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Klavan On The Culture

The New York Times Resurrects an Old Joke

April 2nd, 2013 - 5:09 am

Via NewsBusters:

Elisabetta Povoledo is a Rome-based reporter for the paper’s international edition, but either she or her copy editor made a mortifying mischaracterization of the meaning of Easter in an online story on Pope Francis posted Monday: “Pope Calls for ‘Peace in All the World’ in First Easter Message.”

Here’s the original final paragraph, vanished from nytimes.com but available on Nexis, emphasis added:

Easter is the celebration of the resurrection into heaven of Jesus, three days after he was crucified, the premise for the Christian belief in an everlasting life. In urging peace, Francis called on Jesus to ”change hatred into love, vengeance into forgiveness, war into peace.”

The Times issued this correction:

An earlier version of this article mischaracterized the Christian holiday of Easter. It is the celebration of Jesus’s resurrection from the dead, not his resurrection into heaven.

This is wonderful! It, so to speak, resurrects an entire species of humor while eliminating its taint of political incorrectness. From now on, we can feel free to tell gut-busters like these:

What do a New York Times reporter and a beer bottle have in common? They’re both empty from the neck up.

What do you call a pimple on a New York Times reporter’s backside? A brain tumor.

How can you tell when a New York Times reporter has been using your computer? There’s white-out on the screen.

So thanks to the New York Times for years of laughter to come!

And to Jesus for, you know, the salvation.

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Top Rated Comments   
You are conflating two separate issues.

(1) The Resurrection: the literal and physical return to earthly life of Jesus Christ after his death by execution. This is believed by all Christian faiths.

(2) The Eucharist: the transubstantiation of the bread and wine into the actual physical body of Christ. This occurs during Holy Communion. This is believed by Catholics and Orthodox Christians. The bread and wine is seen as only symbolic of Christ's body by Protestant Christians.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Good idea Andrew. We can retire all blonde jokes and simply make the subject a New York Times reporter.

Example:

A young ventriloquist is touring the clubs and stops to entertain at a bar in a small town. He's going through his usual run of silly New York Times reporter jokes when a big woman in the fourth row stands on her chair and says,

"OK jerk, I've heard just about enough of your denigrating New York Times reporter jokes. What makes you think you can stereotype New York Times reporters that way? What does a person's job description have to do with their worth as a human being? It's guys like you who keep New York Times reporters like me from being respected at work and in my community, of reaching my full potential as a person... because you and your kind continue to perpetuate discrimination against not only New York Times reporters but all reporters at large... all in the name of humor."

Flustered, the ventriloquist begins to apologize, when the New York Times reporter pipes up, "You stay out of this mister, I'm talking to that little f%@#*er on your knee!"

Or

A New York Times reporter enters a bar and is soon joined by another. They each order a beer clink the mugs and shout SIX FREAKING WEEKS!

A third soon arrives. More beer is ordered. The toast is repeated: SIX FREAKING WEEKS!! Finally a fourth and fifth arrive they get a table. The order pitchers. They toast continually shouting SIX FREAKING WEEKS!!

Finally the bartender comes over and says "You people seem to be celebrating something. Do you mind if I ask what it is?"

The lead New York Times reporter says "Not at all buddy. You know how people are always saying that New York Times reporters are dumb as bricks? Well, me and my friends got one of those jigsaw puzzles that said four to six years and we finished it in SIX FREAKING WEEKS!!!"
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Gonna shoot down your point by pointing out the obvious.

Even if it were a bad translation, and it is really hard to screw it up that badly, you still have to be truly ignorant of the meaning of Easter in order to print this stupidity.

To spell it out further, you are the translator. You translate it and see... WTF?!? Hmm, maybe I better check that translation? Or maybe mention something to the editor?

Or maybe the editor should actually, you know, read and edit it?

It is indefensible, and you are trying to defend it. Your use of sarcasm denotes a bit of sneering dismissal... all while you are making a poorly thought out argument and missing the obvious. Gee, you thought you were being so smart.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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All Comments   (31)
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So the New York Times, with all its editors and fact checkers, had no one with enough of a basic knowledge of Christianity to spot a howler like that? That's like the cult that had to cancel their Spring Ritual because they couldn't find a virgin.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I work in media. About a year ago, I mentioned to two colleagues in passing that Christians believe in the literal, physical, bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ, not some allegorical or solely spiritual resurrection.

They were astonished. They said, wait, what, Catholics believe that? (One was a former Catholic.) I said not just Catholics, but all mainstream Christian denominations. They were like, no way ... I am always surprised by how many people are surprised at this point of Christian doctrine.

So I'm not surprised that the NY Times doesn't have anyone who knows the difference between the resurrection and the ascension.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Actually, only Catholics believe in transubstantiation and I are one. The other Christian faiths only see it as symbolic.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
You are conflating two separate issues.

(1) The Resurrection: the literal and physical return to earthly life of Jesus Christ after his death by execution. This is believed by all Christian faiths.

(2) The Eucharist: the transubstantiation of the bread and wine into the actual physical body of Christ. This occurs during Holy Communion. This is believed by Catholics and Orthodox Christians. The bread and wine is seen as only symbolic of Christ's body by Protestant Christians.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
The Orthodox also believe in transubstantiation, but that is entirely irrelevant to the issue at hand because that is the doctrine that they communion host and wine transform in a mystical way into the body and blood of Christ. That's different from both the resurrection and the ascension the first of which happens on Easter Sunday and the second of which happens on the 40th day of the Easter season.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I'm Orthodox. We don't call it transubstantiation (that's a western term) - we believe that the bread and the wine become the Body and Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ, and that how this happens is a mystery that is beyond our power to understand.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I thought redheads were the new blondes. People do seem to make fun of them a lot these days. If I hear one more "ginger" crack, I'll scream.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Good idea Andrew. We can retire all blonde jokes and simply make the subject a New York Times reporter.

