All of them: the rot has set in. To summarize… Marc Cooper, a journalism professor at USC (Annenberg), asked on Facebook what seems to be a fairly reasonable question: if the New York Times doesn’t think that Islamist fanatics killing a dozen people over the publication of satirical cartoons justifies showing said cartoons… hold on a minute.


Moving on… Marc Cooper asked: if the current number of murdered cartoonists, staffers, and cops weren’t enough to justify the NYT doing its job, then just how many murder victims would be sufficient? – Apparently, this question cooked off the NYT’s executive editor Dean Baquet, because Mr. Baquet went on Facebook to literally call Mr. Cooper an a*shole.

Couple of things about this one:

  • I actually understand – but don’t actually approve – why Baquet called Cooper an a*shole (and why Baquet is trying to justify his unprofessional behavior). Cooper essentially called Baquet a disgrace to his profession and explicitly suggested that his work ethic was more suited for an insurance agency.  Given that Dean Baquet is giving an excellent impression of being a petulant man-child generally, I imagine that that last charge in particular stung.  And when one’s response to criticism by one’s superiors is to punch the wall, just imagine how one must feel when an outsider does it…
  • Baquet never actually answered Cooper’s question. How many dead people will need to be murdered before the New York Times stops being a pacifier for its readership, and starts telling – and showing them – the things that they need to know?
  • Lastly: this specific flap would not have happened if the New York Times would simply insist that its staff only post to social media (during work hours, and/or in a professional capacity) in a respectful and adult matter.  In case anybody hasn’t mentioned it to Dean Baquet: that means you don’t call people a*sholes in your official capacity of NYT’s Executive Editor.

Hope that all helps.

Moe Lane (crosspost)

PS: Actually, the NYT should just forbid its workers to go on social media at all. Most companies should. Chaos and Old Night is just a keyboard slip away for most of them.