Years ago, I took great pleasure in reading the New York Times. On Sundays, the routine would be 'put on a pot of coffee, make some breakfast, and read the Times'. Once, when a bunch of my brother Vincenzo's West Point classmates came down for a free weekend, one of the regulars, Whisky Joe, and I went to the local Borders bookstore after a long drinking binge and picked up the Sunday Times. Hung over, we split up the paper, he reading the front section, me doing the crossword puzzle, when it hit me... I turned to Joe and said, "Some people have yahooism thrust upon them, they just don't know any better, but we choose to be yahoos- we're sophisticated, educated yahoos." Thus was born the Educated Yahoos Club- the Sunday morning hangover spent with the Times. Back in the day, the Sunday Times was a formidable chunk of paper, and it was a rare treat to read it cover to cover, all while nursing a major hangover.
Since the 90s, though, the Times has left me cold. Their Iraq coverage in the runup to the second Gulf War was appalling, and their habit of hiring mendacious right-wing hacks is maddening. Recently, though, they went too damn far and hired a racial-and-homophobic-slur-slinging apologist for Neo-Nazis to head up their opinion page coverage of tech issues. A simple Google search would have revealed Norton's history of bigotry, yet someone in the organization decided that she would be a good fit. How the hell can I trust the 'paper of record' to chase down the details of a news item when they can't even vet a prospective employee? At this stage, the New York Times is about as credible as the Washington Times, an observation that gives me no pleasure. Would it be possible to liberate Will Shortz somehow?