We need a new bus company

If we wanted to take the bus across town this afternoon, and the bus company said, “We can get you across town, but it’d work out a lot better for us if we did it a week from Thursday,” wouldn’t we be demanding a new bus company?

David Leonhardt’s fantastic interview with President Obama appears in today’s New York Times Magazine. Leonhardt writes that he interviewed Obama on April 14 after the president gave his speech on the economy at Georgetown University. To help readers better picture what day that was, Leonhardt notes it was the day White House dog Bo was introduced.

The magazine article is, Leonhardt writes, “a lightly edited transcript of that interview.” So unless Leonhardt edits by hammer and chisel, the entire reason for the three-week delay is the lead time for the magazine.

Why are we, the great unwashed readership, mourning the passing of this model?

Obviously the Times decided to run the piece in the Magazine because the Mag is prestigious and the advertising in it is lucrative. From the Times’ perspective, a major interview with the president is a natural for the Magazine.

But how does that do any good for us, the teeming, mouth-breathing masses? “We now present,” the Times is saying, “an interview with the president of the United States about the issues of the day that we could have presented three weeks ago, but that just didn’t work so well for us.”

Well, thanks for the interview, New York Times. It’s really, really good. We knuckle-draggers out here who don’t care about the indispensable role of newspapers in the functioning of our democracy would have liked seeing it three weeks ago.

This is the kind of thing that might partially explain those falling readership numbers, don’t you think, Times?

Repurposed from Facebook status updates!

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