Tuesday, April 15, 2003

The “Republic of Fear”

No, not Iran or Iraq.

According to The Village Voice, New York Times Executive Editor Howell Raines:

manages through humiliation and fear. Aside from right-hand men Gerald Boyd and Andy Rosenthal and a core of loyalists, morale is said to be at a new low. There are many rooms in that palace and nobody sees the whole picture. But, says one source, "the old timers who lived through the worst of [former executive editor] Abe Rosenthal say they have never seen anyone be so arrogant, so petty, so mean. Vindictiveness is in." Another source says, "It's no longer about managing down. It's about paying obeisance to the king." Among cognoscenti, 43rd Street is now known as the "republic of fear."

via Drudge Report

UPDATE: Mickey Kaus points out an important aspect of the story:

Raines spiked investigative pieces about New Jersey Senator Robert Torricelli that would have run before Torricelli pulled out of his re-election race in October, 2000. Golden's sources subsequently turned to a TV station, which ran the stories that finally appeared to drive Torricelli from the race.

It seems likely that the Times, not WNBC, would have delivered Torricelli's coup de grâce—had Raines not killed key stories in the heat of the election campaign.

Remember -- and, I agree, it seems like six years ago rather than six months -- that at the time control of the Senate was hanging on a single vote. Retaining Torricelli's seat was considered vital for the Democrats. So Raines spikes stories that might have tipped the Senate to the Republicans (just as he or his henchpeople spiked Augusta columns he disagreed with).

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