Washington Babylon — July 28, 2008, 9:02 am

Los Angeles Times to be Written Entirely by Computer

According to one extremely reputable source, things are even worse at the Times than previously thought:

For the 23rd time in 18 months, the Los Angeles Times is losing its top editor. Raul Jones, a former newsroom janitor who rose through the ranks as layoffs shrank the number of real journalists, was fired yesterday after refusing to lay off the paper’s last employee – himself. In a blistering farewell e-mail sent to himself, Jones defended his stance against further cuts. “I had to draw the line,” he wrote. “It’s one thing to sack everybody else, but I can’t countenance my own dismissal. Who’s going to cover city and state government, the war in Iraq and Britney Spears? The quality of the paper will suffer.”

But Tribune Co. spokesman Randy Michaels said the paper would do just fine, thanks to sophisticated new software that rewrites wire-service stories in the style of former Times reporters. “We analyzed past articles and found that 38% of all stories began with the writer mentioning the time of day,” Michaels said. “Our new software will duplicate that formula.”

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More from Ken Silverstein:

From the November 2013 issue

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