Saturday, December 04, 2004


Only presidents, editors and people with tapeworms have the right to use the editorial "we"

Perusing this morning's Sulzberger Entity (hey, it's Saturday and I need my fill of polysyllabic words, besides, no Journal or Sun today), we find that the main editorial is a screed against the proposed football stadium for the Jets over the rail yards on Manhattan's West Side (you see, it simply must be capitalized as a proper noun, otherwise how else would someone pay proper obeisance to the Times' leadership and readership). The editorial is nothing out of the ordinary (it makes a few good points, actually) but I wouldn't be posting this unless there was a howler, and here 'tis:
THE SUBWAY The No. 7 subway line currently runs from Queens across Midtown Manhattan, stopping at Grand Central Terminal before coming to an abrupt end at Times Square. Logically, the line should continue across the West Side, then ultimately connect to Penn Station. That service is crucial to Mr. Bloomberg's development dreams. But the M.T.A. has other priorities, most notably the expansion of the No. 2 subway line on the East Side. That's the longtime dream of the Assembly speaker, Sheldon Silver, who happens to represent the Lower East Side. Rather than wait for the No. 2 to be finished or for Mr. Silver to retire, neither of which seems likely to happen in Mr. Bloomberg's political lifetime, the mayor's team has decided that the city should use its own money

Now, this may seem perfectly coherent and cogent to the average reader, but anyone who actually uses the subways will laugh out loud at this. The No. 2 subway line runs on the West Side. Always has. Up 7th Avenue, then Broadway. It even runs, gasp, into the Bronx and Brooklyn! The writer is obviously referring to the long-delayed Second Avenue Subway, which of course would indeed run on the East Side (unfortunately under the MTA's brilliant planning, the current plan would have the new line run from Harlem down to 63rd Street, where it would then join an existing line. And precisely how will this alleviate overcrowding?).

Needless to say, if a New York City paper can't even correctly describe its own transportation infrastructure correctly, it says something about its credibility in commenting on other affairs. I take a small bit of schadenfreude in realizing that this editorial writer likely has never set foot on the subway and probably will never do so in the future. The correction should be buried on page B-36 in a few days.


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