I wasn’t going to touch this one, because it seems so ridiculous that it’s not even worth debunking, but the idea that Google might buy the New York Times seems to have caught enough attention to still have a cluster of blogs writing about it on Techmeme — despite the fact that there’s about as much chance of Google buying the Old Grey Lady as there is of me buying the Eiffel Tower (which I think would look really nice in my back yard, over near the potted ferns, next to the kids’ swingset).

Someone named John Ellis wrote the piece for Real Clear Markets, a sister site to Real Clear Politics, which Ellis apparently has written for in the past. He’s also described as a venture partner with Kerr Creek Partners. I hope that John doesn’t use the same kind of reasoning for his venture investments that he displays in his Google-buying-the-Times post; if he does, then his partners are in for a rude awakening. Simply put, Google buying the New York Times not only doesn’t make any sense, it doesn’t fit with anything Google stands for.

Could it happen? Sure it could. And monkeys could fly out of my butt, as Wayne used to say on Wayne’s World. I’m not going to say it’s too stupid to happen, because I said that about eBay buying Skype and look what happened there — it was too stupid to happen, but it happened anyway. In any case, as my friend Ash points out at HipMojo, the main reason it won’t happen is because Google has no interest in actually producing content (except for encouraging people to submit comments on Google News stories, and look how well that’s turned out).

Ellis tries to concoct some kind of logical argument out of the fact that a) the Times is cheap, and b) it would somehow help Google lobby the government if it owned a respected newspaper. You know what else is cheap, John? Nortel Networks. Should Google buy them too? That one would actually make a lot more sense than the NYT, since Google actually uses some of Nortel’s products and probably has some thoughts about networking. What Google knows about running a newspaper would fit into one of those stress balls they hand out to new employees.

The “Google triumphalism” never seems to stop. Google is buying Verizon (or should buy Verizon). Google is buying the New York Times. Google is going to give us all free medical care and faster-than-light travel, as well as non-polluting cars that run on Tic-Tacs. Spare me.

About the author

Mathew 2430 posts

I'm a Toronto-based senior writer with Fortune magazine, and my favorite things to write about are social technology, media and the evolution of online behavior

12 Responses to “Google to buy everything, cure cancer”
  1. ‘thewie, I disagree. I think you should *totally* buy the Eiffel tower.


  2. Hey Mathew this blog is awesome. . . .

  3. i was feeling a little upset when i saw that story get onto techmeme, and then i realized the hapless author was getting pelted by posts like this.

  4. Aha, I have it – Google will buy the NYT to aquire WordPress who NYT have just invested in :-)

  5. So long as I get a candy powered car, I’m happy

  6. The hole in this logic is big enough for a Peterbilt truck to drive thru: The moment Google announced its intention to purchase traditional media companies is the day investment analysts would start re-valuing the company using traditional media company metrics — and instead of being worth $185 billion or whatever, it would be worth a fraction of that. Google has an astro-valuation because of the belief it has some earth-shattering future developments in front of it, not because its strategy is about collecting ‘dinosaurs’ (which, for the record, I don’t believe the NY Times is). Personally, however, I wish they’d develop several billion dollars to developing a flying car.

  7. I think the guys that own google are not stupid guys. Obviously with how much they are worth I think they are pretty smart. I would assume with their great achievements with google and the money they have made they are able to pursue other interests that don't fit into our little box we are trying to put them in. They are probably bored with the same old same old routine and are venturing out. Great for them. I can just wish I had the money to get out of debt. Must be nice, but I am sure they worked for it.

  8. Google actually uses some of Nortel’s products and
    probably has some thoughts about networking

  9. […] Google to buy everything cure cancer Posted by root 26 minutes ago (http://www.mathewingram.com) Aha i have it google will buy the nyt to aquire wordpress who nyt have just invested in so long as i get a candy powered car i 39 m happy rex hammock feel free to leave a comment or use the contact form to send me an email Discuss  |  Bury |  News | Google to buy everything cure cancer […]

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