A document obtained today by this reporter reveals that right-wing Texas billionaire brothers Charles and Bill Koch, rumored for months to be planning a takeover of the venerable Los Angeles Times, are secretly detailing changes they intend to make after they assume control.
The document, a draft memorandum spirited from a hidden compartment in the desk of thrice-married Bill Koch by someone identifying herself only as "Former Koch Uxor," reads as follows:
To All Employees:
As you know, this morning we assumed control of the Los Angeles Times. Since then, we have given significant thought to what must be done to restore the publication to profitability by next Wednesday. In addition to layoffs, we have concluded that the following changes, effectively immediately, will give the paper a new look and feel that will quickly attract new readers, as well as some who learned to read years ago:
I. Use of the term "illegal immigrant" is no longer permissible. Henceforth, individuals who cross the border illegally from Mexico by swimming across the Rio Grande shall be referred to as "soaking wetbacks." Those who cross the border by land shall be referred to as "running wetbacks."
II. All front-page columns to the left of the rightmost column shall be printed on a red background.
III. The term "birth control" shall be replaced with the phrase "unmitigated, brutal murder of human beings who might otherwise have matriculated at Oral Roberts University."
IV. George Romney shall be referred to as a "former person."
V. Wherever it appears, including but not limited to the Cooking, Travel, Personal Hygiene, and Obituary sections, the name "Sheldon Adelson" shall be printed in 20 point type and surrounded by seraphim.
VI. "Hussein" shall be inserted seven times between "Barack" and "Obama" and shall be printed only as a footnote to any stories that absolutely require the reference, such as those containing the words "Abu Ghraib" or "birth certificate."
VII. Senator Ted Cruz, singer Ted Nugent and performance artist Ted ('Unabomber') Kaczinski, shall serve as rotating authors of a new column, "Bombast, Bullets and Bombs--Friends or Family?"
VIII. The word "parasite" and its derivative adjectives and adverbs shall appear no fewer than 154 times in weekday editions and 213 times on Sunday as a substitute for, or modifier of:
(a) Union or union member;
(b) Recipient of unemployment benefits;
(c) Plaintiff in a financial fraud lawsuit involving more than $100;
(d) Individual who depends upon gratuities for more than half his income; and
(e) The 47 percent.
IX. The word "Evolution" may appear only in stories concerning new amusement park rides.
X. Wherever possible, stories dealing with proposed new taxes shall be situated immediately adjacent to those describing involuntary organ transplants.
XI. Photographs of participants in Tea Party events shall be airbrushed to remove any traces of foam in the nose and mouth areas.
XII. Stories concerning unintended, massive releases of oil shall refer to the latter as "God's Energy Drink." The headline associated with any such story shall contain the words "tragic loss for a quintessentially American industry," or their equivalent.
Deviation from these twelve rules ("The Apostles") shall be cause for immediate termination.
On a different note, we are aware that over the past few years many of you have had to tighten your belts because your salaries have not kept pace with inflation. Although we have decided to make no upward adjustments in the existing salary structure, we believe that exceptional work, particularly in the area of investigative journalism, warrants exceptional compensation.
To demonstrate that these are not empty words, we are pleased to announce that a 20% bonus will be paid to the author of any report of a homeowner successfully using a gun to stop an intruder. The bonus will be awarded irrespective of whether the homeowner also shoots himself.
In closing, we want to underscore that our decision to acquire The Times was motivated by more than the desires to add to our fortunes or to gratify our egos. Our goal was, is and will always be to insure that the people of this spirited and independent region of the country get the news they need and the newspaper they deserve.