I can understand why NYT put a giant video player prominently on the homepage of their newly-designed site. It smacks a little of the bells-n-whistles misconception big media still has about new media, but it’s also competitive and of its time. CNN.com launched a huge video module a few months ago too.
But if you’re gonna slap a freeze frame on your site, please take a little care. I’ve seen some weird images on there recently, and the combo of photos this morning, along with the freeze frame in the video box, added up to something of a jumble, IMHO.

By the way, there’s a lot I do like about the new site – in particular the scrollable promos in the middle of the page and the finally cleaned up left navigation that reaffirms that it’s a list of newspaper sections, not a billboard for “subvertorial” spots so the former COO can boost revenue. (Of course, I got laid off when that spirit was at its height, so I’m not entirely neutral.)