Sunday, October 25, 2009

The Death of the NY Times

We are gathered here to mourn the death of the Gray Lady--the NY Times. It used to be one of the finest newspapers in the world. The poor lass was gravely wounded by the Iraq war, when one of its reporters, Judith Miller, became a flack for the Bush Administration.

Dr. Peter Baker did his best to heal the patient with his keen insights and dogged determination. But alas, it was for naught. With its reputation in tatters, the paper now resorts to highlighting articles that focus on the folks who play golf or basketball with President Obama, suggesting a boys club inside the White House.

Where was the Times when various Bush officials held prayers before all kinds of meetings? The Times duly notes that the females in the White House do not really seem to care that much about being left off the tee. So, is there a story here? Perhaps the Times needs to watch Jon Stewart to figure out which sotries are worth covering.

Obama is certainly not perfect, and has been slow to follow through on some stuff, but has he developed policies that are harmful to women? Are his opponents promoting policies that hurt women? How about a little more focus on the stuff that he does that actually matters?

Bill Simmons, a.k.a. the Sports Guy, has railed against newspapers, arguing that their downfall was not the advent of the internet but how they reacted to it--focusing more on immediacy and less on quality of writing and reporting. This kind of story, much ado about nothing, may be another strategy--not so much being the first with an under-sourced story but presenting non-stories as something worth printing. "All the News Fit to Print" indeed!

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