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NY Times Clark Hoyt Apologizes for Review of JC Penney Opening

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Remember a couple of weeks back when we wrote a post that included some talk about Cintra Wilson‘s NY Times piece about the opening of a JC Penney in Manhattan? Personally, we loved it, picking on both the ego of the city and the company’s general identity with equal, very funny-yet-mean digs. But apparently our opinion wasn’t shared by the masses, as since its publication, the Times has received loads of mail about the piece, forcing editor Clark Hoyt to profusely apologize and even Wilson bowing to appease the angry crowd forming at the gates. In one of the more painful sections of Hoyt’s apology, he even went to JC Penney’s PR person to ask them what they thought (surprise: they weren’t pleased). In this writer’s opinion, the whole thing is just brutal, this backing down for what we thought was a smartly-written, even-handed opinion piece (most of the reader quotes Hoyt includes in his piece seem to be from people who only read the first half of Wilson’s story). What’s next? Apologies for movie reviews? Or telling Nicolai Ouroussoff to stop getting people all worked up? We figured the banner Wilson was writing under, “Critical Shopper,” was a good indication that you’d be reading the opinions of a critic. Fortunately for us, there was this brilliant response by blogger Lewis Grossberger: “Clark Hoyt, Go Soak Your Head” Its central argument is that the editor is apologizing for making the paper interesting and readable. It’s a fantastic counter and brilliantly written, far better articulating our distaste after reading Hoyt’s piece. But that’s just this writer’s opinion. Apologies in advance if this has upset anyone at all, for any reason, ever.

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