I subscribed to the New Yorker for a number of years, but finally canceled my subscription when I couldn’t take the magazine’s left-wing politics any more. Those were the days when the New Yorker was famous for its scrupulous fact-checking. That time is long gone.
The New Yorker is rabidly anti-Koch brothers. In fact, it was an interminable article or series by Jane Mayer, a notoriously unreliable journalist, that kicked off the Left’s obsession with Charles and David Koch. And the magazine hasn’t moved on. Thus, we get this article by Zach Helfand: “How Charles Koch Turned Wichita State Into a College-Basketball Powerhouse.” So Charles Koch has contributed to his home town university’s athletic program. The horror!
The New Yorker tries to make Koch’s support for the Wichita State Shockers newsworthy by quoting dark mutterings by anonymous faculty members along the lines of, “At what point do you sell your soul?” Right. My advice, pal, is to take what you can get.
But now comes the entertainment value. Mr. Helfand, no doubt a city dweller with only a dim understanding of agriculture, failed to apprehend the nature of the Shockers’ mascot:
Do those look like ears of corn to you? No. But they did to Mr. Helfand, who wrote:
For most of their history, the Shockers were known, if at all, for their mascot, WuShock, a giant shock of corn with an unsettlingly murderous mien, who was introduced in 1948.
I have never seen a shock of corn, except as part of a Halloween or Thanksgiving display. And while Kansas does produce a little corn, it is the nation’s #1 wheat grower. I am told by a reliable source that to this day, one sees wheat shocks in Kansas fields.
Someone must have told Mr. Helfand or his editor, “That’s wheat, you moron! Not corn.” So the New Yorker discreetly changed the article to read:
For most of their history, the Shockers were known, if at all, for their mascot, WuShock, a giant shock of wheat with an unsettlingly murderous mien, who was introduced in 1948.
And the magazine added this note at the end of the article: “An earlier version of this article incorrectly described the mascot for the Shockers.” Heh. They were too embarrassed, I suppose, to explain what the error was.
The sad decline of the New Yorker is one of countless examples of how leftism destroys respected institutions from the inside. From famously dogged fact-checking to an inability to tell corn from wheat: that trajectory traces the New Yorker’s descent into irrelevance, at least when it comes to non-fiction.
Unfortunately, I must conclude this post with bad news: the Shockers were upset today by the Marshall Thundering Herd, 81-75, and thus ousted from the NCAA tournament. This is the Thundering Herd’s logo:
Memo to the New Yorker: that is a bison (often known as a buffalo), not a horse.