I love The New York Times. In fact, there are some Mondays when the only way I can face the week is knowing that on Sunday I'll be in my dad's old leather chair listening to the church bells down the street with a big yellow screwdriver at my right elbow and The New York Times across my lap.
I know conservatives despise the Times. And I know why. I know they sometimes have a point, or perhaps often do. And normally I don't care that they have a point. The Times isn't my only news source, only my favorite.
But I care now, because even if the Times has only a share of the national credibility and influence that it once had, that share is precious to a nation that hangs together by a thread. We need something we can all quote in common, even if for some of us, it's to say, "even The New York Times says …"
So I don't like to see teasers on nytimes.com like this one, from yesterday: "President-elect Donald J. Trump’s transition plunged into disarray with the abrupt resignation of aides who had handled national security and foreign policy matters."
Plunged? Disarray? Abrupt? The RMS Titanic was abruptly plunged into disarray. The Hindenburg. Pearl Harbor. When applied to the doings in an office environment, these are words clearly designed to express a newspaper's glee. Newspapers are not supposed to feel glee—or be caught trying to evoke it in their readers.
A newspaper that cared more about its credibility than its click counts would say something more like, "President-elect Donald J. Trump's transition slowed by resignation of national security, foreign policy aides."
New York Times. Hang in there. Act like you've been there. Let us go on believing there still is an objective editorial there there.
* Is someone listening to me? This morning the line is changed: "Donald J. Trump’s transition plunged into discord with the abrupt departures of aides who had handled national security and foreign policy matters." Tiny steps for tiny feet.