Yes. It's another business writer feud story. That seems to be an emerging theme for the day. But stick with us, because this one is very good.
Ordinarily, the Wall Street Journal treats the New York Times business section much like a lot of people who work on Wall Street—as if it didn't exist. Today, however, Holman Jenkins takes notice of the paper and isn't amused at what he finds.
The details are worth reading but here's the gist—Holman points to a story the Times ran, and explains why he declined to write about the same story when it was offered to him because it seemed like a set-up. No such warning bells went off at the Times HQ.
It struck me then and strikes me now that the problem here wasn't just journalistic gullibility or a failure to ask the obvious question. It was a lack of any real feel for human beings or messy reality on the part of a reporter known for relentless but unanalytical execrations of CEO pay.
Holman then turns to another story published under the same byline and finds that its even worse.
The real question is why do Times editors allow such stuff into the paper? Do they wave it through because it might prove personally inconvenient to try to stop it? Do they believe they have more pressing things to worry about than what appears in the newspaper?
So who is the writer guilty of producing "such stuff?" Holman doesn't say, and unless you spend some time digging through the Times archives you might have trouble figuring it out. Fortunately, Larry Ribstein figures out who so we don’t have to.
The Big Reveal after the jump.
The Times and Reality [Wall Street Journal]
Oh. Come on. You already guessed! And you're right. It's Lady Gret-Gret!
From http://busmovie.typepad.com/ideoblog/2006/11/holman_jenkins__1.html">Ribstein's Ideoblog:
One big thing is missing from Jenkins story: he nowhere mentions the name of the Pulitzer Prize winning columnist who is responsible for the stunts he describes.
It's time for the reputable press to pull off the gloves and give us bloggers a hand in exposing their colleagues. The mainstream press's only chance to survive in a digital era is to leverage their resources into the production of a higher quality product, one that amateurs like me can't match. Letting their franchises be tarnished by the likes of Gretchen Morgenson cannot be the future of a successful New York Times. Maybe Elmasry can make this happen by freeing the grey lady from the cold hands of the Sulzberger family.