Jack Shafer No Longer a New York Times Magazine Ethicist

Erik Wemple confirms Capital New York's scoop.

The three-headed monster that is the current configuration of the New York Times Magazine’s The Ethicists podcast and column has a new third head. Per Washington Post media columnist Erik Wemple, out is Politico’s Jack Shafer, replaced by NYU philosophy professor Kwame Anthony Appiah. Shafer had been on this beat since February.

From Wemple’s item:

[NYT Magazine editor Jake] Silverstein “didn’t think the thing was working and wanted to try somebody new,” Shafer said. “And, you know, he made the call that a lot of editors make.”

Of the set-up in which three people react to a single issue, “I think that the three-headed beast is a very hard way to go at that,” says Shafer (disclosure: a friend), who notes that there’s a “reason interviews are almost always two people.” (Shafer’s departure was first reported by Capital New York’s paywalled newsletter.)

Shafer’s former colleagues, Kenji Yoshino and Amy Bloom, remain on board. And no surprise Capital New York got the scoop; Shafer works there.

In this weekend’s The Ethicists installment, Appiah and co. tackled as lead question the issue of whether or not a New York woman should let a subsequent family know that the nanny they have hired (her former household employee) drinks on the job. The woman wants to do the right thing, but her husband is worried that there will be retribution.


@hollywoodspin rhorgan@gmail.com Richard Horgan is co-editor of Fishbowl.
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