by Greg Mayer
A few weeks ago, I asked “Is Maggie Haberman worth it?” This was in response to the New York Times‘ growing “wookeness”, as I called it: the pervasion of woo and woke ideology throughout the paper. A major aspect of this in the paper is their 1619 Project, a major effort to rewrite American history from a racialist perspective, and to, furthermore, evangelize for racialism. The Times dismissed criticism from historians, and last Sunday took out a two page ad in itself to promote the project. (Does one part of the Times pay some other part for these ads?) The Times may or may not think Maggie Haberman is worth it, but they sure do think the 1619 Project is! Here’s the first page:
And here’s a closeup of the text:
This is the second page:
And the text up close. This is the part that really got me. The Times is saying that I, as a subscriber, must share responsibility for the Project, and then thanks me for doing so. And to rub salt in the wound, their website is called “/worthit”, the very thing I have begun to doubt.
The Times catchphrase now is “The truth is worth it.” And the truth certainly is. But the Times no longer seems to know what is true.
The day after the two page ad, I received an email (sent to all subscribers) from Nikole Hannah-Jones, the leader of the 1619 project:
Dear Reader, I am a journalist at The New York Times Magazine and the creator of The 1619 Project. I cover racial inequality and injustice for the magazine, and in many ways, this project feels like the journalistic endeavor I’ve been working toward my entire life. I understood that 1619 — the year the first enslaved Africans were sold into Virginia in British North America — was a pivotal year in American history, but one that very few Americans had heard about. So, as the 400th anniversary of American slavery approached, I pitched a project that would dedicate an entire issue of The New York Times Magazine to examining not just that historic moment, but the ongoing legacy of slavery across modern American life. That is how The 1619 Project, which would grow to include not just an issue of the magazine, but a special section of the newspaper, a podcast and a series of live events, was born. For eight months, the sweeping effort consumed many talented editors at The Times, as we all worked together to produce something worthy of the anniversary. The day the project launched, it sold out all across the nation, and we have sold out of several additional releases since. I’ll never forget how it felt to see people posting videos and photos, proudly announcing that they had snagged a copy of The 1619 Project for themselves. What I have heard again and again from readers like yourselves who engaged with the project, is that they simply did not know this history before. That is the power of The New York Times. We are unparalleled in resources, talent and the commitment to do unprecedented journalism that transforms national conversations and the way we think about our world. I do not know of another news organization that could have given this type of journalism its authority and its reach. And we most certainly could not do this without your readership and support. Thank you for supporting journalism that matters. Best,
They seem to really want me to cancel my subscription!
As Jerry noted the other day, the woo goes on as well. (Because newspapers track clicks assiduously, I now make a point of only reading the myriad bursts of wookeness in my paper copy, lest I contribute to the growth of this material—there’s no such thing as a bad click.)
But while the Times increasingly strains a reader’s patience, there is, as I noted in my original “worth it?” post, still much that is good. The following article takes on the use of unproven and improbable medicines in the treatment of coronavirus. Not visible in this link, but present in the paper version, was the subtitle “Ancient Medicine Raises Concerns”. This is the Times as it should, and used to, be.