Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Ya Know, I Used to Love the Times

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?


Anonymous said...

Historically, there have been 3 Persian Gulf wars in the last 40years. Persian Gulf War I was the Iran-Iraq war, 1980-1988. Persian Gulf War II was the invasion of Kuwait by Iraq in 1990 and Persian Gulf War III was the invasion of Iraq by the US. Operation Desert Storm and Operation Iraqi Freedom were the military names for Gulf Wars II and III. The US propaganda machine would like us to forget about the Iran-Iraq war because the US were trying to help Saddam Hussain defeat Iran. Reductio Ad Absurdum.

mikey said...

I think you hit a nice balance here, Mr. Bastard. I've been appalled and infuriated by so many of my fellow lefties furious that people they don't like actually got a job doing what they do. As someone who has struggled to attain gainful employment, claiming that someone shouldn't have or somehow doesn't deserve the job their employers chose to hire them to do, I think this is either the worst kind of professional jealousy or something even darker than that.

We have a choice in what information outlets we choose to consume. I don't mind reading other points of view, but blatant lies and stupid conspiracies just aren't going to make the cut. But that's MY choices. Anybody who gets a job writing for the NY Times has reached a pinnacle point for the professional writer, and they completely and totally 'deserve' to have that job and draw that paycheck.

While I may choose not to read their dreck, I congratulate each and every one of them for being able to make a successful living writing for a respected national publication...