The New York Times and the livin’ is easy!

TUESDAY, MARCH 25, 2014

Public editor Margaret Sullivan runs off with Mr. Peanut: We’re constantly puzzled by work we encounter in the New York Times.

Case in point: This morning, on the front page, a news report about Flight 370 started off like this:
FULLER AND BUCKLEY (3/15/14): A British satellite company has solved one crucial aspect of the mystery surrounding the Malaysia Airlines flight that disappeared on March 8, using a complex mathematical process to determine that it ended its journey in the middle of the southern Indian Ocean.

Guided by a principle of physics called the Doppler effect, the company, Inmarsat, analyzed tiny shifts in the frequency of the plane’s signals to infer the plane’s flight path and likely final location. The method had never before been used to investigate an air disaster, officials said.

The first definitive news of the fate of the Boeing 777 jet brought heartbreak to the families of those on board as Malaysia’s prime minister, Najib Razak, announced on Monday that no one is believed to have survived the flight.

“This is a remote location, far from any possible landing sites,” a somber Mr. Najib said. “It is therefore with deep sadness and regret that I must inform you that, according to this new data, Flight MH370 ended in the southern Indian Ocean.”
We found that puzzling. If this method has never been used in this way before, why is the Times so sure that Immarsat is right?

We’re not saying the company’s wrong. How do they know it’s right?

What makes Fuller and Buckley so sure? The fact that the prime minister said it?

At no point did Fuller and Buckley feel the need to explain their definitive judgment. We’re simply supposed to take their word, and that of prime minister Razak, whose government has gotten about ten thousand other things wrong by now.

That reporting struck us as strange. But so it goes at the Times on a regular basis.

Still and all, the livin’ seems to easy at the Times. Public editor Margaret Sullivan made that clear this weekend.

Sullivan writes two columns per month for the Sunday Review. We’re not sure why she bothers.

Given the column she penned this week, it’s obvious that nothing of substance is wrong or imperfect at the Times. Wonderfully comical headline included, this is the way she started:
SULLIVAN (3/23/14): Trend-Spotting, With Wink at Mr. Peanut

If only I were gifted at satire, or even its goofy little brother, parody. Those skills would sometimes make commenting on The Times's journalism so much more fun.

I could take on those Timesian headlines, front-loaded with prepositions, that the paper seems to love so well. (One from a few days ago: ''Amid Mayoral Missteps, Irish Eyes Are Rolling in New York City.'')

I could dream up elaborate new reasons to grant sources anonymity. (On that subject, one of concern to many readers, I recently started a new feature on my blog, ''AnonyWatch,'' to keep track of regrettable anonymous quotes in The Times.)

But most of all, I could write the definitive sendup of the classic New York Times trend piece. Maybe I could write something almost as good as the monocle story.
Poor Sullivan! It would be more fun to do her job were she better at satire! Possibly, she could write something as good as the “classic trend piece” she chose to discuss this week.

That’s right! With only two columns per month to dispense, Sullivan used this column to praise a piece about the monocle’s comeback. She quoted from the amusing piece, then discussed the playful commentary it occasioned.

Mr. Peanut made the headline! Here’s how her column ended:
SULLIVAN: With its large staff, great variety of sections and considerable resources, The Times has room on its diverse menu not only for coverage of world crises and global economic trends, but for lighter fare: book and restaurant reviews, theater coverage and, apparently, a full consideration of ironic eyewear.

While The Times's declarations of trends can sometimes seem self-serious, overblown and out-of-touch, they also can—at their best—provoke moments of recognition and lively conversation. And because they occasionally provide a full day's worth of hilarity, let's pray that they never go away.

By the way, I'm just back from biking to Bushwick. And I'm wondering: Has anyone noticed how many women are using lorgnette-handled opera glasses lately?
We agree—there was nothing wrong with the monocle story. But then, based on Sullivan’s topic selection, there’s nothing to worry about anywhere else in this famous newspaper.

For what it’s worth: Journalists like Jack Shafer have long criticized the Times for its “classic trend stories.” But they have tended to focus on front-page trend stories which dream up non-existent trends, not on silly pointless fare inside the paper’s Style section.

We find the New York Times puzzling each day. Sullivan’s handling of Mr. Peanut is a small case in point.

