March 6, 2021

NANCY ROMMELMANN: Kids and Cowards: What Really Happened to Donald McNeil at the New York Times.

I don’t know who leaked the information (neither does McNeil). But the why seems easier to fathom: It’s one way to get ahead these days, a shortcut whereby you can chop down someone’s 45-year career in a few days, killing their reputation while burnishing your own as someone who’s fighting the unassailable good fight. And in 2021, that fight is combatting racism. Drop that blood in the water and watch it spread.

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The repercussions were swift. As Baquet kept repeating, “Donald, you’ve lost the newsroom.”

“Let me give you an alternative view of ‘who’s lost the newsroom,” McNeil countered. “If you fire me over this, you’re going to lose everybody over age 40 at the paper, all the grown-ups.”

“We’re not firing you,” Baquet said. “We’re asking you to consider resigning.”

It was the exact same abdication of leadership Baquet has become famous for. What kind of executive editor allows the newsroom—indeed, the most activist subset of the newsroom—to lead him?

Yeah, who does Baquet think he is, Jeffrey Goldberg of the Atlantic?

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