Saturday, July 16, 2011

Subtle satire or ugly glimpse into the mind of the NYT -- you be the judge

Intentional or not, Christoph Niemann has perfectly captured New York journalists strange belief that the rest of the country is fascinated by the minutia of NYC (the relative size of Park Slope and Africa is particularly telling). As at least one commenter noted, this would seem to be a remake of the classic Saul Steinberg cartoon without the self-awareness.


  1. Why do you call it "subtle" satire? It definitely seems satirical to me, and not subtle at all! Of course the artist is making fun of New Yorkers! Why do you think that the map indicates a "belief that the rest of the country is fascinated by the minutia of NYC"? It's in a New York newspaper. I'd assume that a map made for a Texas newspaper, for example, would focus on distinctions among different parts of Texas.

  2. Perhaps I was a bit harsh but here are a few points in defense of the post:

    1. The joke here is certainly subtle compared to the Steinberg cover;

    2. I didn't notice any winks at the audience like putting the phrase "New Yorker" or "New York Times" in the title or a reference to Steinberg;

    3. I realize comment sections are the last refuge of the humorless, but it should be noted that a lot of readers saw this as more of an ugly glimpse;

    4. This may be an extension of point one but Niemann put a lot of time into the non-NYC portion of the map;

    5. The NYT IS the paper that seems to think that Harris county is a suburb of Houston;

    6. It's also the paper that runs this guy

    I'm in the middle of a move, so I don't have time to do this justice, but having viewed the process from Arkansas, Oklahoma, Georgia and California, I can say confidently that the NY/DC press corps (and the NYT in particular) does have a problem with the way it views the rest of the country, a problem that sometimes has serious consequences.