February 01, 2013
When people talk about “Two Americas,” they usually assume New York City is part of the “elitist jerkoff” half and write us off. But there are two distinct New Yorks”an exaggerated version of the Two Americas”and nothing summarizes this polarization like the differences between the New York Post and The New York Times.
The Post distributes about a half a million copies daily, virtually all of them read by New Yorkers. The Times has three times that circulation, and its readers are virtually all assholes.
New York Post readers swear and wear flannel and have tattoos they regret. They drink cheap beer and make racist jokes to their black friends at work. New York Times readers wear J.Crew blazers and long for a world where black people would be their friend. One half smokes tiny joints and watches Girls at night, while the other smokes cigars and watches the game all day.
Like most women, my wife is a New York Times reader and resisted the Post for many years. I kept trying to sell her on the Post‘s sense of humor. She resisted until she saw them casually refer to Monica Lewinsky as a “portly pepper pot.” Since then, we get the Post every day and I’m only subjected to the “paper of record” on Sundays.
Middle-class New Yorkers think the Post is a cheap tabloid for stupid people because they see construction workers reading it on the train and the front page often has sensationalist headlines such as “OSAMA BIN WANKIN’!” They don’t realize that twenty pages in, the Post‘s Opinion section carries top-quality journalism by the likes of Jonah Goldberg, Arthur Herman, and Naomi Schaefer Riley. While the Times licks Hillary Clinton’s blood-soaked boots, the Post‘s Michael Goodwin wants to give the phony bitch an Academy Award. Where the Times rewards Obama’s relentless spending, the Post‘s David Seifman is in Albany calling out politicians by name and exposing everything from pension abuse to crooked lobbyists. Times readers don’t know this about the Post because like most writing they hate, they’ve never read it.
I don’t even think they’ve read their own newspaper. Every edition of the New York Times is about 140,000 words and it’s twice that on Sunday. We recently had a houseguest who bought it every day and by the end of the week, our apartment looked like an episode of Hoarders.
I believe that’s precisely what readers like about The New York Times. They enjoy taking up the entire train with its enormous pages. The New York Times provides a portable library where liberal-arts graduates can pretend they’re intellectual.