I was shocked that a huge number of people were so quick to mock the New York Times for the paper’s suggestion that, hey, maybe its writers should wait more than six months after the invention of a new, trendy term to start casually using it in the newspaper. Are people in the year 2020 or 2050 really going to know what the word ‘Tweet’ means? Who knows? This “stodginess” is just one of the top common complaints about the Times. So we’ve taken a long look back at the paper in 1910 and 1911, and found pretty much everything there that people complain about now: it’s beholden to Jews! It’s in bed with the President (even while quick to absolutely trash his daughters). It’s devoted to the stupid trends of the rich (and displays a crazy obsession with rich people and their real estate), it gives away information crucial to public safety, prints thinly sourced gossip, and has an insane op-ed page. And 100 years ago, it already had everyone’s favorite thing: a catty, mean profile of a famous popular singer!
Thing the paper is run by and sympathetic to (gasp!) THE JEWS? Well! Here’s the Times straight up making fun of Germans who had their little no-Jews-allowed party house bought up by THE JEWS.
Catty stories about the President’s daughters? This did not start with Amy Carter or Malia ’n’ Sasha! Here’s an entire article devoted to mocking Taft’s daughter for a non-exclusive outfit. (P.S. I believe this also puts Washington Post fashion writer Robin Givhan’s career in the clear, historically speaking?)
Think the Times is obsessed with rich people real estate, and that it really hates gross poor people? Try this on for size!
Did you know that the Traitorous Times divulges secrets in the interest of our security? And attacks the NYPD? That they think the peoples’ right to know is more important than police and military secrecy? Let’s burn that newspaper down, but via a time machine, so we can do it in 1911!
THE LIBERAL MEDIA IS IN BED WITH THE WHITE HOUSE!
Devoted, fawning observance to trends among the rich in their “palatial homes”?
Stupid, tardy, vapid trend stories? How about “RICH PEOPLE START SLEEPING OUTSIDE”?
Venal, petty, anonymously sourced gossip, anyone?
The cautious introduction of slang terms and new language into the paper? Why, what is this job called a “trader”?
Bizarre bits of poetry and story-telling, for NO REASON?
The all-anecdote news story! Ordinary man a witness to a new invention! The horror!
Here is my favorite thing ever: a slavish yet cutting feature on a popular singer that devotes itself largely to her CRAZY OUTFIT. If only they’d had TRUFFLE FRIES back then!
Yes, what about this “GARMENT RESEMBLING A BAG”??
Can you believe the editorial page stakes out these crazy positions? WHO DO THEY THINK THEY ARE? Well here’s a trifecta for you. How about this insane editorial on the matter of someone named “Mr. Drexel” (I’m sorry, no idea who that might be, not very well future-proofed!) in a “social prizefight” who was knocked out by a new invention called “the haymaker,” which goes on to decry the lack of manliness in society and also denounces “monkey parties” and “pseudo-intellectual diversion of contemporary society”?
The only thing that really is new in the last 100 years is the introduction of a public editor; and the term limits of the third just expired, thank goodness. (So long, Captain Milquetoast!) In the end, this all suggests that, you know, maybe everyone should just get his or her own newspaper. Oh right, we all did! Lucky, lucky us.