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The Denver Post goodwill ambassador to Rocky Mountain News fans is... Garfield?

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The first Rocky Mountain News-free weekend since the James Buchanan administration was a melancholy occasion for most journalism lovers throughout Colorado, whether they were subscribers or not. As for the quality of the Denver Post since the switchover, I'll be sharing many of my thoughts in this week's print edition. But the giant house ads that have appeared in every issue of the Post to date demand immediate ridicule -- especially today's two-page spread, which pairs the phrase "Suddenly we're more opinionated, more social, more political, more sports minded, not to mention crankier and furrier" with an enormous illustration of Garfield the Cat.

The Post thinks Garfield is a key to hanging onto Rocky subscribers? Seriously? Sure, Garfield played an odd role in the historic newspaper battle between the Post and the Rocky; when the Rocky erected a rooftop display to celebrate stealing away the Jim Davis strip, Post reps retaliated by vandalizing it. But that was 1989, folks. Twenty years ago. Back when jokes about a cat that loves lasagna were two decades fresher, if no funnier. Granted, approximately 2,000 people e-mailed or called to complain when the Rocky dropped Garfield last October, prompting a change of heart. But this total is less than 1 percent of tabloid's total subscriber base -- suggesting that the vast majority of others don't give shit-one about the overstuffed feline anymore.

How can you tell which Post executives signed off on this ad? They're the ones wearing Izod shirts, Gloria Vanderbilt jeans, Lee Press-On nails and feathers and beads attached to their hair with a roach clip. And now, meet the Post's new managing editor: Alf.

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