Bintel Blog

Don’t Stop the Presses – Until Next Month

By Dan Friedman

It’s hardly a secret that the once-ubiquitous print newspaper is heading for the recycling bin of history.

But sometimes the news hits closer to home than others. Last month, the newspaper trade magazine Presstime issued a strident proclamation

DON’T STOP THE PRESSES (see photo)

This month, the New York Times reported that Presstime was becoming an online only publication.

Perhaps next month’s cover could be

DON’T STOP THE RECESSION!

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Kristol Hearts Huckabee

By Daniel Treiman

Neocon chieftain and liberal bogeyman Bill Kristol made his debut as the newest New York Times columnist this weekend. His choice of inaugural topic? The great potential of candidate Huckabee — the same subject his fellow Weekly Standard hand turned Times Op Ed columnist David Brooks tackled months ago.

Funny, I suggested just last week that Brooks and Kristol are two peas in a neocon pod. (Okay, Slate’s Jack Shafer explains why the two are actually quite different here.)


Kristol's a Timesman

By Daniel Treiman

The New York Times has hired Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol to write a weekly column for its Op Ed page. It seems, however, that not everyone is pleased with the paper’s decision to bring on the neo-con chieftain and outspoken Iraq War backer.

The Web site Politico reports that news of the hire “caused a frenzy in the liberal blogosphere Friday night, with threats of canceling subscriptions and claims that the Gray Lady had been hijacked by neo-cons.”

Times editorial page editor Andy Rosenthal, however, chalked up the outcry to “this weird fear of opposing views.”

“The idea that The New York Times is giving voice to a guy who is a serious, respected conservative intellectual — and somehow that’s a bad thing,” Rosenthal told Politico. “How intolerant is that?”

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Correction: Muslims, Jews Worship Same God

By Daniel Treiman

Here’s a great correction from Sunday’s New York Times:

A headline last Sunday about a Muslim man and an Orthodox Jewish woman who are partners in two Dunkin’ Donuts stores described their religions incorrectly. The two faiths worship the same God — not different ones.

Hat tip: Andrew Sullivan.

As an industrious collector of amusing newspaper clips, I can top this one for Jewish-themed hilarity. The following correction ran in the Times during the 2000 presidential campaign:

An article yesterday about a visit by Vice President Al Gore and Senator Joseph I. Lieberman to a Jewish community center in Florida misattributed a Yiddish greeting. It was Mr. Lieberman, not Mr. Gore, who said, “Shalom aleichem”; Mr. Gore said, “Mazel tov.”

No joke.


Eye on the Book Review: Stubbed Out and Dressed Up

By Gabriel Sanders

A word of praise for an oft-overlooked genre: the newspaper illustration. This past Sunday’s New York Times Book Review offered the Jewishly minded reader two especially good examples of the art — drawings that with a few quick brushstrokes manage to capture their subject’s essence.

The first, accompanying Christopher Hitchens’s new book, “God is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything,” came in the form of an ashtray with stubbed-out cigarettes forming the symbols of the three great monotheistic religions: the cross, the crescent and the Star of David. Now for those who don’t know, Hitchens is a proud and heavy smoker who wrote with passion against the cigarette ban instituted in New York by Mike Bloomberg some years ago. And so, in artist Christoph Niemann’s relatively simple picture you have conveyed three quite complicated concepts — Hitchens, religion and a good measure of disgust.

The second image was better still. Alongside a review of “The Yiddish Policeman’s Union,” — novelist Michael Chabon’s counter-history in which Israel does not become the Jewish homeland and Alaska does — an artist who goes simply by the name Max offers a Tlinkit totem pole topped by a shtreimel-wearing Hasid. It’s a delicious contrast. But then you start thinking, a fur shtreimel in Alaska kind of makes sense. It’s certainly better suited to the Alaskan climate than it is to the weather in, say, Williamsburg or Jerusalem.

One quibble: The Lubavitchers, the sect on whom the novel’s Verbover Hasidim are quite clearly modeled, happen to be among those Hasidim who don’t wear shtreimels.

A second quibble: The shtreimel in the picture bears a striking resemblance to an all-season radial. Then again, given Alaska’s unforgiving terrain, you never know when you might need a spare.



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