There are many different kinds of blogs on our site. Some of them are indistinguishable from news stories. Some have a personal point of view (see below). Others have a breezy, conversational tone, and resemble some of the lighter articles and personal essays of the print paper’s feature sections. What should be avoided in all of them is any hint of racist, sexist or religious bias, or any suggestion of nasty, snide, sarcastic, or condescending tone — “snark.” If something could easily fit in a satirical Web site for young adults, it probably shouldn’t go into the news pages of nytimes.com. Our ethics code promises that in all dealings with readers, “civility applies.”
In a podcast transcript posted yesterday on the NYT's City Room blog, veteran NYT reporter Sam Roberts rhapsodized about the 1974 movie "The Taking Of Pelham One, Two Three" that involved a $1 million blackmail scheme and 18 hostages on a subway train, and a Mayor (modelled, in fact, on Ed Koch) who spends as much time worrying about his public image as he does the hostages' fate.
After noting that the mayor agrees to pay the $1 million ransom to free the trapped passengers, Roberts concludes:
Wow. A million dollars for 18 votes. That’s even more than Mayor Bloomberg spends.
Also, it's not very funny.