Trouble in the Windy City! Not only has the parent company of the Chicago Sun-Times put itself up for sale, but the paper's editorial page editor has finally resigned over changes made to her edit board's political endorsements. In a departing note to staff, Cheryl Reed tosses in allegations of racism and sexism over the editorials, which she says were "were rewritten by white men." And we thought white women were the problem! Our post-feminist rant after the jump.
"It devalues and patronizes the editorial board writers who wrote the original endorsements: an African-American, a Latino and two white women," wrote Reed, who'd been in her position since July. Oy. Now don't everyone go screaming at me at once, please. I'm well aware how lucky I am to have been born after the lion's share of slogging for workplace equality had been accomplished. Thanks predecessors! Really, thanks. And I've got an endless supply of outrage for prejudice in the office-it still exists and obviously could have been a factor in the Sun-Times sitch.
But it's hard not to point out that Reed's position itself is a bit patronizing. There's some discussion of whether Reed even knew who made the changes to her board's pieces, but she's accused publisher Cyrus Freidheim and shoe-fetishist editor Michael Cooke, among others. I'm not entirely convinced that a paper's editor and publisher shouldn't have a hand in what the paper supports, but that's just me. Rank-and-file newsroom editing of an edit board's endorsements is offensive by itself, if that's what happened.
Unless there was cause to believe discrimination played a part, Reed's bringing those issues into the mix also devalues her diverse staff, who ought to be seen as journalists first, and whose mandate to direct the Sun-Times' editorial affairs without interference should have been guaranteed and protected by the paper's overseers, regardless of their identities.
Shnayerson rant over, do carry on.