Sunday, September 21, 2014

Styling Saakashvili

I read the NYT's uber-fluffy profile of Mikheil Saakashvili yesterday and just assumed it was due to the newspaper's home city bias. That is, I thought the Times is more likely to be interested in running a almost content-less piece about what neighborhood and trendy restaurants a controversial former national leader likes to hang out in, if those neighborhoods and restaurants happen to be in New York. But Amanda Taub had a more provocative theory1:
Newspapers are often criticized for running profiles of female leaders in the style section rather than the business or politics sections. If a recent profile of former Georgian president Mikheil Saakashvili's adventures in Williamsburg is anything to go on, the New York Times has heard those critiques, and decided to address the issue by giving all leaders the full "style section" treatment.
I doubt she is right. I mean, first off, the piece ran in the International News portion of Section A (i.e. real news, not the Style Section). And second, I would need a few more examples before I conclude that the NYT was going to go style section on male leaders from now on. But it is still a funny idea.

1-At least it seems more provocative to me. I realize in the broad scheme of things it isn't tremendously thought-provoking.