Sulzberger Preferred the Wrath of Women Than African Americans

Dean Baquet, who has replaced Jill Abramson as the executive editor at the NYT, told owner Arthur Sulzberger that Sulzberger had to choose between them.  If Sulzberger didn’t fire Abramson, Baquet, the first African American managing editor at the paper, would quit, claiming “humiliation” over the job offer to Janine Gibson, who was going to become co-managing editor for digital.

Sulzberger, knowing he had to face a firestorm over an African American or a woman, decided to fire the woman.  He may have rationalized his choice by telling himself that women aren’t really a “minority,” like African Americans.  But when it comes to getting jobs like executive editor of the Times, women sure as hell are a minority.

This Makes No Sense

The latest explanation coming from the NYT about Jill Abramson’s firing as executive editor is that she deceived owner Arthur Sulzberger.  Specifically, Sulzberger believed that Abramson told managing editor Dean Baquet (now Abramson’s successor) that she had offered a job to Janine Gibson to become co-managing editor for the digital side of the paper.  But Abramson had told Baquet only that she was thinking about offering Gibson a job and hadn’t told him the job title, which would make Gibson his equal.

Where this story makes no sense to me is the part where Abramson sent Baquet to have lunch with Gibson on May 5, with Gibson already having been offered a co-managing editor position, and Baquet not knowing.  Supposedly he found out what was going on from Gibson, complained to Sulzberger, and Abramson got fired.

If Abramson was trying to keep Baquet in the dark, why on earth would she have arranged for him to meet with Gibson?  How could she possibly think this would go well for her?

Quote of the Day

“And then there is Paul Krugman, who would be the most influential columnist in the country if it weren’t for the fact that elected officials routinely refuse to listen to him. Poor Paul Krugman, our Sisyphus of elite opinion, eternally doomed to the same arguments with the same people, forever.”

Alex Pareene, Salon, in an article arguing that the NYT should dump its op-ed writers and start over.

Why Didn’t We Hear This from Obama?

The NYT has an in-depth, knock-your-socks-off, must-read story about Benghazi  by David Kirkpatrick:

“Months of investigation by The New York Times, centered on extensive interviews with Libyans in Benghazi who had direct knowledge of the attack there and its context, turned up no evidence that Al Qaeda or other international terrorist groups had any role in the assault.

“The attack was led, instead, by fighters who had benefited directly from NATO’s extensive air power and logistics support during the uprising against Colonel Qaddafi.  And contrary to claims by some members of Congress, it was fueled in large part by anger at an American-made video denigrating Islam.”

I’m sure Darrell Issa and Fox News will be quick to apologize!

Update on GOP and Rev. Wright Ad Campaign

Perhaps in response to the NYT‘s front-page story based on their leaked copy of Fred Davis’ proposed ad campaign, Davis’ company, Strategic Perceptions, has announced that the plan to attack President Obama based on Rev. Wright has not been approved by Joe Ricketts, whose Super PAC would be paying for it.

But the NYT was careful to call it a “proposal” and said that the ad campaign “is awaiting approval.”

The Era of the Low-Information Candidate

Dick Cavett got it right when he said that Sarah Palin “seems to have no first language.”

Now, T. A. Frank, in yesterday’s NYT‘s Sunday Magazine*, perfectly captures Herman Cain when he writes that “Herman Cain seems like someone who, quite frankly, has never opened a newspaper.”

Universal suffrage means that we put up with a lot of low-information voters.  But this new and bizarre expectation that we will put up with low-information candidates for our highest offices, as John McCain expected us to do with Palin and Cain asks us to do now, is beyond the pale and an unacceptable threat to this country.

*See “‘I Still Don’t Plan on Going to Any Political-Correctness School'”

One “Oops” Leads to Another

Gail Collins has a column in the NYT today about the Republican Debate that doesn’t mention Rick Perry’s minute-long, unsuccessful search of his brain for the elusive third department he would eliminate.

It reads as if Collins became bored part-way through and decided to do a little online shopping or go to the movies instead.

I suspect the truth is that Collins was on deadline and had to hit Send before Perry hit the skids.

So you can imagine Collins shouting “energy, energy, energy” at her TV, knowing that if Perry messed up, he would take her down with him.  They may have said “Oops” at exactly the same moment, although she probably said some words you won’t see in the NYT.

I like Collins.  She mentions Mitt Romney’s tying his Irish Setter to the roof of his car for a long drive to Canada as often as Herman Cain mentions 9-9-9, but I never tire of the Saga of Seamus.

But if your deadline falls before the end of the debate, you should write about something else, so a candidate’s embarrassment won’t lead to yours.

David Brooks Doesn’t Read His Own Paper

In today’s NYT David Brooks writes “at least Republicans respect Americans enough to tell us what they really think.”  Apparently he missed yesterday’s article about Mitch Daniels headlined “Republican Calls for a More Honest Debate.”  Daniels chided his own party for not being “more candid and honest.”

Republicans tell us what they think the Tea Party wants to hear.  They pander to the lowest common denominator of that sorry bunch — the ignorant, pathetic guy with the goofiest costume and the sign with the most misspellings.

If Republicans respected us, they would show a little respect for basic economics, math, and science.


The Truth in Two Sentences

From Bill Keller in today’s NYT:  “Yes, Obama could do better.  But we could do a lot worse.”

We are reminded of this truth every time the Republican presidential candidates have a debate and scramble to out-do each other saying incredibly dumb things.