Thursday, February 02, 2006

A Section Ads.

Finally! We're pleased to report the appearance of a scantily clad woman in the A-Section of the New York Times! Alas, for Eytan's first premise, it was not an underwear ad or even an underwear wearing woman, but a Lord and Taylor model showing a heck of a lot of leg. Does that count? Judges? Should we throw Eytan a bone, and say that he finally won a day? Or do we stick to the original rules, and count underwear only?

Having spotted an immodest ad in the A-Section, I was, at long last, able to test Eytan's second premise: The idea that juxtaposing near-naked women with serious news stories somehow undermines the Times claim to be a serious paper. To test this theory I stared at the Lord and Taylor ad for thirty seconds, then read the article and asked myself the following questions:

Was I able to understand the article? Yes.
Did the article seem serious to me, despite its close proximity to a black and white picture of an attractive woman's thigh? Yes.
Do I still think the Times is a good paper? Yes.

Now, I admit that I am not be the best test subject for this particular experiment, because I don't accept Eytan's second premise. I don't think that the Times sees itself as a "font of intellectual and moral gravitas." I just think it's a smart paper, with some good writing and analysis on the day's event, so it doesn't strike me as odd to find an unclad woman mixed in among the good writing.

To really test Eytan's argument, we need someone who embraces the second premise. Do any of you, out there in reader land, believe that the Times is produced by (as Eytan put it) "bleeding heart humanists, who fancy themselves exquisitely morally sensitive and committed to truth, justice and (People for) the American Way?" If so, do me a favor and look at Page A3, and see if that Lord and Taylor advert seems inappropriate. Thanks.