Comments: Week of May 9, 2022


“The Subway Is Scary Again. To Some People. Sometimes.” April 25–May 8

Photo: New York Magazine

After the first mass shooting on the New York City subway in nearly 40 years, Reeves Wiedeman went underground to capture the percolating fear. Street Plans co-founder Mike Lydon responded, “This is a well written article, but ‘you’re far more likely to be hit by a car in New York City than pushed in front of a train.’ Who’s writing that story and putting it on the cover?” Commenter cags added, “I’m more afraid of getting creamed in one of the bicycle lanes by an electric bike.” Journalist Olivia Messer wrote, “I was always embarrassed by how much the subway scared me. I was groped on my way to work, caught in the crossfire of a physical fight that left me bruised, and sometimes fell down the stairs.” And commenter mousenrats said, “If the subway is a ‘picture of who we are right now,’ I reject the message that we ‘should be scared.’ I go on the subway and I see people being tolerant, patient, and often kind. Yes, I also see people violating norms, but they stand out precisely because thousands and thousands of people who ride every day don’t. It’s not a bleak hellscape, it’s a system that functions almost miraculously given its scope, the aging physical plant, and the number and wild diversity of riders, and I appreciate all the people who work so hard to keep the subways running.” And Karissa Krenz tweeted, “If you’re not doing it, New Yorkers, take the damn train! Like the Acapella Soul guy says: ‘You gotta have gumption. If you’re scared to go outside or be on the subway, leave New York!’ ”


“Political Correctness Is Losing,” April 25–May 8

In his column, Jonathan Chait argued that the center-left may be succeeding in pushing back against what it sees as the excesses of the far left. Naomi Paiss wrote, “If this is actually the case, it’s a good thing. The real danger to freedom of expression is on the right; all the misguided far left does when it represses speech is provide an excuse for bothsiderism.” Ben Smith, the former BuzzFeed News editor-in-chief and co-founder of Semafor, said, “The backlash is now obviously overtaking the frontlash.” Other readers were critical. @queso_gatame noted, “Moral panics about censorious progressives and ‘political correctness’ have been a thing since at least the early ’90s.” Reporter Walker Bragman pointed out, “There is a whole cottage industry of professional Democrats/liberal pundits urging surrender to/acceptance of right wing narratives — all while wringing their hands about the increasingly emboldened right.”


“The Inside Man,” April 25–May 8

Shawn McCreesh profiled Joe Kahn, the incoming editor of the New York Times. Journalist Victoria Brownworth praised the story, writing, “It keeps you from loathing this guy for his wealth and privilege by highlighting his adroitness, self-possession and niceness. But it really was time for NYT to hire a woman.” Surveying the Kahn coverage, Bloomberg’s Nancy Cook called McCreesh’s article “the juiciest and most interesting.” But the Washington Post’s Felicia Sonmez noted, “One might think it’s impossible to write a 6,000-plus-word story without quoting a single woman, but … one would be wrong!” One aspect of the story that caught readers’ attention was a photo of Kahn sprawled on his living-room floor, gazing intently into the camera. On Twitter, the jokes piled up: “Having a nice, normal sit with the newspaper i now run”; “Draw me like one of your French girls”; “I understand literally nothing about the intentions of this photo”; “Y’all leave this man alone he’s just trying to get that right swipe.”

Photo: New York Magazine


“When Smoke Gets in Your Wine,” April 25–May 8

Benjamin Wallace wrote about how grape growers, vintners, and scientists are attempting to protect California’s prized wines from the aftertaste of wildfires. @Nobellfoods tweeted, “Take your time to savour that last batch of 2020 Napa rosé. Because if we don’t cool down, it’s nothing but a charbroiled bouquet of burnt ecosystem with hints of permanent drought and whispers of ammonium polyphosphate from here on out.” Though S. E. Smith cautioned, “It’s unfortunate that wine is really the only culinary product we talk about when we discuss fire-tainted crops, because this is bigger than your glass of cab.”

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Comments: Week of May 9, 2022