The Conspiracy

What Hits the NYTimes Homepage

josef-mengele-1935In my endless effort to procrastinate on Sunday afternoon–with the rain not helping, with my to-do list getting longer–I end up in a familar place: The New York Times homepage. Now, I could sing an ode or shout a rant to the Gray Lady, depending on the day, but I won’t go into that here. What I will talk about is the revolving-door feeling that the news has now, with the electronic “front page.” I often wonder how the editors choose what gets that nice, shiny picture on the homepage, with the headline underneath, enticing people to click to read more.

Unless I weasel my way into their newsroom, I can only hazard a guess for how they make those decisions. But here, I’m getting to the exciting part: yesterday afternoon was the searing, black and white image of Dr. Josef Mengele beside color photographs of two other men, beneath the headline “Nazis Were Given ‘Safe Haven’ in U.S., Report Says.” I’m not going to parse the whole article, so you can read it here. Read more too…

I don’t know about you, but anytime I hear the word “Jew” or “Nazi,” my tiny Jewish ears perk up. Even if I hear the word “jewelry” or “shoe”, my ears perk up. So naturally, my attention was caught by the article. And I’ll grant that the content is interesting, albeit somewhat scary. The U.S. Justice Department released a 600-page report about notorious Nazi emigres, the “government’s collaboration with persecuters” and conflicts with other nations over war criminals. So, interesting content. I recommend reading the article all the way through (it’s two pages).

But perhaps more interesting is what makes the news, in a mainstream paper, and what makes the news in a niche publication, like The Jewish Post of New York.

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