First, the New York Times’ clickbait headlines for the Ethicist column. Clickbait means an article promises something sensational but doesn’t deliver. A sensational headline is fine for a sensational story, but the Ethicist column nearly always has sensational headlines while the questions are generally humdrum. More precise than “sensational,” the headlines provoke outrage and make you want to give a piece of your mind to the question the headline suggests you’ll find.
Instead, the questions are usually not outrageous, just, in my opinion, juvenile, by which I mean people asking for others to tell them what to do. I expect a child to ask his or her parents what to do or what to think. Adults, I expect to have learned their values and how to act on them. The Ethicist column promotes people creating dependency.
Anyway, I know journalism today continues to reduce to a practice of creating headlines, but that doesn’t mean I have to like it.
Next, vacations. This weekend, again, I don’t see the column in the Times Magazine. I don’t know their policy. All I know is that they don’t run the column a lot, maybe once a quarter. I presume that’s for vacation time for the writer. Maybe I’m wrong. It just seems like a lot of skipped weeks for a modest column.
I’ve meant to write my thoughts on their clickbait headlines and frequent time off for a while, but was too busy responding to their questions each week.
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