NYT Columnist Proves (Again) Op-Eds Are Out Of Touch With Society

I love the NYT, it has always been one of my favorite publications I’ve read daily since I was a kid. However this opinion piece on marijuana reform is without question the single worst thing I’ve ever read on the site. Go read it, we’ll wait.

Not only is it full of myths (without citation to meaningful research) but by the author’s logic, we should also ban alcohol, cigarettes, sugar, TV and literally anything else that could be harmful to you in excess. Oh but wait, we couldn’t ban those: because the author personally doesn’t like marijuana, that is the only thing we need to ban. No real reason of course, it’s just “evil.”

Also ignore all of the harm done and non-violent criminals (many turned violent) due to senseless incarceration. So many lives ruined unnecessarily. Not to mention the benefits of taking power and violence away from illegal cartels and creating a whole new legitimate industry to create jobs, tax and regulate for safety.

I’m not going to try to rebut any of his specific points here because it’s not worth it: the author is completely uninformed on the issue and calling for a ban on something he feels personally is “bad” without any data. You could easily read this whole story with a Stephen Colbert satire voice. Unfortunately it is not satire. At least nearly every comment (rightfully) slams the author.

Yet again I’m reminded of this Gawker story which outlines what is wrong with opinion columnists in the US:

The New York Times’ David Brooks (the same who wrote the above story) is under the impression that the babblings of his Yale students reflect major generational trends. TheWashington Post‘s Richard Cohen thinks for some reason that it’s okay to assume interracial relationships probably make people “repress a gag reflex.” At the Wall Street Journal, Peggy Noonan was apparently the last person on earth to find out about the internet. It’s been a fun few weeks (months, years)—for us, at least.

But still, we’ve wondered: Why? Why are editors at these widely read, extremely reputable papers publishing pieces expressing bewilderment at the 21st century? And more importantly,why are respected opinion columnists writing these bizarre things?

We took a look into it, and it turns out it’s because they’re old.

How old? This infographic breaks down average age of columnists at national newspapers with some data:

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Clearly many of these people are  out of touch with our culture. Opinions of those stuck in their ways, afraid of change and in no way reflecting reality. But it isn’t just age. You can be old and informed on issues and present a balanced opinion.

This is another reason many bloggers have risen so quickly: their words resonate with what’s actually going on. If you have opinions, it’s still a huge opportunity for you to balance those from an alarmist, afraid, homophobic, intolerant and increasingly irrelevant era.