the New York Times

It is bad enough that Frank Bruni has decided that his New York Times column should be devoted to cheesy stories told in a you-can-succeed-if-you-really-try style.

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The New York Times columnist's Christmas musings show he just doesn't understand atheists.

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The New Republic's Leon Wieseltier has already taken a satisfying whack at T.M. Luhrmann, the occasional New York Times columnist who writes about spirituality and religion. But Luhrmann's Thursday column, written in honor of Halloween, begs several questions, none of which she attempts to answer.

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In Tuesday's paper, New York Times reporters Jonathan Weisman and Jennifer Steinhauer have a story on the female senators who have tried to find a debt-ceiling bargain. They include Susan Collins, Barbara Mikulski, Kelly Ayotte, and Lisa Murkowski. I don't envy hard news reporters who can almost never express their opinions, but that is no excuse for their decision to slobber all over the subjects of their story. To wit:

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The New Republic Sex Issue

No, we haven't published one. But if we did...

The New York Times Book Review published a sex issue Sunday, which includes reviews, author essays, and readers’ stories about losing one’s innocence.

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As the shutdown drags on—and almost one million furloughed federal workers sit at home without pay—public outrage has burned hot at the congressional lawmakers who will continue receiving their $174,000 annual salary no matter how long this lasts. As of Thursday afternoon, 176,000 people had signed a petition at MoveOn.org calling for Congress to go without pay until they get the government up and running again.

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John Gapper of The Financial Times has a story on Tina Brown which gives new meaning to the term "puff piece." The title, "Tina Brown Leaves Journalism in Her Wake," does an adequate job of summarizing the flavor of Gapper's article, which essentially views journalism as a once-noble profession that will now be without its leading light.

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Whether or not the United States intervenes in Syria’s civil war, one thing about the current situation won’t change: Those of us outside Syria’s borders will never be entirely sure what’s happening within them. Syria has become the most dangerous country in the world for journalists, and legacy media outlets have, understandably, sent fewer and fewer of their reporters into harm’s way. This means that if journalists and policymakers in western countries want information from a source other than Bashar al Assad’s regime, they have to take it from citizen journalists, nearly all of whom are activists who openly support the opposition.

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If I say “Bill Clinton” and “Kazakhstan,” does that ring a bell? In various conversations about the Clintons over the past months—this is actually what political journalists do, constantly, is talk about the Clintons—I’ve mentioned “Bill Clinton” and “Kazakhstan” and provoked surprisingly little clanging.

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Everyone should read my colleague Noreen Malone's smart take on The New York Times's overlong but still empty Katharine Weymouth profile in Sunday's Style section. Noreen took issue with this description of Weymouth, the publisher of The Washington Post, in the Times story:

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