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Horoscope-Ed pages

February 3rd, 2004

The ‘Gray Lady’ nickname of the NYT implies the kind of conservatism and caution that’s appropriate to a journal of record. But in what is, as far as I know, a newspaper first, today’s NYT brings the astrology column onto the Op-Ed page, providing horoscopes for the Democratic Presidential hopefuls.

I’m bemused by this. If the implied view is that astrology is so patently silly that no-one would take it seriously, isn’t this rather a juvenile trick to play on Erin Sullivan, noted as the author of Saturn in Transit and the forthcoming Astrology and Psychology of Midlife and Aging., who appears to have contributed her column in all seriousness? If the implied view is anything other than that astrology is too silly to be taken seriously, isn’t this rather insulting to every reader of the NYT who has even a high school level of scientific literacy? No doubt there is some ironic postmodern stance that is appropriate here, but I can’t quite locate it.

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  1. stephen
    February 4th, 2004 at 08:17 | #1

    On 1 Feb David Shipley wrote a NYT op ed piece – on how to get published in op ed! – in which he said among other things that “The Op-Ed editors tend to look for articles that cover subjects and make arguments that have not been articulated elsewhere in the editorial space.” Certainly I’ve never seen astrology in the editiorials in the NYT – maybe they are just taking the Shipley argument to extremes? Like John I sure hope they weren’t just poking fun at a deluded but sincere contributor.

  2. James Farrell
    February 4th, 2004 at 09:36 | #2

    The editors wouldn’t worry about offending Erin Sullivan: even if she is not a complete phony she no doubt appreciates, and reckons in dollars, any publicity she gets. The real mystery is why astrology entertains people even though they know it’s nonsense.

  3. Homer Paxton
    February 5th, 2004 at 13:04 | #3

    Are they off the planets or just starryeyed?

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