The New York Times, long the whipping boy of rightwing yahoos and smug futurists who proclaim that it is old-fashioned and therefore finished, today painted and powdered itself as a Web 2.0 site. In an alternative front page called “Times Extra” (which, in the first sign of trouble, has no permalink: click the box at the top of the homepage), the paper puts beneath each story chartreuse links to “other news sources and blogs,” as if it were a news aggregator like Blogrunner or Technorati rather than a news organization with thousands of its own reporters.
So, for example, you can read the Times‘ story about Rahm Emanuel, or go straight to a TownHall screed called “Obama and Billary” (hawhaw, Bill-ary, get it?). You can read the Times story examining Condi Rice on Pakistan, or go straight to National Review and save yourself some trouble by just reading their snotty one-liners.
This is the Times for people who hate the Times, whose eyes glaze when confronted with deep coverage and analysis, and who want to know what the Times considers the news of the day for sneering purposes, but instead of reading it would prefer to go directly to the people who will tell them why the Times version is liberal media bullshit. Such folks will both use and denounce Times Extra, in the same way that their blogs link to tons of Times stories while denouncing it. The rest of us will wonder: why chartreuse?