By Brian Williams, Anchor and managing editor
I read that the New York Times Sunday (and weekday) circulation is down. I must admit that on Sundays it becomes a tough paper to figure out. While this week's paper featured an op-ed piece by Elizabeth Edwards bemoaning the lack of serious, in-depth coverage of the political race, it's tough to figure out exactly what readers the paper is speaking to, or seeking.
Consider this: the Sunday Styles section lead story on April 13th was "Scavengers on the Urban Savannah" (people buy things at flea markets!), and promoted on Page One was "A Sex Chair Becomes A Battlefield." Alrighty then.
This Sunday's lead story was "Through Sickness, Health, Sex Change..." in a section that included the essay, "Was I On A Date Or Baby-Sitting?," and "Let's Say You Want To Date A Hog Farmer" (and who among us hasn't?).
The magazine cover story this week was "The Newlywed Gays!" (happy gay men in Massachusetts who are married outdoor grilling enthusiasts!), and another feature story profiled a man who "lives and paints" in New Mexico (one of those states west of New Jersey) and has an old-fashioned typewriter!
This week's restaurant/bar review featured a place in Brooklyn that features (tragically-hip/quaint alert!) "old-time cocktails and cheeses" (it strikes me: so did my Mom, at home in Jersey) and the so-called "big box" featured wedding was a classic: the groom wore the obligatory sneakers with his tux, the bride was a "spitfire" with a "wide and ready Julia Roberts smile." Per usual, bride and groom are both free-spirited, with strong opinions.
The lead story in the Travel Section? The rise of vacation resorts catering to nudists. It did occur to me that I haven't been getting out a lot on weekends. Is it just me?
On the other hand, one sparkling piece of journalism (which touched on a lot of themes frequent readers of this space will recognize) was by Peggy Noonan in this weekend's Wall Street Journal. Curl up with this one and give it the quality time it deserves. I'll say it again: Peggy is doing the work of her career and must be considered an early favorite for next cycle's Pulitzer for commentary.
A mea culpa and a thank you to the sharp-eyed Newsviners who wrote us (along with others) to tell us we had used file tape of penguins in a piece on the North Pole! There are no penguins on the North Pole. I must admit I was watching from home, and muted the sound to talk to a family member. Something registered, and I'd like to think I'm smart enough to have noticed. It was the visual equivalent of a kangaroo bouncing through Central Park.
Also, to Joan: I did not attend the Correspondent's Dinner this weekend, though sampled some of the festivities on C-Span (I thought the President was very good). I have attended those dinners for 26 years or so, and on occasion I opt for home and hearth. I saw the first 50 laps of Talladega, however, from the comfort of my kitchen. You were nice to ask.
We hope you had a good weekend. We hope you can join us for tonight's broadcast.