Friday, May 25, 2007

NY Times: Never Counterintuitive

When the Q-Poll came out yesterday showing that an overwhelming percentage of outer borough residents oppose the congestion pricing plan (but with Manhattanites poling in a completely opposite direction) you knew it would only be a matter of time before the Times-the ultimate expression of Manhattan-centric sensibility, weighed in supporting the proposal. Adding some urgency to the situation was the fact that the plan is essentially a tax, making it absolutely irresistible to the solons of 43rd Street.

So it was no surprise to see that the paper threw its editorial support behind the idea in this morning's edition. The editorial makes interesting reading, much like children's fables the world over and, as usual for the Times, eschews nuance or any discouraging word. In characterizing the London and Stockholm experience with the concept of congestion pricing, the Times observes: "Residents of both cities were turned around by the unclogged streets, quicker commutes, better public transportation and cleaner air."

Yes, a veritable environmental Utopian age has been ushered in in those venues, with no attendant problems in the implementation of the pricing scheme in either city. Just another reason to not turn over city governance to the ideologically driven, and fact-resistant, Times editors.

Making this demonstration of solipsistic opining even worse, is the fact that the paper completely ignored the Q-Poll results. Every other city daily, except for the paper of "record," covered the news that most New Yorkers do not support the congested thinking. Most did so in the coverage of the mayor's photo-op on his "Don't block the Box" initiative. The Times story on this completely avoided the Q-Poll's newsworthy information.

Just another reason why you simply can't trust the Times to give you a balanced view of the world, especially when it comes to anything that offends Manhattan bien pensants. (although it should be noted that, as the In$ider points out this morning, two Manhattan lawmakers have come out against the plan because it would allow "people with fill the streets").

The contining flow of red ink at the Times is a verification of the increasing loss of confidence that New Yorkers have in the trustworthiness of the paper. As their stand on congestion pricing suggests, when it comes to the interests of the average New Yorker, the Times not only has no clue, it couldn't care less.