To the editor:
I recently read the article “For Poor, Leap to College Often Ends in a Hard Fall” in your newspaper, and I am outraged at your author’s attempts to pull at the heartstrings of readers, distract them from the underlying issue of the soaring cost of higher education in America, and then misdirect their sympathy and anger to further his own political agenda.
Earlier in the article, the author is all-too-eager to hurl statistics at his readers at incredible to try to nudge them to the conclusions he wants them to make, but by the last third of the article, he’s relying purely on the knee-jerk emotional reactions of his readers to carry them to his unsupported conclusion.
He says things like “In addition, upper-income parents, especially fathers, have increased their child-rearing time…” and “the idea that education can be ‘selfish’ — a belief largely alien among the upper-middle class — is one poor students often confront, even if it remains unspoken” to villify the rich and idolise the poor while providing no facts to back his claims.
The plight of the three girls referrenced in the article is truly tragic. My heart goes out to them and all others who face similar problems, but to exploit their hardship and the empathy of the NYT’s readership to try sell his readers on the idea that rich people are evil because they are richer now than they were 30 years ago, and that those three girls would have been more likely to succeed at school if the rich weren’t as rich as they are now.
His thesis is infuriating, condescending, and completely misses the underlying issues that contributed the most to their failure to graduate: the erosion of the family unit and the skyrocketing cost of higher education.
He should be ashamed of himself for writing such blatant propaganda, and the Times should be ashamed of itself for printing it. Neither is likely to actually do so however, judging by the papers bias according to its own former ombudsman.