Friday, March 05, 2004

Hmmm. Let's lay off National Review for a second, and try the New York Times. People ask me why I read the paper if I dislike it so much, and I answer with Cyprus. Let's say I want the latest news about (for example) Cyprus reunification. Now, I could check Yahoo news every day, or open the Times. Other papers don't have that sort of coverage. Add to that the non-news section, and you've got an important must-read.

Which, of course, makes it all the worse that it's an awful paper. Simply awful. So why don't I launch on them? There's a breathless article (disguised, badly, as "news") about gays trying to get married in New York City yesterday (I passed by the Municipal Building, where people get marriage licenses, shortly before and saw all the cops, but didn't ask why they were there- plus the Martha Stewart trial had a whole circus there too) in today's paper. One thing that struck me was, in listing areas going for this, the line "Massachusetts has signaled its approval" was used. Now, Massachusetts didn't signal anything. Technically, Massachusetts, being a theoretical construct, can't signal anything. But more to the point, a few judges, opposed by most Massachusettsians, signaled something. Don't make it sound better (and less undemocratic) than it was.

One interesting thing I learned, from a photo, was that the mayor of upstate Nyack, touted on the radio yesterday as trying to license gay marriage, is himself gay and trying to "marry" his partner. The radio didn't think that was relevant. And, of course, the number of Jews on the gay side in the article, is overwhelming. There's even a Rabbi Nancy Wiener of Hebrew Union College trying to get a license. Just a thought. Interesting that while Rosenthal was editor, they couldn't even use the word "gay" in the Times.

Anything else? Sure. A review of a movie from Israel depicting Israelis as- well, how do you expect Israeli movies to depict Israelis? If you said "well," you obviously don't know Israeli cinema- refers to "political violence and ethnic hatred" in Israel. Beautiful. Arabs kill Jews because they hate them. Period. I don't see how "political violence and ethnic hatred" covers that.

Another pet peeve? A glowing review of the new season of The Sopranos which concludes by assuring us that a murder of a completely innocent character is actually rather touching. Really, do we need this?

That said, it's nice to see the Times hoist by its own petard now and then. There's a picture of a group of City Councilmen, about five people total. We're told that Council Speaker Gifford Miller is "second from left," Councilman John Liu is there, and so is Councilman Michael McMahon, "in striped tie."

Notice something missing? That's right, where Liu is. Now, it's simple- he's between Miller and McMahon, so why elaborate? That's what I would say, but then again, I'm not obssessed with race. The Times is, though, so I thought I'd ask them: Are we just to assume that Liu is the only Asian in the picture?

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