Contrarianism and counter-intuitiveness are great, but one can take them too far, too, and it sure looks like that is what the New York Times did in a front-page news article from Saudi Arabia about "avenues for mercy" in the Saudi legal system. The Times reports:
A Times news article on the naming of a new president of New York University ends this way:
A front-page New York Times news article about Senator Rand Paul and his presidential campaign concludes with this passage:
For at least this literal-minded reader, this was an ending that raised more questions than it answered. For starters, how did the Times know when Dr. Paul fell asleep? It must have been hard for the senator to doze off with the Times reporter there staring at him watching for what time his eyes shut and listening to see if he started snoring. If that's not what happened, the Times is relying on someone's say-so without telling us who that person is, or how that person knows.
The New York Times has issued a correction of the Thomas Friedman column we wrote about here the other day. We wrote: "The passage about Mr. Adelson joking 'with another wealthy Israeli' is a strange one because neither Mr. Adelson nor the person he was joking with, Haim Saban, is an Israeli. They are Americans." The Times correction reads, "Thomas L. Friedman's column on Wednesday incorrectly suggested that the businessman Sheldon Adelson is Israeli. He is American."
In advance of the Israeli election, Thomas Friedman has a column up attacking Sheldon Adelson. One of Mr. Friedman's complaints is that Mr. Adelson invests in newspapers. From the column:
A Times article about Aaron Kushner stepping down from his leadership role at Freedom Communications, publisher of the Orange County Register, reports:
A Style section article includes the following one-sentence paragraph:
It is strange that "melted Swiss cheese" is cited as evidence that the Polo Bar corned beef sandwich is "true" to the roots of a city that "once had 1,550 registered kosher delicatessens." A true kosher deli wouldn't let swiss cheese anywhere near a corned beef sandwich — it would violate the provision of Jewish law that forbids mixing milk and meat.
Amid an otherwise pretty good column today, David Brooks writes, "reintroducing norms ... will require holding people responsible. People born into the most chaotic situations can still be asked the same questions: Are you living for short-term pleasure or long-term good? Are you living for yourself or for your children? Do you have the freedom of self-control or are you in bondage to your desires?"
An article in Sunday's Review section by two Times reporters, William J. Broad and David E. Sanger, expresses skepticism about a nuclear deal with Iran, concluding, "If past is prologue, the West might once again find itself stonewalled." Flip a few pages, and a Times editorial, "Sabotaging a Deal With Iran," appears to have been written without taking into account the issues raised by the two reporters.
The lead front-page news article in today's Times begins:
So much for the idea that Republicans would get credit for not shutting down the Department of Homeland Security.
Imagine the coverage if the Republicans had shut down the Department of Homeland Security (which wouldn't have actually shut down anyway, because something like 85% of the workers are considered "essential.")
Or imagine if the Times covered Obama that way. The passage of ObamaCare would have been covered with an article that would have begun, "President Obama nearly lost the vote to pass his signature domestic initiative."
Or imagine if the Times covered sports that way. The Patriots Super Bowl victory would have been written up as "the Patriots nearly lost the Super Bowl."
The decision to crop George W. and Laura Bush out of a front-page New York Times photo of the Selma anniversary march is attracting some attention.
Update: The Times public editor tackles the issue and finds the photo wasn't cropped; rather, the Times staff photographer at the event didn't even bother to submit a photo that included President Bush, explaining, "Bush was in the bright sunlight. I did not even send this frame because it's very wide and super busy and Bush is super-overexposed because he was in the sun and Obama and the others are in the shade."
It was quite a day for anonymice.
The lead article in the Thursday Styles section, about the supposed news that Uber and Lyft have put a damper on the sex that used to take place in the backseats of New York City taxis, includes the following attributions:
Then the foreign section has an account of a stabbing attack on the American ambassador in South Korea:
It's actually hard to tell which is the New York Times staff editorial about Prime Minister Netanyahu's speech to Congress and which is the op-ed piece from the Iranian ambassador to the United Nations, which may be one of the reasons that a new effort is under way to get Jewish groups to stop subsidizing this sort of thing by buying full-page advertisements in the Times.
The lead news article in Sunday's New York Times appeared under the headline, "G.O.P. Race Starts in Lavish Haunts of Rich Donors." It began:
There are at least two problems with this story.
The first is that one person I know who attended the meeting paid $532 for his room at the Breakers. There was a block rate for Club for Growth people that the Times doesn't mention.
From a book review by Times book critic Dwight Garner that the Times issued this week: "Kinky details are allowed to crawl in. Mr. Christgau says he masturbated when young to the Song of Solomon (the Bible book, not the Toni Morrison novel)."
It seems a bit hypocritical of Mr. Garner to criticize the book author, Robert Christgau, for allowing such details to crawl in, when Mr. Garner himself specializes in including them in his own reviews.
A post here back in September enumerated at least five previous instances in the past four years in which Mr. Garner wrote about masturbation. Smartertimes observed then:
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