Media I Love the New York Times
posted by November 6 at 10:18 AMon
Always have, always will. My devotion to the NYT caused me to make a terrible first impression on my in-and-out-laws—my boyfriend’s parents (in-laws in Canada, where my boyfriend is my husband; outlaws in the USA, where my husband is my boyfriend)—on my debut visit fourteen years ago. I had them drive me all over Spokane, Washington, in a futile search for just one copy of the New York Times. A copy of the Spokesman Review wasn’t good enough for me and they thought me a bit snotty as a result.
While I was moved by the NYT’s lead editorial today about the travesty of justice in California, and while I appreciated the editors’ decision to run their story about the approval of anti-gay-marriage amendments in California and two other states on the paper’s front page and above-the-fold, and recognizing that there’s no way to say this without looking like a self-serving ingrate, it has to be said: The New York Times needs to add a gay writer to the its roster of opinion columnists. (And, no, I’m not thinking of the gig for myself; I’ve written for the NYT op-ed pages in the past, but I’m fond of the column I’ve got, thanks, and way too fond the “f” word to be a NYT columnist. I’m thinking of Andrew Sullivan, who would be a great choice, as would Jonathan Capehart, Pam Spaulding, and a dozen others I could name off the top of my head.) I came to this conclusion after reading the three opinion columns on today’s NYT op-ed pages.
Nicholas Kristof writes…
America is more than a place. At its best, it also is an idea.
When my father was driven from his home in Eastern Europe in World War II, he initially settled in France. But France offered no opportunity to impoverished refugees, so my father sought better prospects for himself and his descendents by moving on to an Oregon logging camp to begin to learn English and start a new life. What lured him was not the real estate of America, but the idea of America.
We Americans have periodically betrayed that idea of equality and opportunity, but on Tuesday evening we powerfully revitalized it.
Uh, Nicholas? Voters in three states—including the nation’s largest—betrayed the “idea of equality” for gays and lesbians on Tuesday. I agree that the election of Obama powerfully revitalized the idea of America, but the symbolism of Obama’s election was marred by the results in California, Florida, and Arizona.
Gail Collins writes today…
We are only thinking cheerful thoughts today, people. America did good. Enjoy.
Gay and lesbian Americans aren’t so cheerful today, Gail, particularly gays and lesbians who read your paper’s front-page story about the “stunning victory” of the religious right’s efforts to ban gay marriage in California, Florida, and Arizona.
Maureen Dowd writes…
In the midst of such a phenomenal, fizzy victory overcoming so many doubts and crazy attacks and even his own middle name, Obama stood alone….
There have been many awful mistakes made in this country. But now we have another chance.
As we start fresh with a constitutional law professor and senator from the Land of Lincoln, the Lincoln Memorial might be getting its gleam back.
Tuesday didn’t offer a fresh start for gays and lesbians, Maureen, just more “awful mistakes,” more bigotry and discrimination, courtesy of straight voters in three states who exercised their “special right” to vote on the fundamental civil liberties of their gay and lesbian fellow citizens. (Is any other minority group subject to this treatment in this country anymore?) No gay American can read the words chiseled onto the walls of the Lincoln Memorial today—”With malice toward none, with charity for all…”—and conclude that the Lincoln Memorial got its “gleam back” on Tuesday.
I’m sure Frank Rich will have something to say about the anti-gay marriage amendments that passed on Tuesday in his column this weekend. Rich is passionate defender of the dignity and equality of gay people; like no other straight writer in America (maybe it’s his love of the musical theater?), Rich understands that our struggle for equality under the law is the civil rights struggle of our time. For that reason alone the NYT should have a gay opinion columnist. That the three devastating blows delivered to the “idea of equality” on Tuesday failed to register with even one of the opinion columnists featured in today’s paper makes the need for a gay columnist at the NYT that much more pressing, urgent, and obvious.