Thursday, November 20, 2008

Today I am thankful for . . . the New York Times

The New York Times is the last real newspaper standing. That said, it's on shaky legs. Yeah, yeah, I know it's ripped for being ultra-liberal and that liberalism comes out on the editorial page, though a couple of righties have regular columns, as well. And the paper has had its share of embarrassing bogus stories from bogus reporters over the years.

But day in, day out, there is not another newspaper that actually covers national and international news like NYT. Not convinced? Compare the websites for yourselves:
New York Times - so newsy, it looks absolutely dull, though right now it's featuring a photo of Axl Rose - must be the Murdoch influence; give it ten minutes and the photo will change to starving children or the Iraqi war; lives up to its "Gray Lady" reputation
Los Angeles Times - well, showbiz is news in Los Angeles, so I guess we can forgive them for parsing out only a couple of key spots for news that affects the rest of the world
Washington Post - #2 on the news-scale, but it still along way from the news-heft of NYT
The Times/London - all Madonna and "Strictly Come Dancing," all the time (well, that's what you get with Murdoch at the helm)
The Guardian UK - showin' the love for Madonna and Michael Jackson right on the front
The Telegraph UK - fairly newsy at the moment, though it replaced its Madonna story with an old picture of the Queen in bell-bottoms (that's pretty newsworthy, I think)

When I taught Advanced Placement Government and Politics, I had the NYT delivered to the classroom. My students were overwhelmingly conservative and were very wary of the paper until they started using it. Even though many of them heartily disagreed with everything on the editorial page, they became dependent on all the news sections. I had a student come back to see me after he'd graduated to tell me that the best thing I ever taught him was to read the New York Times (and he was one of my most conservative students).

But news reporting is only one reason I'm thankful for NYT. I mean, the crossword puzzle alone is worthy of thankfulness. And the Sunday Magazine. And the NYT Best Seller list. The paper features a great Science section on Tuesdays. The Arts, Fashion, Politics - all superior to any other newspaper. It is one gorgeous hunk o' newspaper, even with its "Gray Lady" style. So I am thankful for "all the news that's fit to print," because obviously the whole Madonna-Guy, Britney, Paris, Come Dancing stuff isn't (fit to print), but a damn fine crossword is.

Thanks for the news, you buncha' rascals.


jomoore said...

I'm sorry, but are you telling me that the New York Times doesn't contain pagefuls of 'news' about John Sergeant leaving Strictly Come Dancing? How can you possibly cope?!

MaryB said...

Not only that, but it also omits any reference to the lastest ousted has-been on our version "Dancing with the Stars." Incredible, I know. Just fills up the space will hard news. Oh. And ads for Bloomingdales. :-)

We get all the pop news from USA Today, thank goodness.

Anonymous said...

During my short stint in the newspaper business (Classified advertising manager for a small metropolitan newspaper etc) the motto for our paper was: "All the news that fits, we print". Afterall we were the business end of that particular stick.
My favorite ad that the NYT did was the Tiffany ad after the death of Audrey Hepburn... In their simple bordered ad it simply read:
Audrey Hepburn
Our Huckleberry Friend.
Still brings a tear.

Anonymous said...

Yes, the Times is a great newspaper. Maureen Doud is sexy and smart! But for a good ole newspaper, you just can't beat the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "Covers Dixie like the dew."

Anonymous said...

For those of us who are liberal in cities with horrid (i.e, Republican/conservative) newspapers that are getting smaller every day, the NYTimes online has been a God-send. I read it every day and on Sunday all the extras (including the Style section for those of us who miss those wonderful wedding write-ups of the old Chat. Times)it is great! You're so right, Mary; thank God for the NYTimes! Va. Branum

MaryB said...

Bro - I love the Hepburn obit/tribute from Tiffany's. The ads are sometimes the best part of the paper.

Cuz - Well, the Jour-tution ain't what it used to be, but we hope it will rise again someday, covering Dixie like the dew (always loved that tagline). Till then, it's the NYT.

Virginia - yes, it is a breath of fresh air to the news-starved areas of the world. And I do love the wedding announcements in the NYT - yes, a dying art indeed.