EMERGENCY MEETING CALLED AT OLD GRAY LADY; NEWSROOM IN CRISIS
Howell, Gerald and Arthur request that you join your newsroom colleagues at an open forum at 2:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 14, to discuss the Jayson Blair matter and anything else you might have on your mind. The meeting will be held at the Loew's Astor Theater, the moviehouse just behind The Times on 44th Street at Broadway, across from Carmine's. Doors open at 2:15 p.m.
Please be sure to bring your Times i.d. card. No one will be admitted to the theater without their Times i.d.
You will be able to ask questions from the floor, or write them on cards that will be distributed at the door. In addition, we have set up an email address -- firstname.lastname@example.org -- where you can send questions, either in advance of the session or afterward.
On Wednesday morning, we will send out a separate email advising correspondents and bureaus outside New York how they may dial into the forum and listen to the session. Unfortunately, because of the short time available to set up the forum, people listening from a remote location will not be able to ask live questions. You may, however, avail yourself of the email address above. If you get questions to us before 2 p.m. EDT tomorrow, we will put them into the hopper. Otherwise, they will be answered later.
My company had a couple of high-profile dismissals in the past year, and we were summoned to several meetings like this. There was anxiety, but we heard reassurances, adjustments were made, and life went on.
I actually find Drudge somewhat useful these days -- lately he's been more a source of links than a gossipmonger. But this is just idiotic.
Equally idiotic, I think, is the fact that the Feds are wasting your tax dollars investigating possible criminal fraud charges against Jayson Blair. Excuse me -- his career is over, he's humiliated, and, well, I kind of suspect the Times could afford a lawyer or two if it wants to sue him. Nobody outside the media universe has any reason to give a damn about this story, which is why I didn't want to write about it, but the usual suspects have made it a political story (America-hating liberal paper publishes black affirmative-action liar!) and now Limbaughnistas in heartland America think it's relevant to them. Do I think this White House would try to keep the pot stirred, try to stretch the story out, by nudging federal prosecutors to investigate this guy? Yeah, I do.