The Magazine

Jack McGeorge, Raines's reign, and more.

Dec 16, 2002, Vol. 8, No. 14
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After he filed a column arguing that this is not Tiger's "fight or any golfer's fight," Anderson said "it was decided by the editors that we should not argue with the editorial page." Once this was reported in the Daily News, managing editor Boyd (speaking for himself and editor Howell Raines) uncorked the above-quoted memo, which says that at the Times, "a well-reported, well-reasoned column can come down on any side, with our welcome." But for a column to disagree with the editorial page is, well, "unseemly and self-absorbed." Horrors.

A newspaper is, of course, free to put whatever it wants in its pages, not to mention publicly insult its own writers by suggesting that their columns are not well-reported or well-reasoned. But only the New York Times is conceited enough to stifle dissent and then "call it journalism."

Campus Courage

We've pointed out enough campus idiocy on this page to make space for some good news when it comes along. We were heartened by the report in last Thursday's New York Times about former senator Bob Kerrey, now president of the famously radical New School. Kerrey is also a founding member of the Committee for the Liberation of Iraq, a group he described last month as intended to explain why "the liberation of Iraq is something the United States ought to do." A few students, thinking this beyond the pale, want Kerrey to resign. Instead, he agreed to what the Times reported was "a raucous, often bitter debate, in which Mr. Kerrey was accused of betraying the New School's pacifist legacy and miring the school in controversy."

But Kerrey apparently gave as good as he got. "In a line that drew loud applause, Mr. Kerrey said he did not want 'to set a precedent so this university begins to be led, like so many other universities in America, by presidents who are so concerned by fundraising needs that they have no public opinion on anything that matters.'"

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