Raines Is Gone

Howell Raines, the much-criticized executive editor of The New York Times has resigned from the paper today, along with Gerald Boyd, the paper’s managing editor.

The resignations come in the wake of the Jayson Blair and other journalistic scandals, many of which originated from Raines’ despotic management style. Raines ran the paper as an operation where friends were kept close and perceived enemies saw their articles spiked and their chances slim. A climate like that will invariably produce the kind of shoddy work that Blair and others stand accused of.

The real question is whether the new executive editor, Joseph Lelyveld, will be able to steer the Times on a better course. His experience is a definite plus, but the Times already suffers from an incestuous climate in which entrenched ideals remain unchallenged. Lelyveld will not only have to repair the damage caused by the Blair scandal, but try to set the Times on the right course for the future. It’s going to be a daunting task at best, but it is also something that is desperately needed.

3 thoughts on “Raines Is Gone

  1. The New York Times suffers from a climate where entrenched ideals remain unchallenged? How does that differ from the Readers Digest, the American Spectator, Fox News, or any of the allegedly non-partisan media outlets that spin from the right? Are they “suffering from a climate of entrenched ideals that remain unchallenged” as well or does that problem only apply to the left?

  2. The Times is built on the reputation as the nation’s newspaper of record. It prides itself on being a serious newspaper with the world’s best reporting. The Blair scandal is a major hit on that reputation, and the kind of shoddy work that the Times was producing further goes against that reputation.

    In contrast, Reader’s Digest is hardly a serious policy magazine, The American Spectator is a journal of opinion, and FoxNews is, well FoxNews. (I’m not at all a fan of cable news networks, and FoxNews is guilty of the same sins as all of them.) If the Washington Post were to pull something like the Blair scandal, they’d recieve the same treatment I’m giving the Times.

    In fact, I’d argue that the Washington Times suffers the same problem. It could be serious paper, but it does tend to skew the news too far to the right to be a truly credible source. While it does occasionally do some worthwhile reporting, I usually take their information with a grain of salt.

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