Bret Stephens’ next column on the overstated dangers of smoking
With the first column by Bret Stephens, the shiny new conservative op-ed hire at the New York Times, being nothing more than a high-end global warming Gish Gallop, there has been a move by some subscribers to cancel their subscriptions. Among the chattering class, including those who disagree with Stephens, there has been some wailing and gnashing of teeth over this: what about supporting all of the good journalism the NYT (and by extension, other outlets) does?
Some thoughts from this NYT deadwood-edition subscriber:
- If I wanted to read a paper with columnists who don’t acknowledge their own news reporting, I would subscribe to the Wall Street Journal.
- Related to point #1, this isn’t about Stephens’ opinions, but his misrepresentation of facts. The NYT has lots of idiots, but they (usually) don’t misrepresent fact.
- One more thing about Stephens’: he’s boring. It’s stereotypical ‘genteel denialism.’ He couldn’t even come up with novel arguments.
- There are things in life one is obligated to financially support, such as assisting the needy, or non-profits that provide services (news reporting or otherwise). A for-profit news organization isn’t one of them. This isn’t a religious obligation, to say the least.
- The NYT is important, and as such, needs to be held accountable.
- Like it or not, the op-ed page typically has a much farther reach than news stories–that is, the ‘quality reporting’ we’re supposed obligated to save.
- This is hardly the NYT’s first, recent failure. Going berserk over the emails comes to mind.
- There is no other way to hold the NYT accountable, other than by hitting them in the pocketbook. Unlike failures of governance in our political system, where we can vote the bastards out, this–or an advertiser boycott campaign–are the only recourse we have.
- If we’re looking at political diversity, it is unclear how a populist, leftward shift translates into ‘hire far right anti-Trumpers.’ Do they really think, even in an era where ‘content is disaggregated’, that this will bring in a surge of conservative readers? I have a better understanding of the thought processes of a deranged cuttlefish, than I do the thought processes of the NYT editorial staff.
- Related to the previous point, the poles of acceptable opinion at the NYT range from anti-Trump far right conservative to guilty New Democrat. Would it kill the NYT to have a single columnist who is even just ‘Bernie-curious’ (a full-on Sanders supporter, never mind an actual socialist, would be too much for the delicate constitution of the Grey Lady).
- To return to point #3, the issue isn’t whether to support the NYT, but could the money spent on a subscription to the NYT be better spent elsewhere? (Answer: yes)
- So, this NYT deadwood reader is scaling back his subscription as a first step–and letting them know why. Given that I’m a seven-days-a-week deadwood subscriber, this will actually hit them harder than cancelling an entire online subscription. I’m tired of rewarding bad governance, especially as a resident of the mainland colony (who lacks Congressional representation), so this is one (admittedly small) thing I can do. For me, going from deadwood to online will cost the NYT about $740.