Alyse Myers, a Times vice president, recently published a book about her cruel mother. Perhaps you heard about it last week in the Times, where it received a glowing if stilted and end-spoiling review. Or perhaps you missed that review but caught Myers' essay in this past Sunday's Times magazine, in which Myers revisits the topic of her mom, and gets another nice plug for her book. Granted, it was Mother's Day Sunday, so the book was topical. And, granted, Myers' employ at the Times was disclosed in both articles. But so much kind coverage so quickly on a Times executive lends at least the appearance of favoritism. And according to one email tipster, Times staffers are upset not only at appearances, but at Myers' behavior, as well:
The staff is in an uproar - a VP at the paper, getting a positive book review one week, followed by an essay in the magazine the next.
The question being asked is how did she violate the paper's ethics policies by so blatantly lobbying for coverage from different editors. How did she abuse the access she gets, pinning people down in the cafeteria, where she's been seen having coffee with newsroom folks for months leading up to the publishing of her book.
OK, sure, serious questions about ethics and journalistic integrity are being raised here, but that hasn't happened at the Times for, like, three whole months, since the McCain (non-)sex scandal story disaster! Err, actually, make that two months, since the credulous one-source Margaret Seltzer profile.
But that's not so bad, really, given that the publisher, who should be paying attention to precisely these sorts of things, has probably been somewhat distracted by the disintegration of his marriage and given that Bill Keller hasn't allowed any more of his writers to start a war by publishing lies.
(Photo via Simon & Schuster)