This is news, NYT?

Blog ››› ››› ERIC BOEHLERT

The Times carves out space in its National section today to detail how much water cyclist Lance Armstrong uses each month at his mansion in Austin, Texas. (Answer: It's a lot.) The story was a big deal in Texas when the Austin American-Statesman broke the story. And fair enough, that's local news. But the Times, in order to justify what's basically a gossip item and turning it into news story, couches it as Armstrong being some sort of hypocrite because he's "known as much for his social conscience as his cycling."

That claim is patently ridiculous. I'd guess 99% of the population would first ID Armstrong as a cyclist, not a social activist. And I doubt Armstrong has ever championed the issue of water conservation in public before. Instead, the Times seems to be telling famous people (i.e. celebrities) that if they speak out on the issues of the day--if they're socially conscious--they open themselves to media ridicule.

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