The weekly twelve-page report from the Hamptons!

MONDAY, JULY 16, 2012

Defending the Nutcracker in July/Do these people care: Yesterday’s “Sunday Review” in the New York Times came to us straight from Bougietown.

For the second straight week, the disinterest of the idle (not quite sufficiently) rich prevailed all over this section. How little do these people care about your nation’s political disintegration?

In yesterday’s twelve-page section, Mitt Romney’s name was mentioned just once, in this editorial. Just once! That’s if you believe the Times’ on-line digest. (We don’t have a hard-copy edition.)

If you go by what Nexis says, Romney’s name also made the Sunday Review in this column by Timothy Egan. According to Nexis, the column appeared on page 11 of the Sunday Review. According to the New York Times, the column only appeared on-line.

For the second straight week, the Sunday Review was filled with the idle chatter of the not quite sufficiently rich. In truth, this may be a blessing. When the Times does try to discuss real issues, we get handed copy like this:
NEVINS (7/15/12): Sunday Dialogue: Are Americans Selfish?

Is selfishness at the root of America’s political and economic problems?

As Kurt Andersen (“The Downside of Liberty,” Op-Ed, July 4) observed, worries about the relationship between individualism and selfishness are as old as the Republic itself. And in the 1820s, Alexis de Tocqueville voiced his concern that the extreme individualism of the new American democracy could, if not curbed, sap “the virtues of public life.”

Across a broad range of public policy concerns, the debate over the role of government and “entitlements” has been hijacked by those who appeal to the selfish instincts of voters. Just consider the opposition to expansion of health insurance, regulation of the financial markets, increasing taxes on the very wealthy or spending to stimulate the economy.
The New York Times just can’t stop asking if “Americans” are selfish. (No doubt, the question makes perfect sense in the beach houses where it's dreamed up.)

Greed is at the heart of our problems, of course—the greed of the runaway master class. In the Times, the “selfishness” gets imputed to all, in ways which are rarely coherent.

Do you understand the framework we’ve posted here? How could an “appeal to the selfish instincts of voters” explain opposition to increasing taxes on the very wealthy? How could an “appeal to the selfish instincts of voters” explain opposition to regulation of the financial markets? This presentation makes little sense—but this is the best the Time can do when it stops discussing breast feeding, green spaces and who is gay and tries to discuss the actual shape of our failing society.

We have been struck, the past two weeks, by the deeply bougie nature of this section’s offerings. Even as our society sinks into the sea, life style is very much on the mind of the glorious Times.

As an extra, Nicholas Kristof may discuss what’s happening in Leostho, thus helping the Hamptons feel moral. This isn’t a criticism of Kristof. It’s a criticism of the Times itself.

Is this section now meant as a parody? Yesterday, what did the public editor discuss? Arts reviews which had readers upset, including one of The Nutcracker! (“I asked Jonathan Landman, The Times’s culture editor, to discuss in an e-mail exchange this sprawling critical combine so readers could get a better understanding of the rules that The Times plays by,” Arthur S. Brisbane said.)

The Times is run by a hopelessly bougie cabal. Reporting directly from the Hamptons, they showcase their powerfully bougie values in this section each week.


  1. Brilliant, thank you.

  2. No, no, we must hear that greed does explain everything.

    We just need to be very simpleminded about things like "reason" and it will all make sense...

  3. I know this is 5 days old, but I thought it was a great example of NYT values: In a story about the international super-rich in London, the NYT said

    "...Mr. Rausing sold his share of the business to his brother, Gad, for an estimated $7 billion in 1995, and that to avoid punitive Swedish taxes had moved to a 900-acre estate in rural East Sussex..."

    To be fair, the article cited Forbes as the source of the info, but calling taxes "punitive" is editorializing plain and simple. Sweden may have higher tax rates than some countries (though they no longer have any inheritance tax), but the taxes are not meted out as punishments. Unless you feel that very rich people shouldn't have to pay proportionally high amounts of tax.