Tag Archives: New York Times

New York Times Staffers Express ‘Profound Dismay’ With Management

3 Jan

The open letter … brought to the surface long-simmering tensions. In the past several years, staffers have faced temporary pay cuts, layoffs, and buyouts. They have worked since March without a new contract. Regarding ongoing negotiations, the letter notes that Sulzberger’s “negotiators have demanded a freeze of our pension plan and an end to our independent health insurance.” O’Meara said staffers did not receive a raise this year.

Such compensation and benefit issues are playing out while the Times faces a problem with retention, as executive editor Jill Abramson acknowledged when she landed the paper’s highest-ranking masthead job last June. The Times, which could once keep high-profile reporters and editors from heading to rival newspapers based on the paper’s cachet alone, has recently faced increased competition for top talent from non-traditional outlets, such as Bloomberg News, ESPN, and The Huffington Post.

via New York Times Staffers Express ‘Profound Dismay’ With Management.

David Brooks, Fooled by Inequality

1 Nov

He’s at it again, being reasonable out of one side of his mouth while makin’ it up out of the other. I’m talking about David Brooks, Mr. Reasonable, the Mr. Blizzard of plausible risibility. His current column, The Wrong Inequality, is a masterpiece of rhetorical legerdemain and misdirection.

It’s about two inequalities, call them Inequality One and Inequality Two. That’s not what he calls them, but his labels are part of the misdirection, so we’ll skip them for the moment. Inequality One is the 1% vs. the 99%. Inequality Two is the college educated vs. those without college.

After laying them out Brooks helpfully observes: “These two forms of inequality exist in modern America. They are related but different. Over the past few months, attention has shifted almost exclusively to” Inequality One. And, yes, he’s right on all three counts. America has both, they’re related, and attention is now on One, rather than Two.

The point of Brook’s advertorial is that, while Inequality One is bad (his loss leader), Inequality Two is Much Much Worse. For it affects many more people, a big percentage of the 99%, though he doesn’t quite put it that way. Here’s his oh so reasonable conclusion: “If your ultimate goal is to reduce inequality, then you should be furious at the doctors, bankers and C.E.O.’s. If your goal is to expand opportunity, then you have a much bigger and different agenda.”

Notice, first of all, that that conclusion is apples vs. oranges. We’re angry at the beneficiaries of Inequality One (apples), but we’re supposed to expand opportunity in response to Inequality Two (oranges). Umm, err, Mr. David Brooks, Sir, if we’re angry at the One Percenters, what are we to do about it? He doesn’t say or suggest. All he does is divert out attention to the need for more opportunities for, well, the bottom 50%. Well, yes, they need opportunity, and debt forgiveness, health care, and jobs would be nice too. Continue reading