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'Republic of Fear' (Howell Raines Runs The New York Times Through Humiliation and Fear)
The Village Voice ^ | April 16 - 22, 2003 | Cynthia Cotts

Posted on 04/15/2003 12:14:33 PM PDT by Timesink

Press Clips
by Cynthia Cotts

'Republic of Fear'

Raines Team Consolidates on 43rd Street

April 16 - 22, 2003

ast week, as one regime crumbled in Baghdad, another was consolidating power on 43rd Street - that of New York Times executive editor Howell Raines. Since former editor Joe Lelyveld stepped down in September 2001, Raines and his deputies are said to have engaged in a rolling purge, systematically pushing out editorial employees with ties to the past and making way for new stars. "It's like a divorce," says one insider, with the staff now divided between Joe's people and Howell's people. "To be a favorite of Joe is a black mark with Howell," says another.

According to insiders, Raines is the kind of 1950s-style autocrat who manages through humiliation and fear. Aside from right-hand men Gerald Boyd and Andy Rosenthal and a core of loyalists, morale is said to be at a new low. There are many rooms in that palace and nobody sees the whole picture. But, says one source, "the old timers who lived through the worst of [former executive editor] Abe Rosenthal say they have never seen anyone be so arrogant, so petty, so mean. Vindictiveness is in." Another source says, "It's no longer about managing down. It's about paying obeisance to the king." Among cognoscenti, 43rd Street is now known as the "republic of fear."

A Times spokesperson offered no response to a detailed request for comment, and efforts to reach Boyd found him first in a meeting and then unavailable. A further request for comment was placed with the head of corporate communications at press time.

In the 19 months since Raines took over, so many high-ranking Times people have stepped down that cultural custodians are scrambling to keep track of the body count. On the investigations desk, the departed include Stephen Engelberg, Doug Frantz, and Tim Golden; on the national desk, Kevin Sack, Sam Howe Verhovek, and others; on the foreign desk, correspondents Melinda Henneberger and Suzanne Daley. Three women who stepped down this year are assistant managing editor Carolyn Lee, who retired at 57; pictures editor Margaret O'Connor, who Raines has said will get a new job at the Times; and science editor Cornelia Dean, who has been replaced by Elizabeth Rosenthal, the Times' former Beijing correspondent. To be sure, each departure is caused by unique circumstances, and managers see such turnover as a natural part of newsroom evolution.

Some of the anxiety stems from the recent resignations of investigations editor Frantz and investigative reporter Golden, veterans of a unit that has produced several Pulitzers for the Times. Their departures, which reflected the two men's dissatisfaction with Raines, coincided with the news that the Times' seven Pulitzers of last year had been slashed this year to one, for Clifford Levy's investigative series on the treatment of mentally ill adults in New York State. On April 7, the day the Pulitzers were announced, Raines told a group of staffers that Levy's win proves "our commitment to investigative journalism."

In comments that same day, Joe Sexton, an editor on the Metro desk, praised Metro editor Jonathan Landman, a longtime champion of the Levy series. According to Sexton, he said of Landman, "He has created a wonderful environment to work in. He gives the editors and reporters around him his trust, a sense of individual authority, and complete freedom to go out and do their best." Others noted a contrast with Raines, who often ignores editors' and reporters' ideas.

The prizewinning series was the work of Landman, Levy, Sexton, and Christine Kay, then an editor on the Metro desk. Before it was published in April 2002, the editors sent Raines a memo summarizing it. But Raines did not read the memo, sources say, and two months later, he claimed he had lost it. Raines's interest in the series seemed to peak when it won the award. In a congratulatory house ad last Sunday, the Times listed every Pulitzer it has ever won, rather than focusing on, say, how Levy's series produced dramatic results.

Critics see Tim Golden's April 1 resignation as the latest sign that Raines does not understand the needs of a successful investigations desk. Golden can be a contentious person who fights for his copy, but he is also a meticulous reporter and two-time Pulitzer winner. His star rose under Lelyveld. Critics say Raines judged him more for his loyalty, or lack thereof, than on the merits of his performance.

Loyalty and performance were put to the test between July and October 2002, when Raines killed several stories by Golden and fellow reporter David Kocieniewski. For months, the two had been pursuing allegations of influence peddling by former New Jersey senator Robert Torricelli, who was running for re-election. The New York Observer reported last week that Raines felt the pieces he spiked had been "reckless."