18 comments:

  1. Peanut. Perfect for Peeved PeePaw's Poo Poo Platter to Poke Paper following Post Praising Paper's Propaganda Piece Permitting Pan of Perspiring Pimp of Piddle.

    And did PeePaw forget to tell ya? She's nuts, too.

    KZ

    ReplyDelete
  2. I was hoping to read something from Bob on how "homosexual" is now a bigoted slur (according to the Times and maybe a half dozen nutty activists).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. He might as well try. His old friends seem to be abandonin g his defense in matters about Maddow. He is attracting a few old ones back by invoking racial issues, but not many. He raised a modicum of interest over trans* and belly dancing.

      He may feel more comfotable recounting restroom encounters about complex books at the coffee shop and old pinball machines memorites, however.

      Delete
    2. Wither Finland?

      Delete
    3. Bob no longer cares about low-income kids in Finland. Or Poland, either.

      Delete
    4. Finnish immigrant kids are overrated if you ask me.

      Delete
  3. Peanut allergies have been linked to unruly behavior in tots.

    ReplyDelete
  4. "We find the New York Times puzzling each day."

    Then one must ask Bob the classic Bob Fan question: Why does he bother not only reading the NY Times, but commenting on it every day?

    My guess, it gives him a daily fix and some false sense of intellectual superiority to pretend that he is so much smarter than the entire staff of the NY Times, as he types up his random thoughts to the thrill of his fan club that he imagines must number in the millions by now.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. deadrat would say BOB sees the NY Times as a parent figure.
      His differential treatment of male and female writers may be attributable to Edifice complex.

      Delete
    2. Because it is still influential.

      Delete
  5. Perhaps the doppler effect has never been used before to research an air disaster because it was not needed.

    That doesn't mean it was not used successfully in other instances.

    I saw on the news an Australian Air Force aircraft with a navigator aboard.

    Navigators were standard procedure on USAF aircraft for long transoceanic flights, so it makes sense that Australians would still use them, not so much to tell the pilot where he is, but where he should head to.

    The doppler radar and airspeed guesstimates is essentially the process of "dead reckoning", which has been used effectively by seafarers for millennia.

    ReplyDelete
  6. My Name is johnson Wilson..I never
    believed in Love Spells or Magics until I
    met this special spell caster when i went
    to Africa to Execute some business..He is
    really powerful..My wife and I were divorce with
    no reason for almost 3 years and i tried
    all i could to have her back because i really
    love her so much but all my effort did
    not work out.. we met at our early age at
    the college and we both have feelings for
    each other and we got married happily
    for 5 years with no kid and she woke up
    one morning and said it is over between us and she is going to get a divorce..i thought it was a joke and
    when she came back from work she
    tender to me a divorce letter and she
    packed all her loads from my house..i
    ran mad and i tried all i could to have
    her back but all did not work out..i was
    lonely for almost 3 years…So when i told
    the spell caster what happened he said
    he will help me and he asked for her full
    name and her picture..i gave him
    that..At first i was skeptical but i gave it
    a try because i have tried so many spell
    casters and there was no solution…so when
    he finished with the readings,he got back
    to me that she’s with a man and that
    man is the reason why she left me…The
    spell caster said he will help me with a
    spell that will surely bring her back.but i
    never believe all this…he told me i will
    see a positive result within 3 days..3
    days later,she called me herself and
    came to me apologizing and she told me
    she will come back to me..at first I didn't believe it,it was like a dream because i never
    believe this will work out after trying
    many spell casters and there was no
    solution..The spell caster is so powerful
    and after that he helped me with a
    pregnancy spell and my wife got
    pregnant a month later..we are now
    happy been together again and with
    lovely kid..This spell caster has really
    changed my life and i will forever be
    thankful to him..he has helped many
    friends too with similar problem and
    they are happy and thankful to him..This
    man is indeed the most powerful spell
    caster i have ever experienced in life..Am
    Posting this to the Forum in case there is
    anyone who has similar problem and still
    looking for a way out..you can reach him
    here: alexzanderhightemple@gmail.com......
    CONTACT THIS POWERFUL SPELL CASTER
    TODAY VIA EMAI.alexzanderhightemple@gmail.com.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Another Harvard grad.

