I’ve been busy packing and such, so that’s why I haven’t posted much to my blog… and why I still haven’t responded to my dad’s comments about Jayson Blair. But I couldn’t let this New York Post article pass without a mention:
One [reporter for the Times], who asked not to be identified, called Sunday’s article a “whitewash” of how management — particularly Raines and Boyd — allowed Blair to work over several years despite dozens of published corrections of his work.
“People felt that management had not been held accountable enough, and the story downplayed their culpability,” said the reporter, who singled out Raines’ high-handed management style as a key to why Blair survived at the paper for so long. “Howell didn’t listen… to anyone about anything.”
Another staffer said “heads should roll… it happened on their watch and because of their watch.”
Heads should roll, eh? Hmm… where have I heard that before? Heh.
Andrew Sullivan seems to think that executive editor Howell Raines may be in real trouble:
Arthur Sulzberger… has a record of deferring to Raines when under pressure. But from what I’m hearing about the mood among Times reporters and editors, Raines is on the brink of being unable to effectively continue. Yesterday afternoon, as the backlash grew, the ruling triumvirate of Boyd, Raines and Sulzberger, abruptly canceled small meetings and announced a big “town hall meeting” to address the crisis for today at 2.30 pm. There are whispers of a work slowdown to force Raines out.
Meanwhile, on Monday night, David Letterman gave us the Top Ten Signs Something Is Wrong at The New York Times. (Number 4: Motto “All The News That’s Fit To Print” replaced by more trendy “Don’t Go There, Girlfriend.”)
UPDATE: The New York Daily News reports this morning:
The New York Times executive editor Howell Raines plans to enter the lion’s den today by holding a town hallmeeting where reporters and editors are expected to vent their anger about how he has handled the Jayson Blair scandal.
With an immediate need to stem mounting outrage, Raines scrapped plans yesterday to hold a series of small-group meetings and announced that he, along with managing editor Gerald Boyd and publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr., would appear before one large gathering.
Several staffers described the newsroom situation as chaotic and suggested that some senior editors needed to be penalized for a catastrophic failure in management that has made all reporters’ work suspect.
I’d like to be a fly on the wall at that meeting.