The New York Times As Abusive Spouse

We've been here before. Like, for example, between 1964 and 1970. The Times would come home at all hours, smelling of liquor. We'd say, "Where have you been?" and bam! a shot upside the head, a shout: "Shut up, bitch!" and then the Times would stagger upstairs, leaving us bloody and dazed on the floor. The next morning, he'd see what he'd done, though not remembering clearly, and beg forgiveness. It was the booze talking, he loved us, would never do it again. In 1970 he published The Pentagon Papers, kind of like giving us a gaudy diamond ring to make up for all the abuse, for all the light-at-the-end-of-the-tunnel stuff about Vietnam, and went into rehab. We loved the Times, and forgave him, and besides, who would really believe us? Such a distinguished, handsome guy.

And then, after some years of sobriety, the Times staggered home one night, breath stinking of whiskey, with Judith Miller. "Who is this woma-" Bam! another blow, "Shut up, bitch!" again, and upstairs with the floozy. This time, when he saw what he'd done, he broke it off with the floozy, and went right back into rehab. Oh, he was so sorry, he really loved us, and he'd never do it again.

And this time, omigod! - it's a man! Michael Gordon, (or was that David M. Broder, or David E. Sanger?) who is not making the case for war in Iraq like Judith Miller, but the case for why we should stay there now, sometimes called a phased withdrawal. "Honey, where have you been? And who is that ma-" Wham! "Shut up, bitch!" And then they stagger upstairs, right onto the front page, the same front page we've shared together!

This time, when he sees what he's done, he's going break it off with Michael Gordon, (or whoever it was - tough to see when you're being assaulted) apologize and go back into rehab. And this time, we know he'll mean it, because he really loves us.

And besides, where would we go? What would we do without the New York Times?