Sunday, April 20, 2008

I had almost forgotten why I hate the New York Times

The New York Times' article "Finding Your First Apartment" epitomizes all I hate about the Times. It gives advice for an incredibly small slice of privileged New Yorkers, while ignorantly assuming that 'everyone' has the same problem finding the "elusive $2,000 apartment". Why not just re-title the article "Ivy League Finance Majors move to city and discover New York apartments are hard to find and must live in Upper East Side instead of Murray Hill'. Moreover, the article isn't even right - most Wesleyan people, even those in finance, live all over the place, at all kinds of different price points. It's totally stupid and New York-centric. In anthropology we dealt with similar questions ("ethnocentrism") and the way out was through post-modernism: acknowledge you are coming from a certain perspective, insert yourself into the story, and let the audience make the judgment about how your personal point of view affects the story you tell.

If this author talked about writing his article from his cushy apartment, mentioned his son's search for a two-grand apartment fresh from school, etc., etc., I wouldn't fault him for it. I also love reading magazines like New York Magazine, which by their brand name assert a specific point of view. Yes, I know the Times is left-leaning (Republicans love to mention this), but aren't papers supposed to at least pretend to be papers of the people? I'll have to think about this more...

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