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Sunday, July 02, 2023

The Times Fails at History and Irony at the Same Time

As a former journalist who relies on the Times for basic news, and who believes the value of the best legacy media is particularly important in an age of cheap, bad, and disappearing journalism, I often lament weaknesses in that newspaper--many of which, ironically, stem from steps it took to fend off or hire from new media. As a Canadian and tragedian, and perhaps as a member of Gen X, I regularly bemoan Americans' remarkable lack of irony, a quality which is both a vice and a basic requirement for intelligent civilization. An awareness of history, something whose absence I also lament, is a prerequisite for both good journalism and a sense of irony. 

The Times, remarkably, shows the absence of all three in its lead story today. Anyone who writes about affirmative action ought to know about Bakke. I offer no view on the ultimate survivability of the policy discussed in today's story. But any soi-disant great newspaper whose lead headline could be rephrased as "UC-Davis Medical School Confident About its Admissions Scheme," and which does not so much as mention Bakke, clearly needs to work on its sense of history, irony, and basic quality. 

Posted by Paul Horwitz on July 2, 2023 at 09:17 AM in Paul Horwitz | Permalink


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