Saturday, February 18, 2006

So the NYTimes front-pages Sudan today. And midway through the third graf comes this little bit of kistof-ian gratuitous religiousity (with a backhanded karate chop at the left!):

Fighting between rebel groups and government-backed militias has destroyed entire villages, killing more than 200,000 and displacing about 2 million people. Both the United States and the United Nations have been criticized for responding too slowly to evidence that the African Union peacekeepers were having little effect.

Evangelical Christians have been particularly outspoken in their calls for a more active American role, and Mr. Bush's remarks, in a question-and-answer session in Tampa, appeared to focus increased attention on the issue.

NATO has played a small logistical role in Sudan thus far, primarily airlifting African troops. Until recently, government officials had said NATO might do more, but all the discussion has been about providing equipment, communications and other logistical support.

i put in all three paragraphs there to highlight the extraordinary incongruity of that sentence. let's look at the "and" there--when you read papers by kids learning to write, they often struggle with the concept of "but" (hell, when you read scripts by fully grown adults you will see the same thing) being oppositional, not THIS, but THAT. i think that David Sanger, front pager for the Times, has forgotten how "and" works. it tends to link two related thoughts in one sentence. are we supposed to assume that bush is throwing out red meat to the base by highlighting something of signifigance to them? if so, Sanger should report that directly. he has both things in the same sentence, after all.

of course, i'm giving the benefit of the doubt where none is due. let's imagine a scenario--kristof grabs sanger for lunch at the office. they go somewhere midtown--i want to go with smith and wollensky, but i'm guessing--and kristof bends sanger's ear for an hour and a half about two things: one, how good it feels to buy cambodian hookers, and two, how the evangelicals really do get it on darfur better than anyone, really they do. and how remiss the times is in covering that fact.

cut to the next day, and sanger is preparing his column. he asks kristof for input, and kristof suggests highlighting the evangelical involvement in darfur. sanger, rushed for time, shoves something in there. eh voila, total nonsensical writing on the front page of the times!

and hey, the left wing blogosphere has been highlighting sudan troubles for 2 years. we have a couple of million readers in total over here. our readers are active. but i didn't note an utterly weird sentence about us in there. or about john kerry, who brought darfur and sudan up repeatedly in his campaign.

the times continues down a suicidal path. it will never be seen as being pro-evangelical enough, and it will lose its core readership, its base, if you will, of left-leaning folk.

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