Times insiders tell another story: They say editors asked Raines to spell out his complaints about the spiked pieces, but he declined, citing only his aversion to "piling on" or to giving prosecutors too much credence. After all, the Justice Department had declined to press charges, and the Senate only gave the senator a severe reprimand. But the spiked stories included a jailhouse interview with Torricelli's accuser, David Chang, and an inventory of the evidence investigators had collected to corroborate Chang's claims that he gave Torricelli gifts in exchange for political favors. One source claims that Landman lobbied hard for the spiked pieces and felt undercut when they did not run.

Asked if Golden's work was "reckless," Landman told the Voice, "I think Tim's a great reporter. His stuff on Torricelli held up brilliantly. There's nothing reckless about it." He declined to comment on internal disputes. Golden and Kocieniewski declined to comment.

Adding insult to injury, someone else got the scoop. On September 26, after some of the Times pieces were spiked, WNBC ran a special Torricelli report by Jonathan Dienst, featuring a jailhouse interview with Chang and an inventory of evidence. According to someone close to the Torricelli case, key sources tired of waiting for the Times to use their info, so they turned it over to WNBC. Four days after the WNBC report aired, Torricelli pulled out of the race, expressly to avoid further harm to the party. It seems likely that the Times, not WNBC, would have delivered Torricelli's coup de grâce - had Raines not killed key stories in the heat of the election campaign.

Frantz recently gave Golden a major investigative assignment. But when Frantz quit, Golden was pulled off the assignment and asked to do other work, to "prove himself" in some daily-news capacity. Sources say this fuck-you was the final straw that prompted Golden to quit.

Life goes on. Frantz's deputy, former UN bureau chief Julia Preston, is a candidate for the job of investigations editor. Preston is smart and talented, colleagues say, but her background is in hard news, not investigative reporting.


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Front Page News; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: ccrm; howellraines; intimidation; leadership; mediabias; thenewyorktimes
With every passing day, the Times loses a little more credibility.
1 posted on 04/15/2003 12:14:34 PM PDT by Timesink
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To: All
Attention!
Our troops give so much of themselves, and we all benefit from their efforts.

The next time you look at your bank balance, why not find some way to take some money and put it towards supporting the members of our armed services in some way? Maybe find a family who has someone serving, and buy them dinner, or some groceries, or a gift for their children? Maybe find a way to contribute to a fund for the memory of any of those who have fallen? Our armed forces deserve our support in tangible ways.


2 posted on 04/15/2003 12:16:36 PM PDT by Support Free Republic (Your support keeps Free Republic going strong!)
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To: Timesink; *CCRM; calypgin; bert; Peacerose; First_Salute; ForGod'sSake; Landru
FYI
3 posted on 04/15/2003 12:16:59 PM PDT by Mr. Mulliner ("I could be a really good Christian if other people didn't mess me up all the time.")
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To: Timesink
I am sure that the NYT is run by good, kind, compassionate left-wingers. People on the Left would never rule through fear and humiliation ... would they???
4 posted on 04/15/2003 12:19:10 PM PDT by ClearCase_guy
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To: Timesink
Howell Raines, so self important now. two days after he's dead people will say, Howell who?

Would'nt know him if I pis*ed on him onn purpose.

5 posted on 04/15/2003 12:19:20 PM PDT by chiefqc
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To: Mr. Mulliner
Who cares about the mating habits of these swine?!
6 posted on 04/15/2003 12:23:40 PM PDT by Samizdat
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To: Timesink
It doesn't even mention what was probably the most notable hatchet job: when Abe Rosenthal complained about Maureen Dowd's horrible Op Ed pieces, and Raines fired Rosenthal, who had formerly held the chief editor job himself.

