Moreover, with the exception of the last two top editors, all others were white men. Before Baquet, who is black, there was Jill Abramson, who was fired after three years. The paper’s last public editor, Liz Spayd, said she was struck by the “blinding whiteness” of the staff when she first entered the newsroom. The Times, like many other corporations of all kinds, has been sued by black employees charging racial discrimination.
In any other company, and with so much wealth accumulated by one family, that record would be fair game for the paper’s journalists, especially given the Confederate connections. In that spirit, it’s time for the Times to clean out its closet and live by the standards of purity it demands of others. For a thorough, honest examination of its checkered past, the paper should assign a team of its top investigative reporters to the project.
They would get total access to corporate leaders and documents and be free to interview their colleagues. Their marching orders would be to examine the Times in the same way they would examine any other institution, which means they are free to use anonymous quotes. In effect, the paper would be taking a big dose of its own medicine.
Whatever the results, they should be published on the front page, under the motto that Adolph Ochs put there in 1897: “All the news that’s fit to print.”
Then, hopefully humbled and cured of its supremacy delusion, the Times could get back to being a real newspaper and report the news instead of fomenting chaos and division.