Tag Archives: George W. Bush

What is the difference between the New York Times, the New York Post, and the New Yorker?

Newsroom of the The New York Times circa 1920

Reporters in the newsroom of the The New York Times circa 1920.

See Sonny Bohanan’s answer to this question on Quora.com: What is the difference between the New York Times, the New York Post, and the New Yorker?

By Sonny Bohanan

The New York Times and the New York Post are daily newspapers that publish 365 issues a year — 366 on leap years — and the occasional “extra” edition in the event of world-shaking news, like the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. The New Yorker is a weekly magazine that publishes 47 issues a year, covering news, the arts, culture, and anything else of interest.

The three are different in many respects but similar in one: Based in New York, they all focus a good deal on things that happen in that city. The Post is the most New York-centric of the three.

The Post and the Times differ in tone, style, appearance, and story subjects — their personalities. The Post is a tabloid, which describes both its size and its attitude. It has a magazine format that can be more easily read by subway commuters. The Times is a broadsheet, which is difficult, in a crowd, to open to the inside pages.

New York Post cover from February 2016

New York Post cover from February 2016, the day after the Iowa presidential caucus.

The Post gives more prominence to salacious  stories — sex, drugs, scandal, betrayal, and such — and it is designed with a lurid red and black color scheme reminiscent of true-crime novels. The bold, clever, and often risqué front-page headlines are my favorite feature of the Post. Some headlines I enjoyed:

CLOAK AND SHAG HER (CIA boss Petraeus resigns over sexual affair)
HO-NO! (Gov. Spitzer gets caught with a prostitute)
A-FRAUD (Pretty much any story about former Yankee player Alex Rodriquez, aka A-Rod)
WEINER EXPOSED (Pretty much any story about former New York Congressman Anthony Weiner)

The Times, meanwhile, is recognized as the best newspaper in America — maybe the world. It is an annual winner of Pulitzer Prizes, having so far amassed 117 of them, beginning in 1918 for its coverage of World War I.  The Times is one of the few newspapers that has been successful in monetizing the Internet because it is so well-known and respected that people worldwide are willing to pay a subscription fee to read it online.

New York Times cover on September 12, 2001

The New York Times cover for September 12, 2001.

The Times is filled with national and international news, and it has a section for virtually any interest under the sun: Opinion, books, the arts, food, movies, sports, health, science, technology, business, weather, fashion, theater, home and garden. The strength of its brand and the advertising and subscriptions it commands give the Times the wherewithal to continue deploying reporters all over the globe, a rarity.

Of the three publications we are comparing, the Times has by far the largest editorial staff. It also is known for the more formal voice of its writing. While other newspapers refer to their story subjects, on second reference, only by last name, the Times uses courtesy titles such as Ms., Mr., Dr., and Senator in every instance. So where Tom Hanks becomes “Hanks” after first reference in the Post, he will forever be “Mr. Hanks” in the Times, or so we can hope. It is one of the last remaining online spaces where we still daily witness civility, or a reasonable facsimile thereof.

New Yorker cover for October 20, 2014, issue

New Yorker cover for October 20, 2014.

If I seem to have ignored the New Yorker magazine, it is only because I’ve saved the best for last. I’ve been a subscriber to the magazine for more than 20 years, even after it beefed up its website and tripled its subscription fee.

Where else can you find the best fiction writers working today, while also learning first about (for instance) the faked intelligence that the Bush Administration used to railroad the nation into a bogus war in Iraq? If only Bush, Cheney, and Rumsfeld had subscribed to the New Yorker, they too would have been privy, before the 2003 invasion, to information that was only available to people, like myself, who read. Just think how differently things might have turned out — how many lives saved — if the Triumvirate of Torture had but read the New Yorker‘s investigative news stories. They could have rushed in and stopped themselves from lying about Saddam Hussein, the yellowcake uranium, and the weapons of mass destruction.

But no, they failed to subscribe to the New Yorker, which caused them to fail the nation by failing (hat trick!) to stop themselves from peddling a lie to the United Nations and the world. I guess what I’m saying is, the New Yorker saves lives. Or it could have, if only . . . well, you know.

