Do they spend the extra cost to create, store and serve up retina-compatible images on their website or do they spend that money on a retina iPad app instead?
Spend the money on the web, I’ll never go to the NYT app for that content and those that do will still probably get directed to the web site via things link Twitter and other places, links, on the web. That will still show the ugly graphics. Spend the money first on the web, later on the app. To help bandwidth cost you could also selectively serve the retina graphics to the compatible devices.