perhaps, at the next sales conference, their man could contribute something from the Jayson Blair joke-book...

  1. Also spelt Nylund in the piece - fact-checking, anyone? I infer that his mother-tongue is not English: his opening gambit apparently was
    I will tell a joke.

MORE

Apparently, the Boston Metro has more substantive racial problems. This may turn out to be the most expensive 17 big ones the junior Sulzberger has spent in some time...


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