Example:

A young ventriloquist is touring the clubs and stops to entertain at a bar in a small town. He's going through his usual run of silly New York Times reporter jokes when a big woman in the fourth row stands on her chair and says,

"OK jerk, I've heard just about enough of your denigrating New York Times reporter jokes. What makes you think you can stereotype New York Times reporters that way? What does a person's job description have to do with their worth as a human being? It's guys like you who keep New York Times reporters like me from being respected at work and in my community, of reaching my full potential as a person... because you and your kind continue to perpetuate discrimination against not only New York Times reporters but all reporters at large... all in the name of humor."

Flustered, the ventriloquist begins to apologize, when the New York Times reporter pipes up, "You stay out of this mister, I'm talking to that little f%@#*er on your knee!"

Or

A New York Times reporter enters a bar and is soon joined by another. They each order a beer clink the mugs and shout SIX FREAKING WEEKS!

A third soon arrives. More beer is ordered. The toast is repeated: SIX FREAKING WEEKS!! Finally a fourth and fifth arrive they get a table. The order pitchers. They toast continually shouting SIX FREAKING WEEKS!!

Finally the bartender comes over and says "You people seem to be celebrating something. Do you mind if I ask what it is?"

The lead New York Times reporter says "Not at all buddy. You know how people are always saying that New York Times reporters are dumb as bricks? Well, me and my friends got one of those jigsaw puzzles that said four to six years and we finished it in SIX FREAKING WEEKS!!!"
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Love the "me and my friends" grammar. Perfect.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
at one point last year you could have either bought a Sunday Times or bought 1 share of stock. Seems that both may have had a shelf life of equal value.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
and how many people get the NY Times because it is cheaper to buy the paper than it is to buy cage liners for their pet birds.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
There is a problem with this, though ... the birds get confused when they can't tell the print apart from the droppings ...
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Here the pest is the Washington Post. They put a paper with the coupons and adverts on my doorstep every Saturday. It's free and they won't stop. I just look at it as bird cage liner.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
How many (insert stereotype of your choice here) does it take to read the New York Times?


... wait, somebody reads the New York Times?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Given that the article was written in Rome for the international edition, it may just be a bad translation from Italian.

But no, instead its got to be a stupid reporter.

1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Not sure. "Risurrezione" and "ascenzione" are pretty different.

The Italian Stations of the Cross uses "resorge" for "rises" and "sale" for "ascends." Almost the same thing in English. Maybe the original article used those words and somebody's online translator couldn't tell the difference.

But I agree with the article: This is what Editors get paid to fix.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Sorry, I meant the Mysteries of the Rosary, not the Stations of the Cross.

Which does bring up another point. If you're not a Catholic, or not a practicing Catholic, it's pretty hard to keep up with the various Annunciations, Visitations, Findings in the Temple, etc. To an outsider, it's like the Rules of Cricket.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
The Resurrection is the core of Christianity. You need to know nothing else to be a Christian.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Well, it probbaly helps to know a *bit* more than "A guy came back from the dead." Like "Why?" John 3:16 sums it up nicely.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Gonna shoot down your point by pointing out the obvious.

Even if it were a bad translation, and it is really hard to screw it up that badly, you still have to be truly ignorant of the meaning of Easter in order to print this stupidity.

To spell it out further, you are the translator. You translate it and see... WTF?!? Hmm, maybe I better check that translation? Or maybe mention something to the editor?

Or maybe the editor should actually, you know, read and edit it?

It is indefensible, and you are trying to defend it. Your use of sarcasm denotes a bit of sneering dismissal... all while you are making a poorly thought out argument and missing the obvious. Gee, you thought you were being so smart.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
It occurs to me that, among other things displayed by this incident, we now know that the proofreading department at the New York Times doesn't employ Catholics. (Either that, or it didn't occur to anyone that proofreading by a Catholic would be necessary.)
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Just a small point: I'm a Presbyterian and I know about the Resurrection also. I don't know about the Methodists tho.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I'm a Baptist and even us heathens know the Resurrection story. :)
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
You don't have to be Catholic to know what Easter means. Me and my people generally call it Resurrection Day.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Ahem.
It's been my experience that Dumb Blondes are usually of the artificially bleached variety. And I seem to remember a study done some time ago that actually showed that blondes are slightly smarter than average.

As far as you article is concerned, the farther our culture gets away from its Judeo-Christian roots, the sillier the analysis of it will be.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
ddcan, I like how you tied both your comments together by referencing the roots.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Ha! If there's any credit to be gained you should get it for noticing. ;)
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Dolly Parton once famously said: "I'm not offended by all the dumb blonde jokes, because I know I'm not dumb. -- I also know I'm not blonde."

Andrew, some of your jokes may need to be transposed a little. For example:

What do you call a blonde who dyes her hair brunette?
Artificial intelligence.

"That woman, she's what we used to call a Suicide Blonde... dyed by her own hand."

And then there's the song "'Cause I'm a Blonde (yeah yeah yeah)"... singing "cause I'm a New York Times reporter" just doesn't scan as well. Darn.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
"New York Times reporter"? I prefer the term NYT-wit.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I always get a kick out of Uncle Jimbo's description of the media, several years ago on the Blackfive.net milblog:

"Jackals of the Fourth Estate"
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
What a wonderful idea! America's primary source of fiction.

On the other hand, I think it's dangerous to make fun of anti-semites, (this regarding their coverage of LOCAL issues) lest people not take them seriously.

P.S. Are you sure Hydrogen Peroxide has no effect on the brain?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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