New Dirt on The New York Times

Lots of great nuggets about the New York Times and Washington, D.C. in Joe Hagan’s profile about Bill Keller in New York Magazine.

They include:

  • The pressure to “embolden the paper’s Washington bureau, which under the leadership of Philip Taubman…has been considered weak and uneven.”

  • The “‘icky, demoralized time'” that was the Judy Miller saga.

  • How Keller and Jill Abramson decided before Miller even went to jail that she’d never write for the Times again.

  • The drama that unfolded over James Risen’s NSA eavesdropping story, including how Risen may have thought “Taubman lacked the ‘balls’ to publish his scoop.”

  • How the Times’ “Washington coverage was where the Times would be historicaly measured….The NSA story ‘certainly drove home the point that the Washington bureau is the paper’s megaphone'”

  • How “Keller now admits that the paper’s Washington bureau had, until late last year, been too ‘reactive’ to news, often playing catch-up on big stories broken by others.”

  • How “Inside the Times, there was growing consensus that Taubman was too cautious” and Don Van Natta Jr.’s rejection of Keller’s offer to be Taubman’s deputy.

  • Still, Jack Shafer says: “I can’t think of a better guy than Bill Keller to have at the top of the paper.”

    The entire thing is a great read.