      Delete

  7. How To Get Your husband Back & Avoid Divorce,Love Spells That Really Work Fast


    My Name is Vicky Lorimer, I am From United Kingdom.i am hear to give testimony of how i got back my husband, we got married for more than 9 years and have gotten two kids. thing were going well with us and we are always happy. until one day my husband started to behave in a way i could not understand, i was very confused by the way he treat me and the kids. later that month he did not come home again and he called me that he want a divorce, i asked him what have i done wrong to deserve this from him, all he was saying is that he want a divorce that he hate me and do not want to see me again in his life, i was mad and also frustrated do not know what to do,i was sick for more than 2 weeks because of the divorce. i love him so much he was everything to me without him my life is incomplete. i told my sister and she told me to contact a spell caster, i never believe in all this spell casting of a thing. i just want to try if something will come out of it. i contacted Dr Brave for the return of my husband to me, they told me that my husband have been taken by another woman, that she cast a spell on him that is why he hate me and also want us to divorce. then they told me that they have to cast a spell on him that will make him return to me and the kids, they casted the spell and after a week my husband called me and he told me that i should forgive him, he started to apologize on phone and said that he still love me that he did not know what happen to him that he left me. it was the spell that Dr Brave casted on him that make him to come back to me today,me and my family are now happy again today. thank you Dr Brave for what you have done for me i would have been nothing today if not for your great spell. i want you my friends who are passing through all this kind of love problem of getting back their husband, wife , or ex boyfriend and girlfriend to contact bravespellcaster@gmail.com. and you will see that your problem will be solved without any delay.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Are you a business man or woman? Are you in Financial,Any stress or do you
    Need funds to start up your own business? Do You Need to settle your Debt
    loan or pay off your bills or start a nice business? Do you have a low
    credit score and you are Finding It Hard To obtain a loan from local banks
    and Other Financial institutes? Do you need a loan or for Any
    Reason Funding
    Such as:
    a) Personal Loan, Business Expansion.
    b) Business Start-up and Education.
    c) Debt Consolidation.
    We offer loan at low Interest rate and with not
    credit check, we offer Personal loan, debt consolidation loan, venture
    capital, business loan, Education Loan, home loan OR "loan for any reason!."

    Note: Any interested Applicants should get back to us by email for further
    information on Our loan program.

    Email: david.mutukufinance60@yahoo.com
    Mr David Mutuku.
    Thanks for your understanding to your contact as we Await.

    ReplyDelete
  9. An amazing testimony on a spell caster who brought my wife back to me.. My
    name is Micheal pan i live in Australia,and I`m happily married to a
    lovely and caring wife,with two kids A very big problem occurred in my
    family seven months ago,between me and my wife so terrible that she took
    the case to court for a divorce she said that she never wanted to stay with
    me again,and that she did not love me anymore So she packed out of my house
    and made me and my children passed through severe pain. I tried all my
    possible means to get her back,after much begging,but all to no avail and
    she confirmed it that she has made her decision,and she never wanted to see
    me again. So on one evening,as i was coming back from work,i met an old
    friend of mine who asked of my wife So i explained every thing to her,so
    she told me that the only way i can get my wife back,is to visit a spell
    caster,because it has really worked for her too So i never believed in
    spell,but i had no other choice,than to follow her advice. Then she gave me
    the email address of the spell caster whom she
    visited.{wisdomspiritualtemple@gmail.com}. So the next morning,i sent a
    mail to
    the address she gave to me,and the spell caster assured me that i will get
    my wife back the next day what an amazing statement!! I never believed,so
    he spoke with me,and told me everything that i need to do. Then the next
    morning, So surprisingly, my wife who did not call me for the past seven
    {5}months,gave me a call to inform me that she was coming back So Amazing!!
    So that was how she came back that same day,with lots of love and joy,and
    she apologized for her mistake,and for the pain she caused me and my
    children. Then from that day,our relationship was now stronger than how it
    were before,by the help of a spell caster . So, i will advice you out there
    to kindly visit the same website {wisdomspiritualtemple@gmail.com},if you
    are in
    any condition like this,or you have any problem related to "bringing your
    ex back. So thanks to the wisdomspiritualtemple@gmail.com for bringing back
    my wife,and
    brought great joy to my family once again.{wisdomspiritualtemple@gmail.com}
    Thanks...

    ReplyDelete