Does the New York Times Magazine have 9/11 fatigue?

Dylan Stableford

The New York Times is angling for a Pulitzer Prize with "The Reckoning," a beautifully rendered special report on the "costs and consequences of 9/11, measured in thousands of lives, trillions of dollars and countless challenges to the human spirit."

Unlike the paper--and, for that matter, many of its glossy peers--the New York Times Magazine did not go the 9/11 route on the weekend of the Sept. 11 attack's 10th anniversary. The Sunday magazine opted for a cover featuring Alec Baldwin for photo essay on the "High Art of TV," with actors "who turn television into art."

Was the Times Magazine succumbing to 9/11 fatigue? Not so, according to editor-in-chief Hugo Lindgren.

"Our decision not to do a 9/11 cover was driven by 2 factors," Lindgren wrote in an email to The Cutline. "One, the newspaper was putting together an incredible special section called The Reckoning, and it made no sense to compete with it. Two, we did a cover last week of the ironworkers atop the new World Trade Center building, so it wasn't as if we were neglecting the anniversary entirely as a cover subject."

Lindgren continued: "Given the paper's special section, we didn't want to overdo it. But 9/11 fatigue? No. This week, I've read/heard/watched a lot of powerful stories about 9/11 that I didn't know about or had forgotten. I think there's a lot more great journalism to come on the subject. It's just a matter of when and how to deliver it."

But had Lindgren admitted to being a little tired of the media's Sept. 11 anniversary coverage, he wouldn't have been alone.

"Nobody who remembers Sept. 11 wants to relive it," Alessandra Stanley wrote in Friday's Times. "And that makes the profusion of 10th-anniversary specials blanketing television throughout the weekend daunting to contemplate, let alone watch. Seeing those images and hearing all those stories is a painful exercise at best, cathartic only in the sense that repression is worse. What happened that day was unimaginable, and, 10 years on, so is not going over it, again and again."

That could explain why some networks--Fox, HBO and NBC--are forgoing 9/11 specials on Sunday night, allowing viewers to counterprogram the memorial barrage.

Perhaps Lindgren was sensing his readers, by that point of the weekend, might want to read about something other than 9/11, too.