A few tantalizing excerpts:
One former business reporter remarked that the entire business section viewed the editorial page as “irrelevant” and went on to say, “Their business editorials were relatively rare and really bad. Floyd Norris went up there to make the business editorials better and eventually just left because he got tired of trying to explain economics to them.”
The Observer heard from two different sources about a posting created by respected health reporter Catherine Saint Louis and shared among her friends that pointed out a bevy of bad thinking made by the editorial page in a recent editorial related to the Affordable Care Act. In it, Ms. Saint Louis detailed the many errors in the piece’s coverage and asserted that “the basic premise is wrong.” (The Observer agreed not to share the post itself, since the person who shared it with The Observer did not have permission from Ms. Saint Louis to do so.)There are multiple complaints about no one being allowed to use the word "should" outside the editorial page. And everyone seems to feel ashamed of Tom Friedman. Here's just one of several remarks:
Asked if this stirring resentment toward the editorial page might not just be garden variety news vs. edit stuff or even the leanings of a conservative news reporter toward a liberal editorial page, one current Times staffer said, “It really isn’t about politics, because I land more to the left than I do to the right. I just find it …”
He paused for a long time before continuing and then, unprompted, returned to Mr. Friedman. “I just think it’s bad, and nobody is acknowledging that they suck, but everybody in the newsroom knows it, and we really are embarrassed by what goes on with Friedman. I mean anybody who knows anything about most of what he’s writing about understands that he’s, like, literally mailing it in from wherever he is on the globe. He’s a travel reporter. A joke. The guy gets $75,000 for speeches and probably charges the paper for his first-class airfare.”
Another sign of a loss of influence may have been revealed this past fall. A member of then Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s inner circle who remained in City Hall until the end of Mr. Bloomberg’s term told The Observer that the entire administration was “shocked” by the Times’ inability to drag its endorsed candidates over the goal line, referring to Christine Quinn in the mayoral primary and Dan Garodnick in the City Council speaker race. “When was the last time The New York Times lost both? Those are both essentially Democratic primaries, and the Times couldn’t carry any water.” The Times also endorsed Dan Squadron for advocate; he was defeated by Letitia James.