Ed Driscoll

Gray Lady Goes Cougar, Flashes Nipple and Tattoo!

No links for such attention whoring, but you if you’d like to see what the modicum of fuss is about, click over to the Daily Caller’s Betsy Rothstein as she checks out “The Grey Lady’s Nip Slip,” complete with (slightly NSFW) photo:

You’d think these things would be reserved for HuffPost’s sideboob section or even a Daily Caller slideshow.

But no, this is The New York Times just a few days before Thanksgiving. There are other ways to depict the delicate subject matter of breast-cancer screening than boob shots in the world’s most respected newspaper, right?

And — unexpectedly! — the Times is reduced to pretending that it was all ever-so “unintentional:”

The above-the-fold front-page photo, by Israeli photographer Rina Castelnuovo, accompanies a story about Israeli women grappling with one of the world’s highest rates of breast cancer. It shows a woman’s torso replete with a Star of David tattoo, a lumpectomy scar, and, yes, a bit of areola…

Castelnuovo tells Daily Intelligencer that she didn’t set out to be provocative. “It was an unplanned moment,” she told us in an e-mail. “I was taking the young woman’s portrait and we were chatting about her cancer and the scars.” The inclusion of the areola, she said, was “not intentional.”

In precisely the same way that Martin Bashir’s scatology festival last week was an unplanned moment for NBC’s subsidiary network — which just happened to be pre-scripted and loaded into the teleprompter for their anchor to read. The Times’ front page is one of the most heavily edited and controlled news environments on the planet; nothing gets there by accident. Today’s train wreck was simply the Times‘ effort at recreating the controversy that Time-Warner-CNN-HBO hoped to build last year with Time magazine’s goofy breastfeeding cover — a desperate plea for attention by an ancient publication increasingly approaching irrelevance.