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: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.
Frank Bruni: 4
Gail Collins: 3
Maureen Dowd: 3
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.The Times does have a sprawling sports section. Has Nocera heard?
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...