Who toppled the Times?
Tuesday, December 10th, 2002
Harvard media analyst Alex Jones, a former New York Times employee, says that the paper’s final decision to publish sports columns contradicting its editorial position confirms journalism’s ability to correct its own mistakes.
Not so fast. Am I the only one to wonder whether the Times could have safely ignored the criticism of employees and press peers had bloggers not kept the story bubbling? Certainly Times managing editor Gerald Boyd’s Stalinist memo defending the column spiking would have gotten far less attention had it not been republished by Jim Romenesko.
I bet the Times could have successfully dismissed the issue as “inside baseball” but for the relentless stoking by bloggers like Andrew Sullivan, Fritz Schranck, Glenn Reynolds, Mickey Kaus and countless others.
If the Times’ about-face is a victory, it’s a victory for the new order, not the old.