America’s foremost institution


I’m given to hyperbole. Can’t seem to help it. “Best this,” “greatest that,” whatever.
The U. S. has earned my devoted study. It has, to put it modestly, really lifted me out of certain defeat. No small feat. I owe this great country.
So, what would a foremost institution look like? National.Influential. Truthful. Trusted. Informed. Relevant. Useful.Valuable. All those things. It must reach, and be relied upon, by America’s rulers. Who are they? Politicians, financiers, influencers, rich, powerful types—and they must interact with the institution intimately and consistently.
It must have the resources to delve into the most complex matters and inform its followers fully, truthfully and relevantly.
Politics offers tempting candidates. So do religion, finance and culture. But only one institution reaches the few million who shape and guide our destinies every day.
And its name?
The New York Times.
As I write, it is at the very apex of its power and influence. You gotta read it or you’re gonna perish.
In late January 2022 they destroyed the just-elected New York City mayor with an exhaustively researched expose of how his cronyistic instincts produced the corruption of his criminal justice system. The thoroughly researched, archived and sourced front-page story made clear the tragic flaw of a key appointment and the terrible cost to the mayor. If he failed to act—that is, acknowledge the mistake and demand a resignation. The option is to lose his just-attained mayoralty. And it means death by a thousand cuts.
Alacrity is required but the temptation is to ride out the storm. Good luck with that.
The controversy offers red meat to racists and anti-Semites. The corrupters are devout Jews, and the corrupted are Black officials. As Sebastian Junger would put it, a perfect storm of malicious glee.
And so, the clock ticks, the sand particles fall, and the targets rejoice in every passive moment of inaction. It is the inertia of the ticking bomb.
I’ve seen this movie before.
Nothing bad happened today. Maybe it’ll blow over. Everybody does it. Formal charges were averted here or there. Human capacity for evasion can be pretty inventive.
Although midway through the process, I’m going to bet that The New York Times will once again prove its might. Those in its path are frequently the last to recognize its power.
In America you’re only entitled to one preeminent oracle all the powerful hearken to—that would be The New York Times.
Its targets always think they’ll survive—and maybe even prosper. Andrew Cuomo and Donald J. Trump come to mind. But if I were Mayor Eric Adams I’d either act or worry.

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