A tempest has been brewing… AKA, yet even more on the scrotum story

February 21, 2007 at 2:54 am 5 comments

One Troublesome Word , Article, Editorial

A tempest has been brewing over a children’s book…” begins today’s New York Times editorial. Ahhhh, the passive voice… last refuge of scoundrels.

Perhaps it is too much to expect the Old Gray Lady to acknowledge that, prior to it’s own troublesome reporting, there was nothing brewing but a fairly respectful professional discussion on librarians’ discussion lists (or as the Lady quaintly refers to them, “message boards”.)

Perhaps it is too much to ask that, having started this hooha (if that’s the right word–gulp), the Lady restrain from invoking comparison’s with Marian the librarian. Surely this is writing at it’s absolute laziest! Hey Lady, while you were at it, couldn’t you have thrown in a comment or two mentioning that librarians’ commitment to intellectual freedom is generally, oh I don’t know, as tall as an oak? As deep as the sea?

(Note to the NY Times editorial board: The next time you want to disabuse your readership of the “Marian the Librarian” stereotype, it might be more effective to point out that REAL librarians don’t fit the stereotype, rather than pointing out that Marian herself was actually quite a bawdy gal, judging from her reading habits.

Check this out: It wouldn’t be fair to characterize Arthur Sulzberger’s comment that “I really don’t know whether we’ll be printing the Times in five years, and you know what? I don’t care either” by saying that he’s kind of like Nero, fiddling while the MSM burns. You know why? Because Nero really played the LYRE. See how that works?)

But I get it, Lady. mentioning Marian, was really just an easy transition to mentioning her love of Balzac, which sounds kind of like “ball sack” which is another way of saying scrotum (giggle, snigger), so we can all see how wonderfully witty, cultured, well-read, AND terribly bawdy the Times editorial board is. Look out Dorothy Parker, you’ve got competition! Oh wait, you’ve been dead for 40 years. My bad.

Well anyway Lady, thanks for throwing in that last bit about helping children on their journey from ignorance to knowledge, blahdiddy, blah, blah, and for not using the word “shhhh” anywhere in the (final draft) of the editorial.


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  • 1. Arlen  |  February 21, 2007 at 8:07 am

    Peter: Your future is in satiric writing! (Not Satanic; although, I really don’t know you that well…) If Balzac:ball sac and “Well anyway Lady, thanks for … not using the word “shhhh” anywhere in the (final draft) of the editorial,” are any indication of your witty repartee (is ‘witty repartee’ redundant?), then I can’t wait to read something you write that’s posted at a decent hour! (Was it really 2:45 AM?) Yours, Arlen

  • 2. Peter Bromberg  |  February 21, 2007 at 9:18 am

    Thanks Arlen for your kind, clean words 🙂 Yes, it really was 2:45. I was/am a bit under the weather and couldn’t sleep. I guess my snark filter is disabled between midnight and 6:00 am!

  • 3. Liz B  |  February 21, 2007 at 11:41 am

    I am disgusted with the way that the NYT reported the original story & now it’s follow up. “Lazy” is being kind; this shows that those at the paper may believe themeselves “well read” and may indeed be “well read”; yet they fail miserably when it comes to the ability to investigate, report, and fact check something in a professional manner.

  • 4. Janie L. Hermann  |  February 21, 2007 at 12:02 pm

    I give this post 2 thumbs up! I think Pete needs to do more posting between the hours of midnight and 6:00. Go with it Pete and let your inner snark shine.

  • 5. K.G. Schneider  |  February 21, 2007 at 9:14 pm

    Hey, Pete, tell them how you really feel! This was great. Bravo bravo bravo. What a piece of piffle from the Times.

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