David Rosenbaum: Remembrance and Reproach

As details emerge about David Rosenbaum‘s death, which has been conclusively determined to be a murder, likely by two people, a disquieting picture is emerging of what went wrong in the response. Apparently there were delays at the scene with the ambulance’s arrival (it took 22 minutes for one to arrive) and further delays at the hospital, where Rosenbaum waited for over an hour to be seen.

There has been reproach, too, for the New York Times‘ coldly professional reporting on the death of a colleague and contributor, especially when it came to providing a picture of Rosenbaum as a person who enlivened the newsroom in Washington and contributed to the NYT community for over 35 years. Reality Bites Back directs readers to WaPo for coverage, wondering “Why is it so hard for the Times to say thank you and farewell? A story on A-19 just doesn’t cut it.”

Today, however, that article is here, and it’s an amazing collection of remebrances from byline Times readers would recognize, and seeing all these names collected is surprisingly moving. It gets its own post, but I did want to note that it feels churlish to criticize the individual people behind the Times‘ editorial decisions surrounding this issue – I have no doubt the news was shocking and decisions were difficult. Stoic and professional is certainly one way to go. But institutionally there should be no shame in celebrating the people behind the column inches; I’m thinking of the tribute page the LAT posted in memory of David Shaw and of course how ABC remembered Peter Jennings.

Today’s Observer published a nice memorial aritcle as well.