Media Blog

Brian Williams, Honorary NRO Media Blogger

Brian’s true calling: critic of the NY Times:

I read that the New York Times Sunday (and weekday) circulation is down. I must admit that on Sundays it becomes a tough paper to figure out. While this week’s paper featured an op-ed piece by Elizabeth Edwards bemoaning the lack of serious, in-depth coverage of the political race, it’s tough to figure out exactly what readers the paper is speaking to, or seeking.

Consider this: the Sunday Styles section lead story on April 13th was “Scavengers on the Urban Savannah” (people buy things at flea markets!), and promoted on Page One was “A Sex Chair Becomes A Battlefield.” Alrighty then.

This Sunday’s lead story was “Through Sickness, Health, Sex Change…” in a section that included the essay, “Was I On A Date Or Baby-Sitting?,” and “Let’s Say You Want To Date A Hog Farmer” (and who among us hasn’t?).

The magazine cover story this week was “The Newlywed Gays!” (happy gay men in Massachusetts who are married outdoor grilling enthusiasts!), and another feature story profiled a man who “lives and paints” in New Mexico (one of those states west of New Jersey) and has an old-fashioned typewriter!

This week’s restaurant/bar review featured a place in Brooklyn that features (tragically-hip/quaint alert!) “old-time cocktails and cheeses” (it strikes me: so did my Mom, at home in Jersey) and the so-called “big box” featured wedding was a classic: the groom wore the obligatory sneakers with his tux, the bride was a “spitfire” with a “wide and ready Julia Roberts smile.” Per usual, bride and groom are both free-spirited, with strong opinions.

The lead story in the Travel Section? The rise of vacation resorts catering to nudists. It did occur to me that I haven’t been getting out a lot on weekends. Is it just me?

On the other hand, one sparkling piece of journalism (which touched on a lot of themes frequent readers of this space will recognize) was by Peggy Noonan in this weekend’s Wall Street Journal. Curl up with this one and give it the quality time it deserves. I’ll say it again: Peggy is doing the work of her career and must be considered an early favorite for next cycle’s Pulitzer for commentary.

Also in this weekend’s WSJ, the best mid-priced bourbons for you Derby-Day mint juleps. Noonan and bourbon — how can the Times hope to compete with that?

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