This is the thing about the Times' reporting strategy these days (at least in some departments) and why it's not working. The Times, faced with dropping revenues, is trying to go after the gossipy style of the tabloids and cable news stations and some blogs, but is seriously sacrificing substance to do so.
What the NYT and the rest of the MSM has yet to grasp about the appeal of the blogosphere is that bloggers may be snappy and snarky but they actually provide a factual look at authority that's not through rose-colored lenses.
The post in question is essentially a personal, rather nasty, look at the CNN/Youtubedebate from the angle of actually being in the room instead of watching it on the telly-screen. Here are his initial impressions:
Anderson Cooper is taller than he looks on television. He also was wearing a much nicer suit than any of the men on stage who wanted to be president. (If you are now looking for some carping about Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton’s fashion sense, you have come to the wrong place: turn the page or click the link, or whatever it is one needs to do these days to move on.) Mr. Cooper is also rather funny, in a droll sort of way...Oh tee-hee. Not only does Ad-Nag get to subtly dig at the rise of electronic media, he gets to thoroughly let in to his bitchiest instincts and talk about Anderson's height and charm, and then dish about HRC's jacket by pretending not to talk about HRC's jacket (so meta)...and it's all rather, to use his wording, droll. Droll, I tell you! It must feel liberating for Ad-Nag not to be reporting on real stuff! Oh wait, this is the exact same crap he usually writes about... hmmm. At least there's no faux-objectivity here.
Here's the closing graf:
Inside the hall, Senator Barack Obama of Illinois, who tends in these settings to speak softly, was not a particularly striking presence; a number of colleagues in the press corps who watched on television rated him the winner of the night. Mr. Edwards seemed coiled and strident in the hall; colleagues watching him on television, where it matters, said he was gripping and compelling. And Mrs. Clinton? This is the one place where impressions inside the hall matched those on television. She DID stand out in that sea of dark suits wearing that (sorry) eye-catching coral jacket.
Ouch! Our main national political reporter at last gets to do his favorite thing--use gender politics to impugn two really excellent candidates, and then get in yet another dig-but-not-a-dig at HRC's jacket. The sad thing is that Edwards' coat comment was a stupid joke. The media, on the other hand, takes this shit seriously. God, this man needs some therapy.
Still, I'm disappointed that Ad-Nag didn't devote an entire post to an important subject: HRC's boobies. Way to miss the forest for the trees, home-slice.