Tuesday, May 19, 2009

F——— the New York Times

BELFAST — The New York Times writes off Fibber Magee as "a touristy place where a duet called Finnegans Wake played familiar Irish tunes to a crowd almost exclusively made up of Americans, Canadians and Britons," and the writer sniffs that "it didn't take long before I found my way to more authentic hangouts."

The same newspaper has twice devoted valuable column inches to the verbal excreta of one Paul Hewson, known to many as Bono.

Can someone tell me why the New York Times deserves to exist?

© Peter Rozovsky 2009

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20 Comments:

Blogger Loren Eaton said...

I've been saying that about The Gray Lady for years, hence my subscription to The Wall Street Journal. Bunch of snippy elitists.

BTW, Peter, just started Fifty Grand.

May 19, 2009  
Anonymous marco said...

Isn't Fibber Magee the very model of the kind of place Bono would wax ecstatic about, though?

V-word: asesses

May 19, 2009  
Blogger R. T. said...

Yet another nail in NYT's coffin. There used to be much to admire in the NYT (Sundays were special days during which reading the paper was a full-time enterprise), but the newspaper has lost its way over the last several decades. Too bad.

May 19, 2009  
Anonymous caite said...

A friend and I were just discussing this...not this article but the decline of the NYT and the rise of the Wall Street Journal as the new paper of record...and the one with the most interesting articles.

May 19, 2009  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Thanks for the comment, Loren. I had feared that my enthusiasm for Fibber Magee, from which I had just returned when I wrote the post, might have led me to be a bit intemperate in my comments.

I hope you enjoy "Fifty Grand." When you're done, you can discuss Bono and the New York Times with its author.

May 19, 2009  
Blogger R. T. said...

With FIFTY GRAND being part of the conversation, let me offer this: my belated review of McKinty's superb novel now appears at my blog, BOOKED FOR MURDER (http://bookedformurder.blogspot.com). I am a late arrival at the McKinty fan-club party, but now I know what I have been missing. Perhaps, Peter, since you are friends with McKinty, you'll be willing to let him know that he has won another fan.

May 19, 2009  
Anonymous marco said...

R.T.
only because you're a McKinty fan ;)

This is how you do Hyperlinks:
(a href="whatever you want to link to")a description of the link(/a)

and change the above parentheses to < and >

Now you could go to (a href="http://crimealwayspays.blogspot.com/ ") Crime Always Pays (/a)

that is, Crime Always Pays and cast a vote for him in the Sexiest Irish Crime Writer poll. It will help him quell his nagging self-doubts about being too short and not having enough hair.

Bye

May 19, 2009  
Blogger Dana King said...

Does the NYT need any better reason to exist than to provide Bono with a platform? Where else can you find the erudition, the intelligence, dare I say (Dare! Dare!) the wisdom encapsulated on Bono's deathless prose. (That which is not alive cannot die, therefore his lifeless prose is also, by definition, deathless.)

While the NYT is no longer considered by many to be the paper of record, it's current infatuation with self-parody does show why newspapers may be in such dire straits. When faced by competition from media focusing on the least common denominator, it chose to meet them on the battleground of their choosing, where the Times was least equipped to compete.

May 19, 2009  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Marco, one wonders what Bono would say about Fibber Magee. Perhaps it would be as insufficiently authentic for him as it was for the author of the Times article. There are some tourists there, but, in his zeal to sneer at the pub musicians for playing "familiar" songs, he neglects the more interesting fact that the crowd knows the songs and sings along. There's an argument to be made that this is evidence of a living folk tradition even though the singers lack the paramilitary background that constitutes authenticity for the Times.

I have a nice French v-word: recit

May 19, 2009  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

R.T., the Times has banged so many nails into its own coffin. It borrowed irresponsibly, it pontificated snobbisly, it tried to be cool embarrassingly.

May 19, 2009  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Caite, I should probably read the Wall Street Journal regularly. Its commentary pages have the reputation of emanating from some distant right-wing planet, and the occasional clumsy intrusion of conservative bias in its cultural coverage is embarrassing. But I've always thought it the best-written paper in the U.S.

May 19, 2009  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Thanks for the note, R.T. You have some good McKinty reading left to do if Fifty Grand was your first by him.

May 19, 2009  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Marco is the king of links, but I take no position in the matter up for decision in the Crime Always poll.

May 19, 2009  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

"When faced by competition from media focusing on the least common denominator, it chose to meet them on the battleground of their choosing, where the Times was least equipped to compete."

Dana, this Bono thing reminds me of the incident some years ago in which the Times published an article purporting to offer the latest on Seattle slang, but the terms were a hoax cooked up by, I think, some local 'zine. If one is not cool, one should not try to be.

May 19, 2009  
Blogger adrian mckinty said...

Jesus, not sure how this became about me.

I will say that the NYT doesnt know its arse from its elbow. Fibber is a terrific place. The Times and the New Yorker in their never ending quest for the "authentic" will have us going only to 1 particular restaurant in Laos (this year's IT country according to the NYT) but only on a Tuesday near the full moon when they get fresh lampreys in - otherwise forget it you'll be hopelessly unhip to go there.

BTW I used to read the baseball coverage in the NYT for NYY stories but now much prefer the LohudYankeesBlog - smarter, faster, better (or was the Bionic Man?)

May 20, 2009  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Now that we're discussing Laos, it's probably no longer THE country to visit -- unless this discussion constitutes buzz.

May 20, 2009  
Anonymous Michael Walters said...

I worry that we're not treating the saintly Mr Hewson with sufficient reverence. Still, this might amuse you. I've never knowingly bought anything by the tiresome U2s, but a few years ago I did buy 'Rogue's Gallery', a CD of pirate songs produced by the great Hal Wilmer. Alongside work by many talented artists, the CD features a track by the aforementioned Mr Hewson. When I came to transfer the music to my iPod, I discovered that whoever had originally entered the track-listing into the Gracenotes database had credited the track to 'That W****** Bono'. Needless to say, I left the credit unchanged.

May 20, 2009  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Sainthood? A modest Nobel Peace Prize might satisfy Bono's ambitions. That a man like him is taken seriously in some circles is evidence that we as a culture are desperate for new sources of meaning.

That credit is the best I have heard of. You did well to keep it.

May 20, 2009  
Blogger PKL said...

Bono's status is precarious at best in the latest installment of

The Lady M Epic Crime PoemBegin with part 1, called "The Hit," which is an April post. Continue up to part 9, entitled Good Voice.
A state trooper, a restauranteur, and a shoestore clerk have already expired at the hand of Lady M. Is Bono next?

May 22, 2009  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

One key verse:

"Fiona saw
that Bono loved
the sound of
his own voice"

Thanks.

May 22, 2009  

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