Given my frequent criticisms (for the latest, see my "Shorto at Work for Coercion at Work"), why read the Times if it's an enabler for purveyors of such pabulum? Two responses:
1. "What do you expect from the Magazine?" Ok, there's something to this response ... although I think it too easily absolves the Times of its journalistic and editorial responsibilities.
2. This one I like, from Daniel Okrent's column as the public editor, "Analysts Say Experts are Hazardous to Your Newspaper": the Times's ambition and sensitivity to its reputation provide reason to believe that the Times will take pains to get a story right. Okrent ties this to an equally valuable plea for reporters' not hiding behind a false veil of sham objectivity. Okrent writes,
one reason I read a paper with ambitions like the Times's is because I want the expertise of its writers to lead me through complex matters. ... When a writer offers an interpretation in his own voice, he's putting his own reputation behind it. Writers (and newspapers) who are often wrong may soon lose their reputations. But writers (and newspapers) too timid or too disingenuous to assert what they know to be true may not deserve those reputations in the first place.