Monday, August 21, 2006

What's wrong with The New York Times

So I'm reading an article in the NYT on belt-tightening in Hollywood. Big budget movies are getting postponed, contracts with big-name stars are being downwardly renegotiated, etc. Then comes this gem of a paragraph:
"But while Hollywood has undergone periodic shifts like this before, many people here agree that there is something different this time, a permanence to Hollywood’s new austerity plan. Executives are facing too many unknowns, among them, changing moviegoer habits, rising costs and the threat of piracy."
Look closely, and you'll see that every single NYT story ever written has a paragraph similar to this one. It starts with a caveat that undermines the freshness of the trend being discussed: "Hollywood has undergone periodic shifts like this before." Then it uses nebulous evidence to show that, lo and behold, this time it's different, somehow more permanent and real. The evidence: "many people agree."

Many people agree. Not even most -- just many. Who are the shadowy many? Could be the glass-eaters at Venice for all we know. Or maybe one of Angelina's adopted Cambodian faux-hawk-wearers.

I understand the need to make things fresh and newsy, but do we really have enough new trends to satiate the ever-growing appetite of the NYT?

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