NY Times Editor Calls NY Observer Piece ‘Crazy Rant’

Cat fight! Sort of. The first strike was by The New York Observer’s editor — Ken Kurson — on the unsuspecting New York Times. Now, the Times has responded. A little background: Kurson’s cover story was a takedown of the Times’ editorial page and its editor, Andrew Rosenthal.

Kurson essentially described the Times’ Op-Ed desk as all the bad stuff about high school. Rosenthal was called “petty” and the environment was labeled as so bad that reporters won’t even let Rosenthal sit at their lunch tables. The piece is hilariously amazing. It’s also, according to Jill Abramson, executive editor of the Times, wrong.

In an email to Capital New York, Abramson called the Observer piece “the crazy rant of someone with an agenda, certainly not the view of the newsroom of The New York Times.”

Abramson added that Rosenthal’s leadership was “cherished” and reporters appreciate his “Good humor and his bonhomie.” Bonhomie? Seriously? Newspaper editors certainly have an odd way of talking shit.

Anyway, just to ensure that no one takes Kurson’s piece seriously, a spokesperson for the Times added the following:

The piece is comically inaccurate and filled with basic misunderstandings about Andy, the Times, the structure and reporting lines at most reputable newspapers, and any number of other things. One wonders about the motivation or competence of a writer who would suggest that based on his conversations with 24 (current and/or former) of 1200 (current) newsroom staff, he could state that there is a ‘near universality of [a] view within the Times that the opinion pages have grown tired and irrelevant.’

Your move, Kurson. We’ll be watching.