The Electric Commentary

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Recruiting at the L.A. Times.

The Los Angeles Times has named Dean Baquet as their new top editor. Why do you care? There are two reasons:

1. The Los Angeles Times is now the largest American newspaper ever to be led by a black journalist.

2. New York Times editor Bill Keller said this of him:

"Dean's a prince -- a world-class investigator, an inspiring editor and a barrel of fun." But Keller said he hoped Baquet would start "fighting fair" in luring staffers: "He has this habit of telling recruits there's something in the New York water that makes your penis fall off." (Emphasis added.)

Rarely has the editor of one of America's premiere newspapers had such glowing words for the editor of one of America's other premiere newspapers.

And for the record, I always buy bottled water when I'm in New York.

(Hat tip, MDS)


  • I'm just blown away that Keller would say that. He has a reputation as being rather straight laced. I could maybe see Howell Raines making a comment like that, but not Keller.

    The other thing is, I would suspect that the type of person who has accomplished enough in journalism that the NYT and LAT are fighting for his services is probably perfectly capable of assessing the relative merits of New York and L.A., so I think Keller is being a bit silly with his concern about fighting fair in recruiting. Anyway, if I were being recruited by two competitors, I'd want them to be as unfair to each other as possible.

    By Blogger MDS, at 9:14 AM  

  • I think that Keller was just kidding, and actually even praising Baquet for his tough recruiting. I read it as tongue-in-cheek.

    I'd want them to be as unfair as possible too.

    By Blogger PaulNoonan, at 9:38 AM  

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