Five-plus years since the largest terrorist attack on American soil, and readers of The New York Times, still the nation's most esteemed news source despite Jayson Blair's monkeywrenching, are more interested in Obama than Osama, the Disney Channel's High School Musical vs. hijackings, and regular ol' obits instead of al-Quaeda. This, according to the Times' "Most Searched" index online, which features "Words and phrases most frequently searched by NYTimes.com readers." This peak inside the collective gray matter of the Gray Lady's readership is revealing for what it doesn't list as well as what it does. Of the top 50 searches for the last month, terrorism is nowhere on the list. Neither is Osama bin Laden, for that matter. Though Barack Obama squeaks in at #46.
Sure, Iraq is #5, and Iran is #9. Afghanistan -- what's that? The crossword lands at #13; the late Godfather of Soul James Brown, a much deserved #18; and high school musicals #23, just behind the Yankees at #22, baby.
Sex, oil, bread, wine, food, Nintendo Wii -- they all make the cut. Even Gerald Ford polls #10 on the list. And vying for the brass ring of the most-searched-for subject are -- drum roll, please -- the "Saddam Hussein hanging video" at #1 and "the best books of 2006" at #2. See, Gothamites are no less bloodthirsty than we shoot-em-up cowpokes here in AZ, they just like to enjoy the latest Pynchon novel when they're not watching tyrants swing.
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Someone call CNN's Jeanne Moos and tell her I'm comin' for her job...