I guess all of us who've rolled our eyes about Gawker Media's "our transparency will influence others" thing owe Denton an apology, as New York Times publisher Arthur Sulzberger has gotten into the act, commenting on the firing of Jill Abramson. To wit:
During her tenure, I heard repeatedly from her newsroom colleagues, women and men, about a series of issues, including arbitrary decision-making, a failure to consult and bring colleagues with her, inadequate communication and the public mistreatment of colleagues. I discussed these issues with Jill herself several times and warned her that, unless they were addressed, she risked losing the trust of both masthead and newsroom. She acknowledged that there were issues and agreed to try to overcome them. We all wanted her to succeed. It became clear, however, that the gap was too big to bridge and ultimately I concluded that she had lost the support of her masthead colleagues and could not win it back.
Sure, what looks like the petty recounting of private conversations seems like poor form, but I suppose he had to say something, what with all of the accusations of sexism and the like. But hey, he's had to make tough calls before, like when his executive editor oversaw a major plagiarism scandal, not to mention one of his reporters acting as a mouthpiece for the Bush administration's false claims of WMD (okay, that one wasn't conclusively proven false until later, but still). Even though I couldn't find a press release from Sulzberger about Howell Raines, the Times made it pretty clear that his editorial missteps—which included real misinformation in the paper, rather than just an at times brusque and ineffective management style—deserved to be condemned in the strongest terms possible. I mean, just try to to tremble in fear as you read Sulzberger bring the hammer down on his disgraced editor in this story from June 2003:
In a hastily arranged gathering in the newsroom on the third floor, the newspaper's publisher, Arthur Sulzberger Jr., told staff members that he wanted to "applaud Howell and Gerald for putting the interests of this newspaper, a newspaper we all love, above their own."
Okay, well at least he acted quickly to protect the integrity of the newspaper, demanding that Raines leave as quickly as possible...
At a town-hall-style meeting on May 14 — three days after The Times had described in an extensive article how Jayson Blair, a staff reporter, had made errors or committed the equivalent of journalistic fraud in at least 36 articles since October — Mr. Sulzberger told the newsroom staff that he would not accept Mr. Raines's resignation if it were offered.
Huh...well, I've got nothing.