Three plus three still equals six: This morning’s hard-copy New York Times is an edition for the ages.
The paper spills with puddles of piffle about Obama, penned by Chozick, Baker and Dowd. The Chozick piece is especially rich. For that reason, we’ll save it for later.
(Our best guess: My Weekly Reader rejected the piece as too simple for third graders. From there, it jumped to the Times.)
Trip Gabriel struggles with a news report about Mitt Romney’s latest apparently bogus claim. In fairness, next-day reporting is hard—but Gabriel makes it look harder.
Then too, there’s the latest survey of voters. This time, the survey covers three swing states. We were struck by two minor points:
How many years of tax returns should White House candidates release? Inquiring minds wanted to know what voters think about this.
The question is very timely, of course—but we thought the selection offered to voters was odd. This was the survey question:
Do you think presidential candidates should release several years of tax returns, or is releasing only one or two years of tax returns necessary, or don’t you think it is necessary for presidential candidates to release any of their tax returns?Should candidates release several years, or just one or two? We have no idea why you’d frame the choice that way.
Our second point is very trivial. That’s why it’s so puzzling:
In sum, Obama is running slightly ahead of Romney in the three states under review. (Obama leads by a bit in Virginia and Wisconsin, trails by a bit in Colorado.) To accompany the report in the hard-copy Times, the paper includes color photographs of six voters, along with their capsule statements about their choice of candidate.
Half of six voters turns out to be three. We have no idea why a newspaper wouldn’t include three voters who favor Obama, along with three who favor Romney.
That isn’t what the New York Times did. For unknown reasons, they included four voters who favor Romney, only two for Obama.
Four plus two is also six. But why would you do it that way?
Why in the world would a newspaper do that? The six voters made rather mundane observations. Rather plainly, they weren’t selected for their weird or unusual insights.
Nothing turns on this matter, of course. That's what makes it so puzzling.
The New York Times is our strangest newspaper. This has been so for some time.