Sources have publicly said that Dowd and Raines had an affair when he first joined the Times, which may or may not explain his continuing support of this sorry excuse for a writer.
7 posted on 04/15/2003 12:25:39 PM PDT by Cicero (Marcus Tullius)
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To: Timesink
Think of the brilliant coverage of the Atlanta golf club scandal.No women allowed to join! Priorities,priorities!
8 posted on 04/15/2003 12:25:49 PM PDT by MEG33
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To: Timesink
bump
9 posted on 04/15/2003 12:29:12 PM PDT by RippleFire
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To: ClearCase_guy
Raines can get away with it. He has publisher, Pinch Sulzberger, mesmerized by his zipper.
10 posted on 04/15/2003 12:29:30 PM PDT by PJ-Comix (A Person With No Sense Of Humor Is Someone Who Confuses The Irreverent With The Irrelevant)
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To: Timesink
Looks like the Old Gray whore has the clap.
11 posted on 04/15/2003 12:31:32 PM PDT by bert (Don't Panic !)
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To: Mr. Mulliner
contrast this working environment to that of the "idiot" Bush White House
12 posted on 04/15/2003 12:37:41 PM PDT by KantianBurke (The Federal govt should be protecting us from terrorists, not handing out goodies)
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To: Timesink

13 posted on 04/15/2003 12:42:10 PM PDT by Puppage (You may disagree with what I have to say, but I will defend to your death my right to say it)
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To: MEG33
No Pulitzer Prize for the Augusta National series of stories?! I'm amazed! I mean, it was absolutely the biggest story of 2001/2002, and The New York Times was clearly leading the charge. This sort of intrepid reporting on the major issue of the day usually results in a Pulitzer Prize.

I don't know what those judges were thinking. It's not like there has been a lot of other news in the last year-and-a-half.

14 posted on 04/15/2003 12:55:16 PM PDT by gridlock (CNN (spitting sound), you're dead to me!)
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To: Timesink
I cannot for the life of me understand why the Air Force did not target this enemy encampment on D-Day night at the same time they hit the bunker.
15 posted on 04/15/2003 1:00:30 PM PDT by RetiredArmy
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To: RetiredArmy
That's right! Send in the Marines! They can liberate anybody from everything, faster than Janet Reno liberated the children of The Branch Davidian compound!
16 posted on 04/15/2003 1:02:52 PM PDT by ChemistCat (My new bumper sticker: MY OTHER DRIVER IS A ROCKET SCIENTIST)
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To: Timesink
With every passing day, the Times loses a little more credibility.

What's less than zero?

17 posted on 04/15/2003 1:04:12 PM PDT by mewzilla
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To: Timesink
the old timers who lived through the worst of [former executive editor] Abe Rosenthal say they have never seen anyone be so arrogant, so petty, so mean. Vindictiveness is in."

Are they discussing the New York Times or the offices of Senator Hillary Clinton (D-Nurenberg)?

18 posted on 04/15/2003 1:04:58 PM PDT by Cincinatus (Omnia relinquit servare Republicam)
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To: Timesink
This explains the rash of suicides by employees.
19 posted on 04/15/2003 1:06:08 PM PDT by mabelkitty
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To: Cicero
Who didn't that whore sleep with?
20 posted on 04/15/2003 1:06:52 PM PDT by mabelkitty
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To: Cicero
Interesting.
21 posted on 04/15/2003 1:23:29 PM PDT by MEG33
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To: Timesink
Nobody expects the New York Times! Our chief weapon is mendacity ... mendacity and fear...fear and mendacity ... our two weapons are fear and mendacity ... and ruthless humiliation. Our three weapons are fear and mendacity and ruthless humiliation and an almost fanatical devotion to Marxism... Our four ... no ... amongst our weapons ... amongst our weaponry are such elements as fear, mendacity .. I'll come in again...

My apologies to the Python gang.

22 posted on 04/15/2003 1:54:21 PM PDT by Ranxerox
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To: Ranxerox
"Our chief weapon is mendacity..."

LOL! I didn't expect THAT!
23 posted on 04/15/2003 2:04:22 PM PDT by headsonpikes (Help me decide: Is the Left morally corrupt and intellectually bankrupt, or vice versa?)
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To: Timesink; mewzilla; Ranxerox
NY Times Mobile Headline Lab Found in Iraqi Desert

The Iowahawk skewers "All The News That's Print To Fit". ;-)

24 posted on 04/15/2003 2:43:42 PM PDT by an amused spectator
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To: Timesink
According to insiders, Raines is the kind of 1950s-style autocrat who manages through humiliation and fear.

This rings true with my theory that a lot of liberals are despicable human beings. Because they are so corrupt and evil they seek out "causes" that allow them to feel "righteous". (Most people want to think of themselves as good.)

Raines seems to fit the profile -- the vile person who uses his influence to support whatever is the current politically correct cause.

