Today marks the launch of the New York Times's annual Neediest Cases Fund, distinguished as always by earnest coverage of New Yorkers who've lost their jobs, homes and incomes -- sad stories intended to generate donations to the paper's annual Christmastime charity drive.
That must explain "Bad News in Snarky Gulch," the half-page feature story in the City Section today on poor Paige Ferarri. The 26-year-old has lost her job at Radar Magazine!
Yes, that's right -- at noon on October 24, 26-year-old Ferarri found out that she had been laid off at the monthly pop-culture magazine that folded the same day.
"It's not as if I have four kids and I'm working at a warehouse that's shutting down," Ferrari acknowledges. But here she is, anyway, moaning to a Times reporter as she "sat barefoot on a couch in [her] apartment in Alphabet City that she shares with three roommates, in front of an open laptop and a half-glass of white wine."
How soon before poor Paige has to sell that laptop, and give up her passion for Pinot Grigio? "When something like this happens you have to manage your expectations -- where you're going to be able to live, what sacrifices you might have to make to live," Ferrari explained to reporter Caroline Dworin.
Dworin understands. She, like Ferarri, graduated from the graduate school of journalism at Columbia University in June of 2008. This appears to be the case of a Times reporter helping the neediest person she knows -- a temporarily unemployed magazine writer.
It's good to know that the Times is always on the case, helping out those who can't help themselves.