The Corner

Culture

The New York Times and Its Love/Hate Relationship with Private Jets

Last month I wrote, “the New York Times is simultaneously the vanguard of the revolution against wealthy, powerful, white, mostly older, mostly heterosexual couples . . . and it is also one of the biggest and most influential cultural journals of wealthy, powerful, white, mostly older, mostly heterosexual couples.”

In the most recent travel section, the Times featured an article entitled, “Afraid of Airlines? There’s Always the Private Jet.” The article showcases “the growing number of Americans using private jets, seeing them as a safer alternative to the often cramped commercial flights filled with strangers during the pandemic.” The flights do cost much less than one might expect: “JSX flights tend to cost between $300 and $500 one way, per person, but some shorter legs can cost less than $100.”

But not all of the flights are less expensive than expected; the article discusses the founder of a personal-training company who spent $20,000 to take himself and his family from Florida to upstate New York.

A good portion of the newspaper’s environmental news and op-ed pages focuses on denouncing lifestyles that involve conspicuous consumption and luxury. (According to a private jet company quoted in Bloomberg News, a private jet emits as much as 20 times more carbon dioxide per passenger mile than a commercial airliner.)

A good portion of the Times lifestyle and travel coverage focuses on celebrating lifestyles that involve conspicuous consumption and luxury, and of course, much of the advertising that keeps the newspaper financially afloat is for brands associated with conspicuous consumption and luxury.

It will be interesting to see if these internal contradictions ever catch up with the paper.

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