Again (it "bares repeating," as the NYT's editors would say) get rid of race preferences and Jayson Blair becomes just an individual screw-up, not something that leaves "a large, looming shadow over an entire generation of young black journalists trying to get their feet in the door at a major newspaper." ... 2:40 P.M.
Blair update: It's all about prepping Howell! "Heads should roll," says a NYT staffer., according to the N.Y. Post. How is Sulzberger going to roll his own head? Maybe there are instructions on the Web somewhere. ... But the Post emphasizes the "Raines high-handedness" factor as the theme of staff disaffection--a theme that gets Sulzberger off the hook more than the "affirmative action" explanation, which is why it's much more dangerous to Raines. ... Bill Keller (runner-up to Raines for the executive editor's job) is looking better and better, isn't he? He's sitting there on the bench, presumably ready to play. Maybe the fourth quarter belongs to him! ... Update: Raines has formed a task force, the "Siegal Committee," and also plans
a fast-track version of the process that was so helpful to me during the months before I became executive editor. At that time, I met with many groups of editors, reporters, photographers, designers, artists and researchers. ...
The collective wisdom of these groups helped prepare me for the enormous challenges of my first 18 months on the job.
It did? That's one of the questions in dispute, no? [Emphasis on bizarre, morale-crushing solipsism added.] ... I get it: If only Raines meets with enough editors and reporters, then his high-handed dismissal of editors' and reporters' advice will be better-informed! ... 2:34 A.M.
Monday, May 12, 2003
An e-mail posted by Andrew Sullivangets at another aspect of the Blair fiasco: editor Howell Raines' apparent habit of overruling and ignoring his subordinates (e.g., the metro editor who tried to stop Blair) while running the paper with his gut. That practice can be good (Ben Bradlee certainly went with his gut at WaPo, often to great effect). It can also be "arbitrary, unaccountable, with a dose of almost feudal personal favoritism" and not so good--if, to pick a random example, the editor is an egomaniacal Guilty Southern White Boy, running a star system based in part on loyalty, whose self-image involves him singlehandedly helping deserving African-Americans claim their rightful place in American society! ... P.S.: How would you like the assignment of serving on the Times' "task force ... to identify lessons for the newspaper," also advertised in this e-mail to NYT staffers fromRaines, publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr. and managing editor Gerald Boyd. After, all, it's pretty clear from the NYT's own account that these three are the main screw-ups in the Blair saga (apart from Blair himself). What do you think the chances are that the "task force" will come back, after weeks of fact-finding, and say: "After careful deliberation, Mr. Sulzberger, we've concluded the problem is youand the two men you appointed ..."? 4:15 P.M.
The World Socialist Web Site comes to Jayson Blair's defense. They make a good point about Walter Duranty, though. ... 11:09 A.M.
Drudge Report--80 % true. Close enough! Instapundit--All-powerful hit king. Joshua Marshall--Escapee from American Prospect. Salon--Better click fast! Andrew Sullivan--He asks, he tells. He sells! Washington Monthly--Includes "Tilting at Windmills" Lucianne.com--Stirs the drink. Virginia Postrel--Friend of the future! Peggy Noonan--Gold in every column. Matt Miller--Savvy rad-centrism. WaPo--Waking from post-Bradlee snooze. The Liberal Death Star--Registration required. NY Observer--Read it before the good writers are all hired away. New Republic--Left on welfare, right on warfare! Jim Pinkerton--Quality ideas come from quantity ideas. Tom Tomorrow--Everyone's favorite leftish cartoonists' blog. Ann "Too Far" Coulter--Sometimes it's just far enough. Bull Moose--National Greatness Central. John Ellis--Forget that Florida business! The cuz knows politics, and he has, ah, sources. "The Note"--How the pros start their day. Romenesko's MediaNews--O.K. they actually start it here. Center on Budget and Policy Priorities--Money Liberal Central.. Steve Chapman--Ornery-but-lovable libertarian. Rich Galen--Sophisticated GOP insider. Man Without Qualities--Seems to know a lot about white collar crime. Hmmm. Overlawyered.com--Daily horror stories. Eugene Volokh --Smart, packin' prof, and not Instapundit! Eve Tushnet--Queer, Catholic, conservative and not Andrew Sullivan! WSJ's Best of the Web--James Taranto's excellent obsessions. Walter Shapiro--Politics and (don't laugh) neoliberal humor! Eric Alterman--Born to blog. Joe Conason--Bush-bashing, free most days. Lloyd Grove--Don't let him write about you. Arianna--A hybrid vehicle. TomPaine.com--Web-lib populists. Take on the News--TomPaine's blog. B-Log--Blog of spirituality! Hit & Run:Reason gone wild! Nonzero--Bob Wright explains it all. [More tk.]