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Obama Gets "Cranky" Without the NYT, Used to Sell Subscriptions

Yikes: "Can we Kling On to our newspapers in the galactic age?" Maureen Dowd (pictured) is the latest original thinker to compare Barack Obama to Spock from Star Trek, in a column that portrays the president as a Times fan and potential newspaper savior.

Maureen Dowd's Sunday column, datelined "The Final Frontier," beats to death the already tiresome conceit of comparing Barack Obama to the coolly rational Spock from Star Trek. In Dowd's version, Obama is going to beam down and save newspapers or something. The column is titled "Put Aside Logic," and it does. The text box is even lamer: "Can we Kling On to our newspapers in the galactic age?" Some headline writer must have thought the play on words was clever enough to be worth the corniness. It wasn't.


Dowd did provide a few decent Obama tidbits amidst the silly premise: Not only is the Times the president's favorite paper (he gets "cranky" without it), he sold subscriptions briefly while attending Columbia University.


I dreamed that Spock saved our planet, The Daily Planet of journalism.


Instead of swooping in to figure out the dimensionality and logarithms to rescue the world from red matter, as Spock does in J. J. Abrams's dazzling new "Star Trek," I imagined Spock rescuing read matter for the world.


Newspapers are an "endangered species," as John Kerry called us in a Senate hearing last week, just as the Vulcans are in the new prequel.


I know Barack Spock likes newspapers. An aide told me during the campaign that Mr. Obama would get cranky if he didn't have some time set aside during the day to read The New York Times....Once, during his campaign trip to Europe, Mr. Obama told me that he had briefly sold subscriptions to The New York Times when he was at Columbia University to help pay for school, but confessed he wasn't very good at it.