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Tuesday, February 26, 2008

When the N.Y. Times Becomes the Paper of Gloom-and-Doom (or at least of Season One of "24")

Buried among the Oscar coverage (by the way, I totally had Atonement for best picture in my Oscar pool -- oops!), was this story from yesterday's New York Times that, for some reason, totally rubbed me the wrong way:

The headline was innocuous enough: "In Painful Past, Hushed Worry About Obama." Who knew that the article would be about the assassinations of JFK, RFK, and MLK (the latter two, in particular), and the (apparently inevitable) comparison to Obama's candidacy and the shadow of assassination?

The article struck me as incredibly ominous, and unnecessarily so -- the discussion of passing through Daley Square, in particular... Is the Paper of Record trying to scare the crap out of all of us? Is there any reason why this is a story now? (The article itself suggests not...).

Update: Over at Discourse.net, my friend and former colleague Michael Froomkin has more details on the story, including a better (to me, anyway) explanation for why the Times would run such a story in the first place. The odd thing, as Michael's post implicitly suggests, is that the apparent real impetus for the story (the odd security issues in Dallas) is totally left out of the story... still creepy. Now, perhaps, even creepier.

Posted by Steve Vladeck on February 26, 2008 at 06:32 AM in Current Affairs, Steve Vladeck | Permalink


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