Sunday, June 12, 2005

Critiquing the front page of this morning's New York Times

This morning's New York Times front page embraces lifestyle reporting. It tosses its arms around it, rolls to the ground with it and it gives a dry hump. It's tawdry, it's embarrassing, it is the New York Times.

You get Michael Brick's "And Next to the Beared Lady, Premature Babies" screaming like something off the National Enquirer. You get Laurie Goodstein's "Spirit Willing, Evanglist Plans to Come Down From Mountain" which manages to be both insulting to readers and Moses.

The Timid attempts to beef up the real reporting factor by also front paging Social Security (Robin Toner co-wrote that article; I've exempted myself -- and noted why elsewhere in other entries -- from mentioning Toner's reporting so if someone wants to address the article or Toner, they need to e-mail their remarks and note that they want to be quoted), David Johnston's "Antiterror Head Will Help Choose An F.B.I. Official" (which was news, or at least a newsworthy announcement on Friday -- the article was online yesterday morning, Wally e-mailed about it then), Steven R. Weisman's "U.S. Asks Others to Pressure Iraq To Be Inclusive" and another in the Class Matters series.

It doesn't beef up the front page or the paper. It makes the paper come off just as lost as CNN did in 2002. Not quite sure whether it wants to provide chuckles or news in its front page, the Timid provokes laughter, just not the kind they expected.

Shall we contrast? The New York Times has a Billy Graham story with photo on its front page.
The Sunday Times of London?

They have Michael Smith's "Ministers were told of need for Gulf war 'excuse:'"

MINISTERS were warned in July 2002 that Britain was committed to taking part in an American-led invasion of Iraq and they had no choice but to find a way of making it legal.
The warning, in a leaked Cabinet Office briefing paper, said Tony Blair had already agreed to back military action to get rid of Saddam Hussein at a summit at the Texas ranch of President George W Bush three months earlier.
The briefing paper, for participants at a meeting of Blair’s inner circle on July 23, 2002, said that since regime change was illegal it was "necessary to create the conditions" which would make it legal.
This was required because, even if ministers decided Britain should not take part in an invasion, the American military would be using British bases. This would automatically make Britain complicit in any illegal US action.

It's the difference between focusing on the news and focusing on amusements. But let's be honest here, the Times (New York) can't pull of amusing. They should stick to news.

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