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20 May 2014

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johnf

I can't really say I have a dog in this particular mud wrestling contest, but as someone who distrusts The Guardian less than I distrust most MSM disemboguings, I am glad that Janine Gibson has not been sucked into the NYT swamp. She at least was the midwife of the Guardian Snowden/Greenwald revelations, seems to be highly competent, and is setting up The Guardian electronic international edition.

I really don't know who to believe in the Abramson/Baquet bitch fest. Abramson apparently published some pretty daring stories a while ago, but no one can remember what they were, and apparently Baquet once spiked an anti-government story which Abramson then resurrected years later.

But as a Brit I can say that one thing fills me with joy, and that is that the execrable Mark Thompson (Piers Morgan with a beard), who did to the BBC what Caligula did to his mother, is now safely and snugly ensconced in the NYT. I predict that on the day the last reader of The Times quits, he will succeed to the editorship.

William R. Cumming

The key component in most jobs is whom do you trust? No one's judgment is infallible but no doubt we hope our hiring "guesses" pan out!

jonst

What "daring stories" did the Times published in the last 20 years or so?

William R. Cumming

Perhaps unrelated but the GUARDIAN newspaper has posted a lengthy interview with the founder of LAVABIT an encryption service for e-mails used by Eric Snowden and 400K others and no longer in business.

Ex-PFC Chuck

"The Sociopath Next Door," by Martha Stout, is a good read on this topic. She asserts, based on MRI research, that 4% of the population exhibit the neurological signs of sociopathy, namely that the brain regions associated with empathy do not light up when the person is presented with images that in most people evoke a response. She also asserts that such people are over-represented among high level politicians, government employees (including senior military officers) and corporate executives. They are also over-represented in some professions such as litigators and surgeons. The author regards the terms sociopathy and psychopathy to be essentially synonymous.

different clue

Riverdaughter at the Confluence blog offers a very different story and theory of what happened. I don't know which is the right way to interpret these events so I offer the link in case it proves useful. (She cites the same New Yorker article in part to arrive at very different conclusions).

http://riverdaughter.wordpress.com/2014/05/20/who-zoomed-who-during-the-abramson-debacle/

jerseycityjoan

"Our tried and true defence against the accession to power of emotional misfits used to be observation of their behavior over relatively long periods of time in a variety of social settings."

Isn't that information already available, for the most part, about the kind of people you are talking about here? These people had a lot of bosses, coworkers and subordinates. Many belong for years to professional. community and nonprofit groups, often in a prominent positions within those groups. They are talked about in the media and all over the Internet.

All this to say -- Isn't the real problem the organizations who hire them? How often do they not know the total package they are buying? Now we could say that the "infestation" is so thorough that the problem is like hiring like, in many cases. Or I suppose it's possible even their "normal" colleagues feel that if they don't have at least a few bad apples at the top, their company, department, etc. will be seen as weak and exploitable.

I am certainly with you when it comes wanting get the squeezing hands around the public's neck removed.

I suspect there is no other solution than for the vast majority to reclaim their power from the manipulators. The rewards for their behavior will have to decreased. These folks don't operate in a vacuum; the power of their supporters will also have to be challenged and defeated.

johnf

Damned if I can remember.

Stephanie

different clue,

Auletta's blogging in The New Yorker on this topic changes from day to day. The short answer is we don't know anything. Abramson has wisely kept quiet and let associates do the leaking, while Sulzberger has repeatedly shot himself in the foot. Editors get canned. Happens all the time. We do know that Dean Baquet made his move and it worked. Abramson should have found a way to marginalize him while the going was good. In the meantime I see no reason to make a feminist martyr out of a woman who allowed the Times to run a fawning review of her doggie book. Also, suddenly Baquet is a management toady. Who knew?

Janine Gibson apparently would have been an excellent hire and she just pinched the NYT's top guy in digital. Whatever was wrong with Abramson, it doesn't seem to be that.

Lot of management lessons to be learned in this one.

William R. Cumming

Thanks for this comment!

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