The State of NY Papers

Giveaway shorthand newspapers, the NY Post, and time to read the Times Giveaway daily newspapers are the now item competing for the ADD attention spans of the city’s busy public, with newsracks and news hawkers stationed around the subways and wherever people congregate. Two of them, AM New York and Metro, owned by a Euro group, werey fairly decent recents, considering the brevity of the stories, although it made my stomach turn to see Jonah Goldberg dominate the Op-Ed pages. Both seem to tilt right like the NY Post, the screaming queen of old NY newspaper media. My friend Aaron, a voracious reader, likes these shorthand giveaways because of the calendar of city events that the papers publish. I used to think these shorthand newspapers were dumbed-down for the masses who don’t read, especially young folks who tend to get their news from television or the Internet. Now I’m not so sure. In this age of Go-Go maximum efficiency, emulating the Japan work ethic of the seventies, no one has time to read when they’re supposed to be productive. And it takes time to read the New York Times every day instead of just on Sunday as I do back home, I discovered on the train from Baltimore. I thought I'd have time to do some work, but I got lost in real stories in the Times. The New York Post, the Old School shorthand paper with more pages, splashier graphics, and a right-wing tilt more pronounced than its News Corp sibling Fox News, isn’t free, but rather costs a quarter. That’s a cheap price to pay for blazing front pages headlines like the one referring to New York Yankee baseball player and noted steroid-user Jason Giambi, who held a press conference at Yankee Stadium the previous day to apologize for fans. Only at the press conference, Giambi never said he took steroids, only that he was sorry. To which the Post headlined: “He's No Yankee; He's a Dodger"

The flaming hed below was devoted to "firebrand attorney Lynne Stewart" who was convicted of passing along messages from the jail cell of the blind Egyptian cleric mastermind behind the 1993 bombing attempt to bring down the World Trade Center to his supporters on the outside.
It simply read: "Traitor"

For all the NY Post’s obvious fawning of the Administration in power in the United States – two pages devoted to Condoleeza Rice’s “Charm Offensive in Europe”—its obsession with Hilary Clinton cuts both ways. Sure, she needs to be demonized, as far as the paper is concerned, but the editors also recognize she’s a star in NYC and covers her every move like a bucket of Sherwin-Williams, even using Howard Dean’s nomination to lead the Democratic Party as evidence his zealotry will allow Hilary to triangulate and look good to the mainstream by distancing herself from Dean. That’s a stretch. According to the NY Post, polls indicate George Pataki is behind if he runs for Governor and if he runs for President. Corporate muckraker and New York Attorney General Elliot Spitzer is way ahead of the competition. And for the Democratic nomination for President of the United States, Hilary is way ahead too. On the Republican side, former NY Mayor Rudy Giuliani is way ahead as well. Two New Yorkers going at it still strikes me as striking as much resonance in the rest of the land as those Massachusetts Dems.

The Times costs a dollar in New York, pricey compared to the cheaper Daily News and Post, which explains its elitist image on the streets.

The Washington Post publishes its own shorthand paper in D.C. that’s given away wherever people cluster. That paper already has a competitor called the Examiner that is bankrolled by Denver financier Phillip Anschutz, who intends to distribute free Examiners in cities all around the country, figuring its the new thing. My favorite giveaway weekly in New York is not the Village Voice, which I once subscribed to, but the Onion, this week hedling with the latest Osama Bin Laden tape wishing ill to America on Valentine's Day. Stoopid rules.

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