Media critics have been spearing the Times for what they perceive as milktoast political reportage leaning toward…well, I started to type “right wing” but that won’t do, will it? There’s no “right wing” nowadays. So let’s say the criticism is toward the Times for covering Trumpism and the Trumpist crazies.
I’m not entirely with the critics here nor do I agree with the modifications they demand in the reportage. After all, I did write a book called How I Learned The Facts Of Life which, in essence, is how to read newspapers. I know how to read the Times. And as far as I can perceive, the Times hasn’t caused me to join any cult.
But today, the Times Wirecutter column has really gone over the top.
The Wirecutter is a sort of test kitchen for interesting devices and products. Good, even though I don’t appreciate their where-to-buy links, especially since the the primary “store” is Amazon. Wirecutter discloses it is supported by readers’ purchases — it may get a commission from Amazon, et al., when you buy from the Times site. Ergo, the Times is an Amazon, et al., advertising rep. This doesn’t annoy me as much as you’d think, since the Times tells you this right on top of each article.
If you, like me, have slammed Amazon with a personal forever boycott, you’ll have to find other places to buy the suggested products. But Wirecutter usually offers a selection of shops and other products, too. Wirecutter may tell you what they think is the best knife sharpener, but they also give you other, tested knife sharpeners.
Somewhat eagerly, I saw the Wirecutter headline about bar shampoos and clicked on it immediately.
I wasn’t looking for a recommendation; I was looking for the shampoo the Wirecutter must, absolutely must be citing: Liggett’s bar shampoo.
I discovered Liggett’s years ago while on the cashier’s line at Bigelow. On a shelf next to me was a small stack of soap bars, shampoo bars. I was curious and since I am not fixed in my ways, as today’s Wirecutter columnist says she is, I bought one of them.
It is the best shampoo I’ve ever used, if only for one reason (and there are many): it rinses out in ten seconds. That is, in ten seconds your wet hair is as squeaky clean as it’ll ever get and will be, after drying, as shiny as it will ever get.
But but but, what did Wirecutter talk about today? Not Liggett’s — which, as you’ll see from the Liggett’s web site or on the Liggett’s package, is made in America. Specifically, New Hampshire. Not Hampshire, England but New Hampshire, America.
Instead, the Wirecutter promoted a New Zealand bar shampoo. And only that shampoo.
And now I’m going to wash my hair. With Liggett’s. As always. And as I do, I’ll be muttering, “Take that, NYT. Take that.”