Let’s break the Atlantic-New York Times kerfuffle down in the simplest way possible, shall we?

First, in its January/February issue, the Atlantic’s Michael Hirschorn was all, "What if the New York Times goes out of business—like, this May?"

Then Catherine Mathis, the Times’ senior vice president of corporate communications, was all "Your article leaves a lot to be desired from the standpoint of … well, journalism." (Media industry onlookers, of course, were all, "Oh, snap!")

Now, Hirschorn is all, "additional numbers released by the New York Times Company since the piece went to press do not inspire confidence in the paper’s long-term prospects" and "ongoing double-digit declines do not a viable long-term business make."

Double zing!