Imagine this scenario:
A meteor the size of Texas is due to smash directly into New York City in three days and it is much too late to send Bruce Willis up there to save the metropolitan area from Armageddon. You can read all about it in the New York Times...but only on page A17.
Sounds pretty bizarre, right? Well, in reality that is exactly what happened on Thursday in regards to Hurricane Irene coverage. The front pages of both the New York Post and the Daily News were covered with large satellite photos of Hurricane Irene along with big headlines. The New York Times? Hurricane Irene was nowhere to be found on the front page. In fact it wasn't even on the second, third, fourth, or even fifth pages. To find their Hurricane Irene story you had to flip... flip... flip... flip... flip.... all the way to where they hid an article on the subject on page A17.
Your humble correspondent bought the national edition of the Times cleansed of Hurricane Irene information on the front page which you can see below the fold strictly for laughs.
So what stories on the front page rated higher in importance over Page A17 Hurricane Irene according to the New York Times? Well, there was New Numbers, and Geography, for Gay Couples. The weird thing is that even those who bothered to read that article probably couldn't get the non-front-page Hurricane Irene out of their minds. Some excerpts to prove this point starting with the first sentence:
REHOBOTH BEACH, Del. — So much for San Francisco.
Rehoboth Beach? Might not be much of a beach left due to Hurricane Irene. Oops! Sorry for intruding into your all important story which takes precedence over Hurricane Irene. Please continue:
The No. 1-ranked town is Provincetown, Mass., at the tip of Cape Cod.
Where the cone of Irene is projected to pass over. Okay, please return to your vital front page story:
New York is too big to figure prominently in top city rankings for same-sex couples per capita (it was 67th in 2010, Mr. Gates said), but it does rank by county, alongside more the more traditional locations. Manhattan is No. 5, after San Francisco County, Hampshire County, Mass., Monroe County, Fla., and Multnomah County, Ore.
New York? Correct me if I'm wrong but isn't that city due to be hit by the biggest natural catastrophe in about a century in just three days? Eh! It only rates Page A17 coverage in the Times.
Meanwhile, perhaps somebody should pinch Pinch Sulzberger, the New York Times publisher, so he can awake from his deep slumber and get connected with reality.