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Stars and space

This weekend, the New York Times used 1500 words on its Op/Ed page to tell us how little room there is on the Op/Ed page:

After all, we don't have a lot of space. On a day with two columnists and an advertisement, Op-Ed has room for about 1,200 words of type. That's it. (Speaking of those advertisements: we have nothing to do with them. They're sold, placed and scheduled by The Times' advertising department.) These unyielding boundaries mean that Op-Ed cannot harbor any aspirations about being encyclopedic. ("All the views that are fit to print?" Not a chance, alas.) For this reason, important subjects, issues and ideas will go uncovered. Op-Ed will inevitably be subjective and idiosyncratic.

These space considerations can be frustrating for editors and contributors alike. Roughly 1,200 unsolicited submissions come to our office every week via e-mail, fax and the United States Postal Service. Many of these submissions are first-rate and most get turned down simply because we don't have enough room to publish everything we like. How do we know they're good? Because all submissions are read; many are reviewed by the entire staff; some are hotly debated before a decision is made.

Okay. So if they get 1200 submissions every week, then that's about 170 every day. So how in the hell did someone there come to the conclusion that an Op/Ed on presidential horoscopes was one of the two best submissions of the day yesterday? I'm all for a newspaper not taking itself too seriously, but this is a paper that won't even print comics. And they have time for drivel like "Thus, Dr. Dean's character contains a paradox: he is both deep and shallow., "[Lieberman] is in a vital transitional phase.", "However, [Edwards'] chart shows him to be a true son of the messenger and trickster god, and so capable of exceptional dualism" and (my personal favorite) "[Sharpton] is fascinated by other cultures and desires global harmony, seeing the whole world as his home." ?!?!?!?!?!?!


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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on February 4, 2004 5:48 PM.

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