Ever since the New York Times did laughably dumb thing that we “edumacated people are supposed to pay to consume because….It’s New York! It’s the Times!” #15,021,818 of running various “Nazis aren’t so bad” articles (yeah, this one is the most explicit, but virtually all the let’s understaaaaaand Trumpsters boil down to the same damn thing), a number of people I follow took social media to say they were cancelling their subscription only to get lectured on how the NYT isn’t their “safe space” and “learn to deal with civil society and disagreement”, etc.
I cancelled my subscription to the NYT before it got to “let’s normalize the Nazi” which the NYT defend with “it’s reporting on reality” like somehow, all of us are so damn stupid we thought, prior to the New York Times soppy reporting about Nazi Tony and his girlfriend, that Nazis had horns and tails and only lived in caves in Arkansas.
Why did I cancel? Because here is what I got with the Op-Ed page from the Financial Times over the past few days:
–a piece on the importance and difficulties of the South African presidential election (not great, but still more informative than David Brooks inanities about ham)
–a piece about the ideological wedges appearing even among hard Brexiters, nicely done, by a writer I almost never agree with but at least I don’t feel like just made myself stupider having spent the time to read him (Gideon Rachman)
–Martin Wolf on the stock market correction
–a long piece about how high tech firms are helping fossil fuel companies remain competitive with renewables.
From Le Monde:
#MosqueMeToo : des musulmanes dénoncent des agressions sexuelles subies à La Mecque
(A piece about women coming forward about sexual abuse in their religious communities and the response from leaders)
Afrique du Sud : le centenaire de Mandela, terni par la crise politique
More on the South African presidential election.
I could go on with what I from get from German and Israeli papers, but I think the point is made. Did y’all know Merkel finally pulled together a coalition? I did!
In the run-up to the 2016 election, the dudes at the NYT seemed pretty obsessed with Hillary’s emails, long after I had read my fill of the story for the months of prior coverage.
Then I had to sit through well-intended but often silly commentary from Frank Bruni as he went across the country trying to sell us “Trump voters are complicated, complex human beings with nuanced views on the world” stories that always read like this:
Bruni: It’s important to BJ Cockle that people understand she’s not a racist.
BJ Cockle: I just don’t think it’s right for that Mooslem president to give out free phones to the blacks. And I just don’t think a woman president is a good idea. What about her children?
I just don’t need to pay for that. My forehead and keyboard and can’t withstand any more of that.
To be sure, there are some excellent reporters at the New York Times, reporters at the very, very top of their games doing the best reporting found anywhere.
But those stories get picked up by the AP and I can read them in the LA Times without paying for columnists to write some version this about my beloved home after they spend 30 minutes in a layover at LAX:
Los Angeles, a tiny inconsequential cesspool of traffic and d-list actors, exists in a hopeless cultural vacuum of its own making because it’s not New York, is where people live lives of utter desperation, unlike the love and conviviality experienced on a NY subway, so that Angelenos resemble not so much Americans but the eloi and morlocks of Wells’ dystopian future living today among us. (insert all us’s being impressed by that obscure lit-rary reference!). Do these people even read, yo?
So yeah: I don’t need to pay for this garbage just to find the bits of excellent reporting that remain. I didn’t cancel to protect my delicate widdle political feelers: I canceled because there are better newspapers that help me understand the whole world, treat other countries like their politics and struggles and matter more than David Brooks’ feelings about lunch meat, and where cities other than New York get discussed in terms other than hackneyed navel-gazing.
Where, in other words, I get more for my dollars. Sorry, not sorry. Maybe the Times will come back from the editorial morass it’s gotten itself in, and if so, I’ll be happy to think about putting it back into my media routine. Until then, no.
If the NYT remains worth it to you, good on ya. Read on and subscribe on with my well wishes.