A man in Berkeley, Calif., got fed up with his copies of the Wall Street Journal intermittently disappearing from his doorstep. According to Berkeleyside, nearly two weeks ago, Berkeley businessman and local photographer Richard Nagler posted a note to the thief, very politely asking whoever it was to just return the papers by 10 a.m. or so, in good condition, with no coffee stains. The note went viral, and actually caught the attention of WSJ.
Berkeleyside reports that, upon finding out what was happening, WSJ just couldn’t resist joining the fun. None other than WSJ’s editor-in-chief, Gerard Baker, decided to post his own notes outside on Nagler’s Skylight and Sun store. The notes were written both in the same spirit, and the same tone, that Nagler used in his note to the newspaper thief. It said:
To our subscriber, Richard, who has had his Wall Street journal taken so many times over the years:
We recently caught wind of your decade-long struggle with someone routinely appropriating your Wall Street Journal. We do understand this person’s desire for in-depth analysis, news coverage, and award-winning journalism – but that’s no excuse for taking your newspaper.
So here’s the deal:
Obviously The Wall Street Journal is important to your life and we feel terrible that we can’t give back all those past issues that were taken.
To make up for your loss we are giving you a complimentary iPad with the WSJ app. With it you’ll always be able to read The Journal, even if your print newspaper starts to ‘disappear’ again.
We appreciate you making time to read The Journal, and we remain committed to providing you with the high-quality journalism you expect from us.
We’ll try to help with those investment tips as well.
That’s absolutely adorable. However, Nagler was less than enthused. He told Berkeleyside:
Those right-wing saboteurs not only defaced my valuable property, they are trying to set me up with a confrontation with the IRS. They know I’ll have to report the iPad and subscription as a gift and pay tax. They’re trying to win me over to their side. I smell Rupert Murdoch behind all this.
And that is hilarious. What’s even more hilarious is the fact that Nagler isn’t as hardline as that statement makes him appear. He also said that, if WSJ had offered him a laptop or a desktop computer, he would definitely consider switching from MSNBC over to Fox News.
WSJ also left a note for the thief. It offered them a 12-week subscription for $12, which is the same deal they offer all new subscribers. The major difference, though? The thief gets their own, special URL to use for signing up: wsj.com/subscribedontsteal. No doubt WSJ thinks they’re being cute, and they’re probably right.
It’s not known how much of an effect these notes had on the thief. However, Nagler’s papers haven’t disappeared since he posted his original note. They also haven’t taken Nagler up on his offer yet, but it’s kind of hard to do so when they’ve stopped stealing the papers, at least for now.
Featured image via Berkeleyside