New York Observer editor Ken Kurson recently decided to solicit “more than two-dozen” New York Times staffers, past and present, for their opinions of the paper of record’s disastrous editorial page—the misty realm where Tom Friedman is considered an intellectual heavyweight and David Brooks knows exactly what it’s like to be poor. The results are in!
The New York Observer has learned over the course of interviews with more than two-dozen current and former Times staffers that the situation has "reached the boiling point" in the words of one current Times reporter. Only two people interviewed for this story agreed to be identified, given the fears of retaliation by someone they criticize as petty and vindictive.
Who’s to blame? Editorial page editor Andrew Rosenthal and...Tom Friedman. Of course. Rosenthal is (allegedly) a despot:
As for the charges that Mr. Rosenthal is a despot, one writer provided a funny example that others interviewed for this story immediately recognized. “Rosenthal himself is like a petty tyrant, like anytime anyone on the news pages uses the word ‘should’ in their copy, you know, he sends nasty emails around kind of CCing the world. The word ‘should’ belongs to him and his people.”
Tom Friedman, meanwhile, remains Tom Friedman. One reporter told the Observer:
I mean anybody who knows anything about most of what [Friedman is] writing about understands that he’s, like, literally mailing it in from wherever he is on the globe. He's a travel reporter. A joke. The guy gets $75,000 for speeches and probably charges the paper for his first-class airfare.
Lastly, the New York Times is governed by politics usually observed on middle school playgrounds:
One reporter says that he literally will not allow Mr. Rosenthal to join their lunch table in the cafeteria.
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