One thing you should all know about me is that I am a die-hard fan of The New York Times. If we’re being honest, even as a man with a journalism degree, I would never pay the firewall of any news site other than The New York Times. Thank God for student rates. I know that there are numerous news outlets on par with the Times, like Al Jazeera or the BBC, but generally speaking I’m a Times kind of guy. They even have Paul Krugman- my dad loves his shit. That all being said, I suppose no news organization is without flaw… chocolatey hazelnutty flaw.
The New York Times published this article yesterday (March 6, 2013) about what is apparently a Nutella thievery epidemic. Basically, Columbia University has made Nutella available to its students on an daily basis, rather than just the weekends. However, once this happened the university noticed the amount of Nutella being consumed or taken out of the dining hall to be incredibly costly. Supposedly in the first week, approximately $5,000 worth of Nutella was consumed or taken. The university only spends $50,000 a year in replacing stolen cutlery, plates, etc. Some guy also likes to spread appley peanut butter on one side of bread and Nutella on the other. Obviously this guy wants Type II Diabetes. The end.
Now mind you, I don’t even like Nutella that much. Really, what’s the big deal? It’s seriously not as incredible as every college aged woman ever makes it out to be. That and it goes straight to your thighs. To each their own I suppose.
Anyway, come on New York Times, you’re better than this! You aren’t The Huffington Post who is expected to put cushy articles like this in their eight billion sections. You’re the Great Gray Lady! All the news that’s fit to print! News that won’t soil the breakfast cloth! Well guess what, that cloth is soiled. That cloth is freshman-dining hall, hung-over Sunday morning, Nutella-stained soiled.
I did a little research of my own as well. By which I mean I Facebook messaged the one person I “know” (We’ve only heard legend of each other) at Columbia. Here is what he had to say:
“This shit is just dumb. Not just dumb because the media cares about it (are there not children dying somewhere today, or human rights abuses, or SOMETHING), but also because Columbia’s numbers don’t add up. 100 lbs. of Nutella a day. $5,000 per week. This means 700lbs equals $5,000, which is WAY over what you would pay for that much at Costco so where is the money going? I’ll tell you. Columbia made those numbers up to force the student body to stop taking the food they paid for in ways the administration didn’t like (don’t get me started on this school’s bullshit, I will go on forever).”
Since my friend so kindly summed up why “This shit is dumb” in regards to Columbia’s administration, I’ll sum up why “This shit is dumb” with regards to The New York Times. Look Times, you’re not going to win the wacky news award. Leave that for sites like Reddit, Gawker, or the aforementioned Huff Po.
You shine when it comes to hard international and domestic news. People read the Times because they know they’ll have solidly written and reported content to educate themselves with. People read you because they either believe you’re honest and objective or because they think you’re a liberal rag. Yes, you have soft news but even that is done considerably better than this Nutella piece. When I read The New York Times, I want to know about Syria. I want to know about Congress. I want to know about what going on in Brooklyn.
I suppose this may shoot my foot in its nonexistent chance of getting in the Times’ door, but I’d rather have that than see a trend like this appear at what I consider the paradigm of print journalism. Honest and critical journalism is sacred and necessary. There is more than enough “real” news in this world for The New York Times to report without ever having to get its hands covered in…Nutella.