Day By Day© by Chris Muir.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Burying, not praising, the Times

The New Criterion tackles the Times' culture and art coverage and, in the process, offers one of the best eulogies I've seen on the death of a formerly decent newspaper:

The truth is, deterioration at the Times is a rich subject, full of cautionary tales about how a great liberal institution can go rancid by making a caricature of its principles and adulterating its work. When a great newspaper’s front page is indistinguishable from its editorial page, and its editorial page is indistinguishable from a transcript of a Democratic Party rally, journalistic decay is a certainty. But if what’s happened to the Times’s news reporting and opinion pages is an outrage—think only of the repulsive way in which the paper attempted to generate anti-Bush capital from the Katrina disaster—its coverage of culture is somehow more depressing than infuriating. Here, too, one finds the triumph of ideology over principle and an unseemly race to the lowest common denominator. Yet in matters of culture and the arts, the Times adds another dimension of depredation—we mean the element, half preposterous, half nauseating—of unthinking modishness.
The whole article is enjoyable, but I was especially taken with the point made in that paragraph. It certainly had me nodding my head as I read it.