New York Times Comes Up Short

Here we go with another annoying goof. In Friday’s edition (August 24, 2007), the failing paper’s front page “Inside” box had yet another screw-up. There were six teasers for articles inside the paper, and the one titled “The Fun and the Fearsome” boasted an intriguing photo–a man who appears to be The Tallest Man in the World next to a woman who is presumably a visitor to the newly opened Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Odditorium in Times Square. She is about 5′ – 7″ and he is clocking in somewhere south of 9′ – 0″ — pretty amazing! It’s a good teaser! I can’t wait to read the article!

So I rip open the paper to page B25 and read… and read… and read…


Not a word about the tall man! Now the questions begin to articulate themselves in my mind: is he a wax figure? Is the girl a wax figure? She’s dressed like such a NY shlub she must be real… or perhaps too real, like she’s an actor with a forced grimace and the all-too-typical touristy shopping bag and oversized purse. Then again, is this just a posed photograph? Maybe it’s the actual guy, visiting the museum to participate in its Grand Opening?

Most puzzling, once again, is why the editors don’t remember simple rules, like “Set it up, and pay it off.” That’s the purpose of the tease. That’s the raison d’etre for the tease in all aspects of advertising, promotions, PR, publicity, and media. Sure, the movie teasers might lie, but the public quickly catches on that the movie stinks and they’re only showing the 3 best scenes. And again, isn’t the NYT supposed to be a shade above the sleaze level of the movie and TV world? Have they completely given up on the idea of setting the standard for print journalism worldwide? Get it together people! It’s bad enough you shrunk the size of the actual paper. Please don’t appear as tiny as the poor woman in the picture. I know it’s hard, but all this simply heralds the ultimate demise of this once-fine paper, which suddenly, sadly, seems inevitable.

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