Day By Day© by Chris Muir.

Monday, January 31, 2005

The New York Times, its readers, and the Iraqi election

Below is the New York Times 25 Most Popular Articles (that is, the articles emailed most frequently), as of 11:00 E.S.T. on January 31, 2005.

1. OPINION | January 30, 2005 Op-Ed Columnist: Torture Chicks Gone Wild By MAUREEN DOWD By the time House Republicans were finished with him, Bill Clinton must have thought of a thong as a torture device. For the Bush administration, it actually is. 2. NATIONAL | January 30, 2005 Under One Roof, Aging Together Yet Alone By JANE GROSS In the past decade, the number of elderly Americans in assisted living has tripled, to nearly one million. 3. BOOKS / SUNDAY BOOK REVIEW | January 30, 2005 'Collapse': How the World Ends By GREGG EASTERBROOK Jared Diamond draws on vanished societies to explain how cultures contribute to their own demise. 4. MAGAZINE | January 30, 2005 Dr. Ecstasy By DRAKE BENNETT Will new research into the therapeutic benefits of mind-altering drugs like Ecstasy vindicate Alexander Shulgin at last? 5. OPINION | January 30, 2005 Op-Ed Columnist: The Geo-Green Alternative By THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN You give me $18-a-barrel oil, and I will give you political and economic reform from Algeria to Iran. 6. OPINION | January 31, 2005 Op-Ed Contributor: Form Follows Fascism By MARK STEVENS Philip Johnson's role in American culture is a darker one than many have thought. 7. OPINION | January 31, 2005 Editorial: An Update on Corporate Slavery An eye-opening research project at J.P. Morgan Chase has revealed how slavery was not confined to the cotton fields of the South. 8. OPINION | January 31, 2005 Op-Ed Columnist: Acts of Bravery By BOB HERBERT Iraqis may have voted yesterday, but they still live in dangerous, occupied territory. 9. OPINION | January 30, 2005 Editorial Observer: The New Social Etiquette: Friends Don't Let Friends Dial Drunk By CAROL E. LEE To the list of the unforeseen hazards that seem to plague the information age, we can now add another: "drunk dialing." 10. OPINION | January 31, 2005 Op-Ed Contributor: The Composer Was a Cop By CHRIS MARCIL On the composers 249th birthday, Mozart scholarship has taken a new turn. 11. ARTS / TELEVISION | January 30, 2005 Steal This Show By LORNE MANLY and JOHN MARKOFF Homemade cable boxes. Episodes swiped off the Web. TV is becoming a do-it-yourself affair, and the industry is terrified. 12. WASHINGTON | January 31, 2005 Employers Can Get Medicare Subsidies for Lower Benefits By ROBERT PEAR New rules would allow employers to collect subsidies for drug benefits less generous than what many retirees were expecting under the new Medicare law. 13. THEATER | January 31, 2005 Friends, Generals and Captains of Industry, Lend Me Your Ears By BRUCE WEBER A former adviser to President Ronald Reagan has turned his love for Shakespeare into a management-training business. 14. INTERNATIONAL / ASIA PACIFIC | January 31, 2005 Fearing Future, China Starts to Give Girls Their Due By JIM YARDLEY To reverse the birth imbalance between boys and girls, Chinese officials have declared that selective sex abortions will become a criminal offense. 15. MAGAZINE | January 30, 2005 The New Boss By MATT BAI Andy Stern, who leads the largest union in the country, is willing to tear apart the labor movement — and perhaps the Democratic Party as well — in order to save the American worker. 16. NEW YORK REGION / THE CITY | January 30, 2005 New-SAT Takers: Confused Yet? By JENNIFER MEDINA Anywhere there are high school juniors this season, the new SAT, with all its imponderables, is creating high anxiety. 17. FASHION & STYLE | January 30, 2005 Mommy (and Me) By DAVID HOCHMAN A generation of new parents are telling tales from the crib in blogs that revel in self-absorption. 18. BUSINESS | January 31, 2005 Federal Reserve Is Expected to Continue Raising Rates By EDMUND L. ANDREWS The Federal Reserve appears poised to continue raising interest rates for most if not all of this year. 19. BUSINESS / MEDIA & ADVERTISING | January 31, 2005 A Texas Paper Bets on Español, Not Assimilation By SIMON ROMERO Four new Spanish-language daily papers have launched in Texas, catering to the ethnic group predicted to be a majority in 20 years. 20. TECHNOLOGY | January 31, 2005 Bush Vows to Back Digital Health Records By STEVE LOHR The Bush administration renewed a pledge to finance projects intended to accelerate the adoption of computerized health records. 21. MOVIES / MOVIES SPECIAL | January 31, 2005 Critic's Notebook: Nonfiction Has Its Day at Sundance By A. O. SCOTT A division between American dramatic competition and documentaries could be seen in this year's competitive selections. 22. BOOKS / SUNDAY BOOK REVIEW | January 30, 2005 Essay: Tool for Thought By STEVEN JOHNSON The word processor has already changed the way we write, but new software for searching personal documents may actually change the way we think. 23. OPINION | January 30, 2005 Op-Ed Contributor: The Doctrine That Never Died By TOM WOLFE The Monroe Doctrine lives on in President Bush's Inaugural Address. 24. HEALTH | January 31, 2005 Experts Urge Tests for Men at Risk of Abdominal Aneurysms By GINA KOLATA An advisory group is recommending that all men aged 65 to 75 who are smokers or who ever smoked have an ultrasound test for abdominal aortic aneurysms. 25. TRAVEL | January 30, 2005 Hog Heaven on the High Seas By ROBERT ANDREW POWELL That roar your hear isn't the surf. When these cruise passengers hit the islands, their Harleys roll off with them.
If you're like me, the first thing you'll notice is that, the day after a historic election in Iraq, an election during which the Iraqi people braved death to go to the polls, and a day that exceeded all of the naysayers' expectations, NY Times readers do not care. There is only one article NY Times readers sent to each other in this 24 hour period that even touches on the elections, and that is Bob Herbert's article grudgingly acknowledging the vote, but nonetheless really harping on just how bad things are ("Iraqis may have voted yesterday, but they still live in dangerous, occupied territory."). The NY Times, clearly, is up to its usual shenanigans of completely trying to inter any good that George Bush does. (Sorry, I'm waxing Shakespearean here. You know, the bit in Julius Caesar where Brutus says " The evil that men do lives after them; the good is oft interred with their bones.") But I digress. What's also clear, aside from the NY Times' bias, is that it's obviously shaping its product to its audience. NY Times readers have no interest in success in Iraq. They, too, want to wallow in doom and gloom, and constantly to be reminded of George Bush's failures (real or imagined), without having their sensibilities lacerated with even the hint of Republican success. Clearly, between the Times and its readers, it's a match made in Demo heaven.