Phi Beta Cons

Re: Math-Impaired NYT

This is slightly off-topic, but a little media observation.

NYT lede, from July 25:

Three years after the president of Harvard, Lawrence H. Summers, got into trouble for questioning women’s “intrinsic aptitude” for science and engineering — and 16 years after the talking Barbie doll proclaimed that “math class is tough” — a study paid for by the National Science Foundation has found that girls perform as well as boys on standardized math tests.

AP lede, from July 24:

Sixteen years after Barbie dolls declared, “Math class is tough!” girls are proving that when it comes to math they are just as tough as boys. …

Hmm. This would be less weird if they’d both used the Summers example — pretty much every story on intrinsic gender differences starts that way, after all. But it’s quite a coincidence that they both mentioned the Barbie example, quoted it accurately (people often inaccurately write it as “math is hard”), and mentioned to the year how long it’s been

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