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December 1, 2017 4:32 pm

New York Times Columnist Explains Her ‘Oy Vey’ in Harvey Weinstein Article

avatar by Ira Stoll

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Harvey Weinstein. Photo: David Shankbone via Wikimedia Commons.

A New York Times columnist has responded to a question from the Algemeiner about her use of “Oy vey” as an introduction to her article about the effect of the Harvey Weinstein scandal on the Oscars.

I had asked the Times “Carpetbagger” columnist, Cara Buckley, “Why’d you start your story about the Oscars today with ‘Oy Vey’ rather than some non-Yiddish-inflected phrase that conveys the same meaning, like ‘Uh-oh,’ or ‘Oh no’ or ‘Yikes’?”

She wrote me back to clarify that the “Oy Vey” was driven not by Weinstein’s religious or cultural background but rather by her own circumstances: “because I live in NYC, and have a Jewish fella, and get to take liberties like that in the carpetbagger column (praise be),” she said.

So there you have it, an answer straight from the Times itself. Thank you for the explanation, Ms. Buckley.

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It is indeed one of the charms of the Times that it allows columnists their own distinctive voices rather than imposing on them a generic or bland institutional sameness. It comes with the risk of sometimes making readers wince or cringe, but it also offers the opportunity sometimes to make readers smile.

More of Ira Stoll’s media critique, a regular Algemeiner feature, can be found here.

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