NY Times Management: Like American Catholic Bishops Except Without the Sense of Responsibility

For all their slowness to criticize themselves in any meaningful way, at least the American bishops were capable of mustering this back in Dallas:

The Penance that is necessary here is not the obligation of the Church at large in the United States, but the responsibility of the Bishops ourselves.

We are the ones, whether through ignorance or lack of vigilance, or ? God forbid ? with knowledge, who allowed priest abusers to remain in ministry and reassigned them to communities where they continued to abuse.

We are the ones who chose not to report the criminal actions of priests to the authorities, because the law did not require this.

We are the ones who worried more about the possibility of scandal than in bringing about the kind of openness that helps prevent abuse.

And we are the ones who, at times, responded to victims and their families as adversaries and not as suffering members of the Church.

Compare and contrast this with Arthur Sulzberger’s noble words on his profound sense of responsibility for making sure his newspaper prints something related to reality:

“Maybe this crystallizes a little that we can find better ways to build lines of communication across what is, to be fair, a massive newsroom,” said Mr. Sulzberger, the publisher. But Mr. Sulzberger emphasized that as The New York Times continues to examine how its employees and readers were betrayed, there will be no newsroom search for scapegoats. “The person who did this is Jayson Blair,” he said. “Let’s not begin to demonize our executives — either the desk editors or the executive editor or, dare I say, the publisher.”

For some reason, this attitude has been as successful at placating staffers at the NY Times as Cardinal Law’s policies were at mollifying “troublemaking” parents who disliked having their children raped. Clues to the clueless. You’re not a scapegoat when you are actually responsible for the screwup.

The natural question that arises, of course, after the Jayson Blair Debacle at the NY Times is, “How many other reporters get away with similar stuff?”


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