Lost in D.C.
December 24, 2000
comments powered by Disqus
The lead article in the Sunday Styles section of today's New York Times speculates about what the social scene in Washington, D.C., will be like in the new administration. It's painfully obvious from the story that the Times is lost in D.C.
To start with, there's the anachronistic reference to "the Jockey Club at the Ritz-Carlton." "Every four years," The Times reports, two Washington socialites "give a pre-Inaugural party at the Jockey Club in the Ritz-Carlton, and everybody who is anybody is invited."
Well, "everybody who is anybody" would know that, a few years ago, the Ritz-Carlton name came off the hotel that houses the Jockey Club. The hotel that houses the Jockey Club restaurant is now known as the Westin Fairfax, and there's a new Ritz-Carlton over in Washington's West End neighborhood.
The article goes on to refer to "Georgette Mosbacher, the New York businesswoman who spent much of the 1980's in Washington, when she was married to Robert Mosbacher, commerce secretary under Ronald Reagan." This is incorrect. Mr. Mosbacher was commerce secretary from 1989 to 1992, during the Bush administration. President Reagan's commerce secretaries were Malcolm Baldridge and C. William Verity.
Finally, the article refers to President-elect Bush's decision to stay at "the plain old Madison Hotel on 15th Street." The Madison isn't particularly old, as Washington hotels go. It opened in 1963. And it's hardly plain. It's a four-star hotel. Smartertimes.com was lucky enough to stay there the other night and the room had two televisions, three telephones (with two lines), a bathrobe, an umbrella, a heated towel rack, a bidet and Godiva chocolates on the pillows. The New York Times makes it sound like George W. checked into a Motel 6.
Minimum Wage: The "Economic View" column in the business section of today's New York Times reports that "Even stingy employers no longer balk at paying a minimum wage stuck at only $5.15 an hour, the present level." Oh? Maybe the Economic View columnist should check out the city section of today's New York Times, which carries a dispatch that runs under the headline "Union Calls for Boycott of 3 Delis, Saying Workers Are Exploited." The city section article reports that at one of the delis, "One clerk, an immigrant from Mexico who insisted on anonymity, said he earns $2.50 an hour, was working nearly 70 hours a week and not paid for sick days, holidays or overtime." Or maybe the city section reporter should check out the Economic View column. Smartertimes.com is all for having a diversity of views in the newspaper, but these two reports seem to offer not divergent opinions but conflicting descriptions of reality.
Attention Paid: The Metro Section of today's New York Times carries a news article about how little attention has been paid to the conviction of a brutal serial murderer and rapist. The article runs under the headline "Families of Victims Question Attention Paid to Killings." It reports on complaints that the crimes garnered less press attention because the victims were black and Hispanic residents of Harlem. What if one of those victims, the article asks rhetorically, "had been a young woman from Texas smashed in the head with a brick in Midtown Manhattan?"
Well, the Times answers that question today with its decisions on story placement. The article headlined "Families of Victims Question Attention Paid to Killings" runs inside the metro section. In the more prominent display spot, on the front of the section, is, sure enough, an interview with the white Texas woman who was hit with a brick.
Subscribe to the Mailing List
© 2017 FutureOfCapitalism LLC