Sunday, January 16, 2005

The New York Times runs p.r. and lifestyle stories on the front page -- can someone help them with hard news?

The front page of this morning's New York Times has room for a fluff piece on Dennis Kozlowski (Tyco) that's just overflowing with justifications (by Kozlowski). (It's also to be faulted for saying the David statue "flowed" vodika. Urinated, would be the more appropriated term. They've got room for a front page hockey story (they just love their sports.) In an eighties flashback moment, they've got a front page story on gangs (in Boston). "Guns and Jeers Used by Gangs to Buy Silence." Doesn't sound like it's a breaking story, does it? And yet more room to talk about the the inaugration. John Tierney appears not to have read any of the Times' other coverage on this issue (including the Q&A Deborah Solomon did with Jeanne L. Phillips two Sundays ago.)

Here's a front pager from The Common Ills: none of the stories above are front page stories.
What is? Well since they put the trial of Charles Graner on the front page at least twice this week, possibly his sentencing that took place yesterday? It was the first time he spoke. Kate Zernike's "Ringleader in Iraqi Prisoner Abuse Is Sentenced to 10 Years" (page A12) is a front page story. Now this happened yesterday and parts of the paper may have already gone to print. However, that doesn't excuse the fact that there are two puff pieces, a sports story and a regional story on the front page. The Times charges five dollars for the Sunday paper. Since I'm not at home, I had to pay for this copy. And I really don't enjoy paying five dollars for fluff. (Paying it twice, since I'm already charged for it in my subcription.)

Graner says that the orders came from above. That he was told "if M.I. is asking ou to do this, it needs to be done. They're in charge here, follow their orders."

His mother says, "It's the higher-ups that should be on trial. They let the little guys take the fall for them. But the truth will come out eventually."

If it does, I'm sure it'll be on the front page of the New York Times. Provided Bush doesn't need his ass kissed that day. Or some corporate creep facing a retrial hasn't hired a p.r. flack telling him to talk to the Times. (This interview ranks up there with the Watergate felons interviews the broadcasting outlets paid for in the seventies. I belive 60 Minutes' justification was that the interviews had historical value.) And of course, whether or not it makes the front page depends on how much the little boys at the Times wanting to pretend that they're manly sports players.
This sports nonsense has truly gotten out of hand.

And I'm going to leave it at that because I had five more lines (on this sports nonsense) and each line had at least two curse words in them. (No Oprah voice there, Gina.) I'll post more later today when I get back home. I'll also take off the Democracy Now! posts that were e-mailed on Friday and before but suddenly popped onto the Saturday blog entries.