For my money, the New Yorker publishes the best long-form journalism in the United States, the best short fiction, poetry, opinion, and humor writing, plus the best movie, music, book, theater, and culture reviews. And don’t forget the cartoons, or the original illustrations that grace the cover each week.

So, there you have it. The difference between the New York Times, the New York Post and the New Yorker. I hope it changes your life in ways that neither of us could have imagined.

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In the world’s eyes, is President Obama hurting or helping the image of the USA?

Barack Obama and his dog, Bo

Barack Obama has restored America to a position of respect in the world.

See Sonny Bohanan’s answer to this question on Quora.com: In the world’s eyes, is President Obama hurting or helping the image of the USA? 

By Sonny Bohanan

Without a doubt, President Obama has helped the image of the United States during his two terms in office. He’s repaired America’s relationship with her Western allies, who were lied to, just as the American people were lied to, and fed faked intelligence by the George W. Bush administration in the run-up to the Iraq War.

The world opened its heart and its arms to America after the terrorist attacks of 9-11-2001. Bush, Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld squandered that goodwill by bullying our allies into a bogus war that cost those nations the lives of their soldiers and siphoned away their money, just as it did ours in the United States.

Obama has removed American troops from Iraq and Afghanistan, and he’s done his best to close down the Guantanamo Bay prison in Cuba (unfortunately Bush created such a legal nightmare that it’s almost impossible to fix now). He stopped the routine practice of torture instigated by Bush and his Office of General Counsel.

Further, Obama has resolutely refused to commit American ground forces to the war in Syria, another unwinnable Middle Eastern quagmire that the Republicans are eager to wade into, at a future cost, if they had their way, of thousands of dead American soldiers. Eventually, we would be forced to leave Syria in defeat, unable to solve the problems that caused that war, just as the Iraq war did nothing to improve the lives of the Iraqi people or to spread democracy in the Middle East, as Bush promised.

Obama has been a strong leader in two areas that perennially leave our Western allies shaking their heads over the stupidity of Americans: Universal healthcare and gun control. Until Obama pushed through the Affordable Care Act, the United States was the only Western democracy that left huge swaths of its population uncovered by health insurance, which put humane medical care out of the reach of many poor Americans. The Affordable Care Act brought the United States into line with the rest of the West in providing a healthcare safety net for its citizens, regardless of their ability to pay.

And Obama has called on Congress to pass common-sense gun control laws that would require universal background checks for all gun purchases. Though the Republican Senate rejected such legislation following the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre three years ago, President Obama may be considering an executive order that would help close some of the loopholes that allow gun purchases without a background check.

(Update: On January 4, 2016, President Obama signed an executive order closing the loophole that allowed some gun sales without a background check — those conducted at gun shows and online, for example. The order specifically requires a background check of the buyer for all gun sales. The order also dedicates money and additional FBI agents to improving the National Instant Criminal Background Check System — NICS — so that it will operate 24 hours a day and will finish background checks more quickly. It also dedicates more money and additional ATF agents to enforcing the existing gun laws, and he called on prosecutors to go after violent felons who try to buy firearms illegally. A fact sheet on the executive order.)

Because of its lax gun laws, the United States is the only Western democracy that experiences almost daily mass shootings, and most of the world is frankly sickened by the mindset that has allowed this situation to fester and grow more dire with each passing year. It’s a stain on the nation’s reputation that Obama has worked to eliminate, but the Republican Congress, grown fat off NRA campaign contributions, is too addicted to the money to do its job and protect American children from the scourge of the nation’s deadly gun culture.

Obama also has stabilized an economy that was in free-fall, the financial sector teetering on the brink of collapse, as George W. Bush fled the White House. We’ve now had an unprecedented string of month-over-month economic growth, and the unemployment rate stands at 5 percent after reaching double digits as Obama took office.

By any objective measure, President Obama has improved the image of the United States, which was in tatters, fully engulfed in flames, when he was sworn in as President in January 2009. He’s been the best American president of the last half-century, hands down.

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