The New York Times is, without doubt, the nation’s best newspaper. Sometimes, however, its need to cater to its more affluent readers, the targets of much of the paper’s advertising, can have embarrassing consequences. A recent example is a “What I Wore” column by Muffie Potter Aston, who the Times describes as a “mainstay of the city’s charity circuit” living “on the Upper East Side with her husband, the plastic surgeon Dr. Sherrell Aston.” The Times allots two columns, running the entire length of the page, to her diary for one week. The following, I can assure you, is typical:

“Dressed for lunch at Le Cirque.… I put on a creamy white Dolce & Gabbana sleeveless turtleneck dress and draped a cream Christian Dior silk and lace sweater over my shoulders. I added cream Manolo Blahnik heels and a cream snakeskin Lambertson Truex bag.

“At night I was co-chair for the opening gala of the American Ballet Theater.… I wore the most divine Badgley Mischka Couture silver sequin mermaid-style dress with double tulle overlays. I carried a light and dark silver Judith Leiber minaudière with this Art Deco design. My daughters each said I looked like a stunning princess.”

Ms. Aston managed to drop designer and luxury brand names twenty-eight times in her seven-day diary.

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Charles Peters

Charles Peters is the founding editor of the Washington Monthly.