LA Times new owner Sam Zell, mindful of the recent infighting between the news and editorial divisions at the beleaguered paper, today announced a bold plan designed to “reestablish the entertainment capital of the world as the information capital of the world.” Plan Kilomonkey has been hailed as “genius” and “inspired” by the same people who steered it to heights not seen since the early 1880s.
Plan Kilomonkey calls for the entire editorial staff at the Times, from senior copy editor to lowest desk clerk, to be terminated and replaced by various monkeys and other primates on loan from the Los Angeles, San Diego, and San Francisco zoos. In additional to reducing salaries and cost for the “Opinion” section, the paper anticipated a dramatic quality increase in editorial columns, particularly over the recently-cancelled disastrous “Guest Editor” columns.
“Everybody knows that if you take a thousand monkeys and let them type for a thousand years, you’d get Shakespeare,” said Tim Rutten, newly-named Chief Editor and rumored architect of the plan. “Well, at a newspaper we don’t need Shakespeare. We don’t even need David Mamet. We just need something that people can read and enjoy. And the monkeys type on whatever subject it is that you want, which will keep the News division happy.”
Bud Rubkin, head keeper of Primates at the Los Angeles Zoo, said the monkeys were looking forward to taking a more active role in politics. “They’ve done a lot of acting, you know, things like luggage ads or those CareerBuilder.com commercials. But this time they get to show a little more of their personalities and fight social injustice.”
Asked about the monkeys’ behavior, Rutten was unconcerned. “So the excrement goes from being in the column to being on the draft that comes to me. It’s a small price to pay for such a large improvement.”
Not everyone was happy with the change. Sheila Rodgers-Hammersall, Executive Director of Hooray for Animals!, noted that “once again Hollywood is establishing itself as the premiere exploiter of animals. Locking these noble, sensitive animals up in a cellar to produce copy is a terrible crime, and the publisher should be ashamed of themselves. But I’ve read the LA Times; if they’re not ashamed of that then they won’t be ashamed of anything. We at Hooray for Animals! want to reiterate that the only simians that should ever be exploited are humans; never apes.”
The paper’s new owner brushed off the concerns of Hooray for Animals! “Look, we pay them well in bananas and mealworms, they turn out a quality product, and maybe one day one of them gets a book deal. It’s not like we’re declawing cats or something here. The monkeys like to write!”
Asked about quality of the editorial section, Rutten said he was excited to work with his new staff. “I’ve never worried about quality before, so why would I start now?”