25 posted on 04/15/2003 3:53:51 PM PDT by Semi Civil Servant
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To: nutmeg
read later bump
26 posted on 04/15/2003 4:17:06 PM PDT by nutmeg (Liberate Iraq - Support Our Troops!)
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To: Timesink
For the life of me, I can't understand why the shareholders of The New York Times put up with this sad performance.
27 posted on 04/16/2003 5:28:08 AM PDT by Brilliant
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To: Mr. Mulliner
"But, says one source, 'the old timers who lived through the worst of [former executive editor] Abe Rosenthal say they have never seen anyone be so arrogant, so petty, so mean. Vindictiveness is in.' Another source says, 'It's no longer about managing down. It's about paying obeisance to the king.' Among cognoscenti, 43rd Street is now known as the 'republic of fear.'"

Well what in the hell can be said concerning the Slimes' modus operandi; beyond, it's a Liberal-Socialist thang.
The irony.

As for the Torch's story being spiked?
At least something had been written about the crooked louse by the Slimes, because Clintigula's antics never saw the light of day. Any of 'em.

Let's see, that'd include allegations of rape, possible ties to murder inside the beltway *&* back in AR, drug trafficing and/or use (everywhere), treason, sexual hijinx with federal employees, various & assorted pecadillos of every description, political corruption at every level, rampant abuse of power visa vi using federal agencies against administration "enemies," and on & on.

Yet for the New York Slimes' team of *crack* investigative urinalists, came *nothing*. Not a peep.

...& the Pulitzers kept coming.

28 posted on 04/16/2003 6:11:12 AM PDT by Landru
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To: Molly Pitcher
A tardy ping
29 posted on 04/21/2003 2:20:21 AM PDT by The Raven (Socialism is a weapon of mass destruction)
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To: The Raven
Thanks Raven- It's good to read more evidence of the NYT's decline.

Leaving again for a few days, so will see you later.

30 posted on 04/21/2003 3:49:34 AM PDT by Molly Pitcher (Praise God from Whom all Blessings Flow....)
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To: Timesink
This article was posted before the Jayson Blair scandal broke.... Let us review some interesting quotes about Howell Raines:

Raines and his deputies are said to have engaged in a rolling purge, systematically pushing out editorial employees with ties to the past and making way for new stars.

And yet Raines bent over backwards to keep Jayson Blair aboard at the Times despite his many transgressions.

According to insiders, Raines is the kind of 1950s-style autocrat who manages through humiliation and fear.

So long as you are NOT an affirmative action favorite of Raines.

"the old timers who lived through the worst of [former executive editor] Abe Rosenthal say they have never seen anyone be so arrogant, so petty, so mean. Vindictiveness is in."

There must be a lot of glee among the NY Times staffers right now at the hot water Raines has gotten himself into.

A Times spokesperson offered no response to a detailed request for comment, and efforts to reach Boyd found him first in a meeting and then unavailable.

Gerald Boyd---Another big player in this sad affair.

In comments that same day, Joe Sexton, an editor on the Metro desk, praised Metro editor Jonathan Landman, a longtime champion of the Levy series. According to Sexton, he said of Landman, "He has created a wonderful environment to work in. He gives the editors and reporters around him his trust, a sense of individual authority, and complete freedom to go out and do their best." Others noted a contrast with Raines, who often ignores editors' and reporters' ideas.

Does the name Landman sound familiar? He was the editor who warned that Jayson Blair should be removed from writing duties IMMEDIATELY. Trust me, Raines was aware of that WRITTEN warning and ignored it.

Before it was published in April 2002, the editors sent Raines a memo summarizing it. But Raines did not read the memo, sources say, and two months later, he claimed he had lost it. Raines's interest in the series seemed to peak when it won the award.

Forget about the scandal. The INCOMPETENCE of Howell Raines should be enough to fire him.

Critics say Raines judged him more for his loyalty, or lack thereof, than on the merits of his performance.

Jayson Blair was LOYAL to Raines so his performance to Raines was unimportant. Loyalty is ALL-IMPORTANT to Raines.

I repeat....Howell Raines is the WORST editor in the history of Journalism. I know that is saying a lot but can anyone out there name a worse editor than Raines?

31 posted on 05/13/2003 12:57:59 PM PDT by PJ-Comix (A Person With No Sense Of Humor Is Someone Who Confuses The Irreverent With The Irrelevant)
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