Goldberg gets the pillory for something he didn't say.

Media criticism.
Sept. 27 2005 7:38 PM

"Doomed by Diversity"

New Yorker writer Jeffrey Goldberg gets the pillory for something he didn't say.

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Goldberg isn't the first journalist I've heard say he was passed over at the Post for a minority. In 20 years of Post watching, I've heard a dozen anecdotes from folks who claimed that an editor said they were being passed over for a promotion or hired because the slot had to serve diversity. Others say they were told to read between the lines for the reason they didn't get the job. 

Whether the claims are true or not, when diversity plays a significant role in hiring it makes race the prism through which folks start viewing their jobs. (It's telling that both Bennett and Downie reacted so strongly against Goldberg before reading the allegedly offensive article.) Which is to say: Jeffrey Goldberg's comments to the Washingtonian didn't start the debate at the Post over the unintended effects of promoting diversity, it just brought them back into the open.

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Interests declared: Goldberg is a friend; the Post and Slate are owned by the same company; and my wife, a Post employee, is on maternity leave. Send e-mail to slate.pressbox@gmail.com. (E-mail may be quoted unless the writer stipulates otherwise.)

Correction, Sept. 28, 2005: The original version of this article mistakenly described Mary Jo Meisner as a Post Metro editor. She was city editor. Click here to return to the corrected sentence.

Jack Shafer was Slate's editor at large. You can follow him on Twitter or email him at Shafer.Reuters@gmail.com.