Update — A staffer at the paper tells Romenesko readers: “To say this story is a laughingstock among the newsroom is The Biggest Understatement of 2013.” The editor responsible for it, he says, “basically judges things on whether they’ll get on Fark or not, which is a heck of a barometer for news in the 21st Century. So you’ve indirectly helped him there, and he’ll take it, even if it’s not the type of attention he desires. It’s still attention. And Web hits.
“The managing editor was on vacation that week and was none too pleased when he came back and saw the ‘story,’ but nothing will happen. Meanwhile, we’ve been singing ‘Oh, Penis Tree, Oh Penis Tree, how lovely is your penis’ in the newsroom since Christmas.”