Thursday, December 10, 2020
The New York Times seems to be saying Goodbye to Hanukkah and I am saying Goodbye to the Times.
Once, they were the trusted source that set the standard. But the trusted standard-bearer of honest journalism has given way to a new kind of partisan house organ.
That veil of sanctity disappeared when they picked on a harmless little holiday called Hanukkah, that celebrates an embattled minority’s ability to withstand assimilation from an invading culture.
Back then, it was Hellenism. Today, it is anti-semitism in all its subtle shades.
In the digital world, the Times learned how to gin up its audience. Getting their click counter to move only required articles about certain recurring topics - of which Jews were one.å
The last presidency, for all its clownishness, turned the Times into a partisan blog with a daily-diet of Donald-bashing above the digital "fold”. This kind measurable success led them to abandon their News First standard of journalism and play the crowd response game.
“All the News That’s Fit to Print” became Just The Views That Get The Clicks - and the comments.
When it come to that, articles about Israel or Jews in general seem to work as reliably. While many of these articles seem fair, they soon found out that a national newspaper from a significantly Jewish city that bashes Jews or their interests, preferably in subtle, progressive tones is pure catnip for anti-semites of all stripes - especially the literate, martini-sipping types.
Now that Trump is cancelled, going after Jews and their special celebrations seems like the next best thing to do. In this case, by showcasing a lapsed Christian with some childhood Jewish exposure who decided they weren’t Jewish after all and their prayers meant nothing. Not only that, but as a practicing religious doubter found more meaning in a tree, a bunny and Christian traditions.
Talk about slamming the door on the way out. Thanks for fitting that into print, Times. Or just just printing it so the right people would catch a fit!
I bet you’re looking for a similar angle on other festivals that involve lights like Diwali, Kwanzaa and Ramadan.
So forgive my trespasses, oh gods of journalism but opening of the Times will no longer be my proxy for daily prayer. Its words no longer carry the weight or the trust, and they burn with quiet vitriol.
The Times is no longer holy light of journalism. The old north star of journalism has succumbed to the digital pull of their partisan crowd. Instead, news aggregation on Google is today's standard.
The Gray Lady’s once special flame made its last honest flicker - but, unlike Hannukah, there is no miracle of lights to look forward to.
So Lights Out, Times, I’m saying goodbye.