So I was reading a story on NPR about Dean Baquet, the new executive editor of the New York Times. You'll recall that he replaced Jill Abramson, who was fired because she made a fuss about getting paid less than her predece—being "mercurial" and hard to get along with. The story includes this snippet, which came after Baquet explained that he doesn't buy into the confrontational model of management that so many others—99% of whom are celebrated (or at least tolerated) for employing, with the other 1% being, let's face it, women:
Yet Baquet acknowledges he too can become intense amid argument. I asked Baquet about maps that reporters said had been tacked up at the Times' Washington offices to cover several holes he had punched in walls down there.He laughed and said, "it's true. I should have a lawyer with me for this part, shouldn't I?"I have a temper," Baquet said, "In each case I was mad at somebody above me in rank. That's not an excuse, but it's a fact."
Left unstated: Abramson was one of a handful of editors who outranked baquet when he was Washington bureau chief.
But at least he's not mercurial.
ETA: I don't follow the industry closely, but from what I've read of the coverage of this mess, Baquet is a very good editor, and I imagine he'll do well at the Times. Still, when one considers the Times' recent editors: Howell Raines, who oversaw the Jayson Blair and other scandals, and Bill Keller, who besides being Bill Keller, oversaw Judith Miller serving as Dick Cheney's press secretary, maybe being tough in the newsroom isn't the worst quality to have.