“Cannibalism has a time and a place.”
Those are exact words of the New York Times, which first printed the line and then tweeted it for attention:
Cannibalism has a time and a place. Some recent books, films and shows suggest that the time is now. Can you stomach it? https://t.co/JzU1QRPYxV
— The New York Times (@nytimes) July 23, 2022
The Times highlights the line “cannibalism has a time and a place” on social media to bait readers into clicking and subscribing. However, the piece does not argue what it teases.
“Did the New York Times just say it’s okay to …” is how the paper hopes readers interpret the promotion of the article.
And to that, the outlet succeeded, hopefully in shame. A write-up on Fox News shows that most readers did, in fact, interpret the tweet as a “normalization” of cannibalism.
In other words, the outlet is okay with readers thinking it’s justifying cooking human liver for dinner, so long as they are reading. Consider this a desperate ploy for attention, one so emblematic of the state of journalism.
In actuality, the piece explores the rising inclusion of cannibalism in films and novels.
“[C]annibalism has a time and a place. In the pages of some recent stomach-churning books, and on television and film screens, Ms. Summers and others suggest that that time is now,” the article reads.
The author quotes television writers to explain why cannibalism cuts through among consumers:
As to what may be fueling the desire for cannibalism stories today, Ms. Lyle, the “Yellowjackets” co-creator, said, “I think that we’re obviously in a very strange moment.” She listed the pandemic, climate change, school shootings and years of political cacophony as possible factors.
The Times did not ask Lyle to explain how climate change has increased the interest in eating fellow humans — for those curious.
Speaking of strange, the piece profiled cannibalism in film without mentioning the most famous cannibal of them all: Hannibal Lecter.
Don’t watch the following video if you aren’t into cannibalistic creatures:
The New York Times, once the gold standard of journalism, is now a monumental joke. And that goes for all sections of the outlet, from “news” to op-ed to politics to cannibalism.
PSA: don’t use cannibalism to sell subscriptions.