Either WaPo’s editors locked themselves in a room with nothing but cream soda, syrup of ipecac, and spoiled clam chowder to see who held out longest in a chunder-fest, or Jeff Bezos wanted to see if his media toy could fail faster than Amazon’s Fire phone.
Either way, the new branding says this loud and clear: We are elite; we are smug; we are right and you, dear reader, are stupid (for voting for Trump, presumably).
The official reasoning behind this emetic slogan, according to what spokesperson Kris Coratti told CNN:
We thought it would be a good, concise value statement that conveys who we are to the many millions of readers who have come to us for the first time over the last year. We started with our newest readers on Snapchat, and plan to roll it out on our other platforms in the coming weeks.
Oh it’s concise, like Mr. Creozote in a fine restaurant (NSFW). Seriously, get me a bucket.
I am not the only one who seems to feel this way. It got John Podhoretz so depressed that he went home and binge-watched all three Star Wars prequels.
"Democracy Dies in Darkness" is only a little better than "Hold me, Anakin, like you did by the lake on Naboo!"
— John Podhoretz (@jpodhoretz) February 22, 2017
— Matt Goldstein 🇺🇸 (@DeadCode) February 22, 2017
Mollie Hemingway thought it was a joke. Alas, no.
I thought people were joking about this new WP motto: "democracy dies in darkness." They were not. I shouldn't be laughing so hard.
— Mollie (@MZHemingway) February 22, 2017
Maybe there should be a pool to see how long this particular candidate for the worst slogan in American history will last.
Could it go longer than UPS’ ill-fated “what can brown do for you?” or Dr Pepper’s “it’s not for women.” Or even the shockingly awful Carl’s Jr. “if it doesn’t get all over the place, it doesn’t belong in your face.” That one was so bad that it may have been what cost Andrew Pudzer the Labor Secretary job. (To be fair, that particular slogan was remanded to the greasepit of history a year before Pudzer joined the company.)
Bad slogans tend to stick to companies though. If WaPo was smart, it would have unveiled this gag (meant literally in more than one definition) on April 1, so they could disavow it as a joke. But now I’m afraid they’re stuck with it.
The sad part is, they don’t even know how stunningly awful, smug and barfingly condescending the slogan is. Probably because they are too smug and condescending themselves.