CRF Blog

Linless

by Shruti Modi

In Linless in The New Yorker, Ben McGrath explains why 2 million New Yorkers were unable to watch Jeremy Lin and his rise to fame.

Nobody can watch the Knicks is more like it. About two million of us couldn’t, at any rate, owing to a contractual dispute between Time Warner Cable and the MSG Network over the past seven weeks. The same goes for the Rangers, who apparently own the best record in the N.H.L. The last time they were this good, Newt Gingrich was hawking his Contract with America, and their captain, Mark Messier, was tight with Madonna. Quick: can you name the current Rangers captain? Time Warner, in its negotiations with MSG’s demanding chairman, James Dolan, seems to have been betting on the fact that you’re stumped and don’t care. That the Knicks’ roster boasted a couple of bona-fide stars, Carmelo Anthony and Amar’e Stoudemire, didn’t much matter, either. Dolan’s teams have underwhelmed with such regularity, in spite of ample budgets, for the past decade that local partisans can be forgiven for having adopted a more passive approach to winter fandom. Call us in April. Wake us — or, better yet, alert security — if you see Isiah Thomas. [more]