10 May 2010

Good Gracious, NY Times!

The New York Times has really slipped of late. Once a paragon of journalistic integrity, it now regularly runs items that mislead -- if not downright lie to -- its credulous readers.

The latest example I have seen:
Mr. Scott is frequently damned and praised as a stylist, a genre-driven filmmaker whose aesthetic — the steampunk look of “Alien” and “Blade Runner” is now aped in the d├ęcor of various boutique hotels — is often seen as more influential than his films.
No, no, no, a thousand times no. This is not steampunk:

This is steampunk:

Yet another case of a second-rate journalist picking up a buzzword and running with it.  This is what happens when the copy editor of the student-run university newspaper does not possess the killer instinct of a ravenous wolverine: the mediocre reporters survive (and even thrive).  Even worse, the copy editors themselves become lazy, lethargic, and forgetful of their responsibility to be faithful fact-checkers rather than just picky punctuation police or stolid syntacticians.

While the survival of the mediocre is not an obvious evil, it does contain an insidious threat.  Survival allows these poor benighted souls, blind to their own inadequacies, to spread their terminal plague of near-competence to every corner of the journalistic world.  Regrettably, this includes even the ivory tower that, once upon a time, was the New York Times.