Enduring values of the Times!


We add up the Weinergate columns: Yesterday, we said what the heck! How many columns have appeared concerning the Weinergate problem?

How many columns has the New York Times published about Anthony Weiner’s recent exciting problem? We decided to disaggregate our review (hard-copy columns only):
Number of columns about Anthony Weiner’s recent exciting problem:
Frank Bruni: 4
Gail Collins: 3
Maureen Dowd: 3
In fairness, Dowd could have done more, but she was also writing columns about Irish Catholic mobster Whitey Bulger, mixed in with a free trip to France.

We find no sign that any other regular columnist has written about this exciting topic. That said, the Times has supplemented the work of those scribes in the following ways:

Lawrence Downes has written two “Editorial Observer” pieces on this exciting topic. The Times has published two guest columns, by Jodi Kantor and Susan Jacoby, on this exciting matter. Also, Kate Taylor offered a “news analysis” in the Sunday Review.

We’re not suggesting that people shouldn’t write about this exciting topic. On the other hand, we will say this—on the whole, these columns had little to offer beyond the obvious thrills.

Weiner has been beaten to death in this, our most famous newspaper. Meanwhile, have we seen any columns on serious issues raised by Gotham’s mayoral race?

Shirley, you jest!

Wrong-way Nocera: In closing, a tip of the hat to regular columnist Joe Nocera.

Nocera hasn’t wasted his time on the thrilling problems of Weinergate—but there’s more than one way to waste everyone’s time in the nation’s most fatuous paper. Yesterday, Nocera started a Weiner-free column like this:
NOCERA (8/6/13): For more than a year now, I've been advocating for reforms in college football and men's basketball that would both acknowledge that the two sports are big businesses—rather than extracurricular activities, as the N.C.A.A. still pretends—and then begin to rectify the gross inequity embedded in the current system, namely that the players work for free while everyone around them gets rich from college sports.

One of the ideas I've come to champion is the establishment of a kind of superleague, consisting of marquee names like Kentucky, Alabama, Notre Dame, Michigan, U.C.L.A. and the like: maybe 72 or so football teams and 100-plus basketball teams. These teams would openly serve as the minor leagues for professional football and basketball. The players would get wages. They could get an education if they chose—and that would be a good thing, of course—but there would be no more pretending that football players were actually students first. I know that education purists hate this idea, but it has the benefit of dealing with reality—a reality that is unlikely to change given the immense popularity of college sports. If implemented properly, it could be the beginning of the end of ''the plantation,'' as Taylor Branch famously described big-time college sports in The Atlantic two years ago.

In recent weeks, some of the most powerful men in college sports have begun to tiptoe in the same direction...
The Times does have a sprawling sports section. Has Nocera heard?


  1. Catching up with "Real Time" podcasts, Bill Maher took a shot at
    the view Bob suggests here and made hash of it: "Chris Matthews WORSHIPS Bill Clinton, and didn't make such a big deal about more substantive matters like Paula Jones....." very, very strange yet somehow not surprising. It seemed to be sort of a variation of the "let's tie it to the Clintons" gambit, maybe the whole reason the nonsense got so puffed up in the first place.

    1. "the nonsense got so puffed up in the first place"

      It wasn't the nonsense that was so puffed up in Weiner's texts. Really, it's news when your Congressman sexts, denies, confesses, resigns...and then runs for mayor as if it were the most ordinary thing in the world. Has that happened in your district lately?

    2. Let's see: it's the NEW YORK TIMES, and there is a checkered-past candidate for Mayor of NEW YORK CITY, and this candidate actually had a decent chance at winning, except he got caught doing the same things that gave him his checkered past .........and his wife is or was close to Hilary Clinton, who, in addition to wearing a press and wing-nut bullseye since at least 1990, was the former Senator from NEW YORK and currently the putative 2016 Presidential frontrunner.

      Yeah, no news here, especially for the millions of NEW YORK CITY residents, including those who may read the NEW YORK TIMES.

      And please, don't propound the tired trope that the NEW YORK TIMES should cover ONLY substantive issues about the mayoral race. Just count the sheer number of "reality" shows on Bob's beloved cable, including a couple from NEW YORK CITY.

      I know transitions are difficult, Bob, but this isn't working.

    3. I take the view of an actual conservative: your congressman's sex life is none of your concern.

  2. So who gets to decide which colleges are AAA and which colleges are AA? Will colleges be affiliated with a particular pro franchise? I'll be none will want affiliation with either the Redskins, the Indians, or the Braves! The colleges will be able to save big bucks on salaries for coaches. Real minor league coaches get paid squat!

  3. The True & Authentic ActuaryAugust 7, 2013 at 7:35 PM


    Ny Times = 15 Weiner articles (since ?)

    Somerby = 6 Weiner blogs (since 7/25/13)

    1. If the Times didn't run articles on this neither would Somerby.

  4. Okay, to me it was a one day story (as they say in the biz, I think) but I have to admit I thought the press conference was really interesting.
    I have no idea what is going on between or among those two people, but it was bizarre to watch. I had the sense toward the end that it was a performance, that they were almost working together. Anyway. Shall remain a mystery, I guess.
    I could not vote for Weiner after watching that. Not that it matters, I don't live in NYC, but couldn't do it.