NEW YORK — Even The New York Times, aka “The Grey Lady,” known as the standard bearer of news journalism is beginning to court the sexier side of life and going straight for Playboy magazine’s readership.
The paper has created a new sex and vice beat that debuted last weekend with an in-depth front-page story in its metro section on an underground strip club and brothel titled “A Strip Club in Manhattan Proves That Vice Is Hard to Kill.”
The piece was penned by Times reporter Mosi Secret [real name], who’s now covering sin and vice on a regular basis.
According to the New York Observer, the new coverage is the brainchild of city editor Dean Chang, formerly of the New York Daily News, who said he is distinctly targeting the Playboy reader.
“I always thought that one of the more compelling things you could ever cover in New York was sin,” Chang told the Observer. He did note howver, that the Times coverage is “sort of different” than what was served up at The News.
Although the sin story lit up social media — sparking both good and bad reaction — Chang said the new beat wasn’t created to cause controversy, but rather to provide a platform for stories that wouldn’t normally have a place in the metro section. “This is not an excuse to suddenly run titillating stories in the New York Times,” Chang said.
Secret has worked at the Times since 2010 and was formerly at ProPublica and alternative weeklies.
“This is probably the most fun I’ve had at the Times,” Secret said. He told The Observer that he’s looking forward to getting out on the streets and doing longer stories. He’s reportedly working on “sin’s seedier side” like prostitution and high-stakes poker.
No doubt, the porn industry won’t be far behind.