New York Times reporter Mark Mazzetti e-mailed an advance, unpublished copy of a Maureen Dowd column dealing with the CIA to an Agency spokeswoman last year, according to newly released emails obtained by Judicial Watch under the Freedom of Information Act. Depending on whom at the Times you ask, that was either "much ado about nothing" or a "mistake that is not consistent with New York Times standards."
Just as one tires of Sam Zell's schtick-the 66-year-old newspaper proprietor's folksy pep talks to Tribune newsrooms have become sadistic rituals-there comes a useful reminder of the alternative, the pompous grandees of journalism who used to run the newspapers. Six former editors of Zell's Los Angeles Times have spoken up, in the manner of retired generals opposing the war in Iraq, with generally unhelpful suggestions for the former real-estate magnate. Worst of the bunch is Dean Baquet, now Washington, DC bureau chief for the New York Times. Zell's threat to dismantle the Tribune newspapers' national and foreign coverage is not merely shocking, or stupid-according to Baquet, it's no less than "unpatriotic".
This morning, Doree roused herself at an ungodly hour to attend a panel discussion called "Do Newspapers Have a Future?" at the W Hotel in Midtown, with the New Yorker's Ken Auletta lobbing questions at Times Washington bureau chief Dean Baquet and McClatchy CEO Gary Pruitt.
So much of what we do is dependent on the help of you, the reader—the leaked memo here, the rumor there, the appropriately-timed photo anywhere. Still, sometimes our readers can be a tad overzealous, like the one who snapped this photo of Times Executive Editor Bill Keller having lunch at that paper's cafeteria with incoming Washington bureau chief Dean Baquet. Oh, you know what, we're still totally charmed. Plus, it's a very rare sighting of Keller in the cafeteria. We've labeled all the participants we were able to identify to make it easier for you. If anyone can help identify the gentleman in the rear at the far right, with the glasses, we'd love to know. He seems a little devious or something.
The Observer breaks this one:
Entertainment mogul David Geffen, a longtime suitor, has made a $2 billion cash offer for the Los Angeles Times. This complicates not only owner Tribune Co.'s attempt to sell itself as a whole (rather than individual papers or assets), but also the hopes of fired LAT editor Dean Baquet for an eventual return. No formal offers for Tribune Co. have materialized, despite vague interest from various parties, including billionaire duo Eli Broad and Ron Burkle. Baquet supposedly wants to meet with Broad and Burkle to pitch himself as a valuable addition to their hypothetical team, even as speculation grows that he'll take a job at The New York Times rather than wait around much longer. Castle drama alert: Will Baquet scheme with NYT publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr. to defenestrate current NYT editor Bill Keller? (Check that dry mention of Keller's retirement age.) But assuming no formal offer gets made for the whole enchilada, Tribune Co. probably can't afford to leave Geffen's gay mafia money lying on the table for long.
• What will the effect of Jeffrey Johnson's ouster from the LAT be? Well, for one thing, it will allow every media outlet to print articles like this one, which speculates about the effect of Jeffrey Johnson's ouster from the LAT. [WSJ]
• Nikki Finke thinks Dean Baquet is a big pussy. [DHD]
• Carly Fiorina wants credit for H-P's turnaround. H-P's spying? Not so much. [NYT]
• Jack Shafer is bullish on Bloomberg News, even though its news "has all the mouth-feel of a cup of talc." Yeah, it took us a while to get that one out of our heads too. [Slate]
• Now you can be bored by twelve full years of Charlie Rose. [WWD]
• Even when Jon Friedman admits to spouting the conventional wisdom he's spouting the conventional wisdom. [Marketwatch]