Everyone has an opinion about the steps that new CEO Carol Bartz must take to turn Yahoo! (NASDAQ:YHOO) around. One of the zaniest, though, comes from Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster. In a research note last week, he suggests that the company acquire New York Times (NYSE:NYT)

To be fair, Munster also suggests various logical purchases like Twitter, FriendFeed, and Gawker Media. But what would Yahoo! do with an old-school newspaper company?

Sure, NYT owns the iconic About.com reference site, runs the popular online version of its namesake daily paper, and manages several well-read blogs. None of that would justify Yahoo!'s purchase of a company with an enterprise value of $2 billion.

As with most newspaper companies, fading circulation and advertising budgets have left their mark on NYT. Even Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) is bowing out of the print advertising market. NYT has posted top-line declines in revenue the past three years, and those numbers aren't about to get any better.

My real beef with Munster's suggestion is that Yahoo! excels (among other areas) as an aggregator of data. From Yahoo! News to Yahoo! Finance to the Yahoo! Mail landing page, the company offers up headlines from a wide range of sources. How unbiased would the company appear if it owned one of its leading news providers?

Search-engine giants like Yahoo!, Google, and Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) are better off playing the field than making media bets. The occasional deal may happen, like when Yahoo! snapped up Rivals.com two years ago. Time Warner's (NYSE:TWX) AOL is also gaining traction with its network of niche-specific blogs. However, buying a huge company like NYT sends the wrong message on media impartiality.

I realize that Bartz will be pressured tonight when she hosts her first earnings conference call at Yahoo!. Investors will want direction, optimism, and confidence. Getting the company's hands all smudgy with newsprint would be a bad move on all three of those fronts. 

The world according to Yahoo!:

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Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz thinks that a Microsoft-Yahoo! merger will inevitably happen. He does not own shares in any of the stocks in this story. He is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early. The Fool's disclosure policy has nothing but love for the Grey Lady.