This post appears here courtesy of the John Locke Foundation
. The author of this post is Mitch Kokai
Aaron Sibarium writes
for the Washington Free Beacon about a controversial staffing change at the nation's most prominent newspaper.
- The "resignation" of star New York Times science writer Donald McNeil Jr. has sparked a furious back-and-forth among Times staffers, many of whom are outraged over the Gray Lady's handling of his departure.
- The Washington Free Beacon reviewed a series of postings to a Facebook group for current and former Times staffers, where a tense debate is unfolding over McNeil's exit. One camp argues that his dismissal was justified and another asserts it set a troubling precedent, which the New York Times union should have done more to prevent.
- "What ever happened to the notion of worker solidarity ... to giving a fellow worker the benefit of the doubt," asked Steven Greenhouse, who spent three decades covering labor issues for the Times. ...
- ... Times crossword columnist Deb Amlen accused Greenhouse of an excessive focus on the "perpetrator," arguing that he and others should shift their attention to the people McNeil had "harmed."
- "Why is it that the focus in discussions like this almost always [is] on ruining the perpetrator's life, and not those who were harmed by [his actions]," she asked. ...
- ... The back-and-forth provides a window into the latest racial controversy roiling the paper, which saw a revolt among minority staffers over the summer after publishing an op-ed by Sen. Tom Cotton (R., Ark.). Opinion editor James Bennet ultimately lost his job.
- McNeil's ouster came nearly two years after the incident that precipitated it. While chaperoning high school students on a pricey trip to Peru, the science reporter responded to a question from a student about whether one of her classmates should have been suspended for using the n-word. In the process, he uttered the offending syllables himself. An internal Times investigation found his judgment wanting but stopped short of firing him.
- Only after the Daily Beast published an account of the incident, thrusting it into the public realm for the first time, was McNeil pushed out.