Saturday, November 22, 2008

For Christmas: The Isaac Mizrahi Times Tote Bag, Or The Barack Obama Commemorative Coffee Mug.

Want to carry the bag that screams "PRINT IS DYING!" over your shoulder this holiday season?

The clearest signs yet of the Times's desperation -- remember, it has nearly $400 million in debts to pay to banks by spring, to avoid a worsening of its already-precarious fiscal condition -- come not from news of layoffs or its depressed stock price, but in the form of ads for new Times Store products in this morning's paper.

One is for a "New York Times Limited-Edition Tote Bag," designed by Isaac Mizrahi. This "practical and stylish" overnight case comes with a New York Times Store label (guaranteed to depress your friends) and a card indicating the bag's individual number. We're told that Mizrahi took his inspiration from the colors used by architect Renzo Piano in his design of the new Times headquarters on 8th Avenue. (That's the building they may have to sell their stake in soon to raise more capital.)

It costs $249.95, and remember -- only three totes per customer! A matching Mizrahi Times scarf can be yours for only $124.95. Perfect for tying around your neck in a desperate suicide attempt when your Times stock drops to nothing.

An entire page of Barack Obama memorabilia is also available in the Times store -- framed front pages ($199), bound commemorative editions ($89) and a framed photograph of Obama from the campaign trail, autographed by Times photographer Damon Winter ($689).

For those of us on a limited Obama gift-giving budget this holiday season, the Times offers a pair of sleek white mugs with a reproduction of the "Obama" election-day front page on the side, for only $24.95.

And remember, if you buy one, you're doing your part to save the American newspaper industrty. The Times needs to sell only 100 million mugs to wipe out one of its bank credit obligations.

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