This near-universal dependence on the Times helps to explain the schadenfreude (dependence causes resentment) as well as the more serious alarm about the Times' reliability. It also puts Jayson Blair's rip-offs of others, if not his fabrications, in perspective. No one gets ripped off more than the New York Times.
The social critic Dwight Macdonald, reminiscing about the left-wing Partisan Review crowd of the 1930s, wrote: "The N.Y. Times was to us what Aristotle was to the medieval scholastics—a revered authority, even though pagan, and a mine of useful information about the actual world." Today's equivalent of that sect-ridden, conspiracy-minded, alienation-proud political world is on the right. I was listening to a right-wing broadcast crank the other day as he carried on about how the Times can't be trusted, among half a dozen current issues. I don't know where he got his information, but I have a guess.
TODAY IN SLATE
Forget Oculus Rift
This $25 cardboard box turns your phone into an incredibly fun virtual reality experience.
The Congressional Republican Digging Through Scientists’ Grant Proposals
Renée Zellweger’s New Face Is Too Real
Sleater-Kinney Was Once America’s Best Rock Band
Can it be again?
Whole Foods Is Desperate for Customers to Feel Warm and Fuzzy Again
I’m 25. I Have $250.03.
My doctors want me to freeze my eggs.
- NSA Is Letting its Chief Technical Officer Work 20 Hours a Week for a Private Company
- After 13 Years of U.S. Occupation, Afghanistan Opium Production Is at an All-Time High
- The Pennsylvania Fugitive Sniper Is Still at Large After 39 Days
- Oscar Pistorius Sentenced to Five Years, May Only Serve Ten Months
Smash and Grab
Will competitive Senate contests in Kansas and South Dakota lead to more late-breaking races in future elections?