No, I Do Not Believe Dean Baquet Wants to Turn the New York Times into a Trusted Information Intermediary. Why Do You Ask?

Live from La Farine: For every time somebody emails me, privately, and tells me that Dean Baquet — in spite of his failure to commission a deep dive on New York Times dysfunction and Jeff Gerth and company on Whitewater, in spite of his failure to commission a deep dive on New York Times dysfunction and Judy Miller on Iraq, in spite of such things as yesterday’s misrepresentations of the Department of State’s role in CFIUS — sincerely wants to turn the Grey Lady into a trusted information intermediary, two or three examples of things like the following cross my desk:

Michael Barbaro: Paleo Diet In and Pizza Out, a Slimmer Jeb Bush Seems Intent on Staying That Way — NYTimes.com: “Steak Tips Susanne, the $21 entree at the Hilton Garden Inn…

…arrived… carefully composed… strips of sirloin, sautéed peppers and caramelized onions atop a bed of linguine with a side of garlic bread. Then the dish underwent the Jeb Bush treatment. The garlic bread was instantly banished…. The pasta was conspicuously pushed aside. The months-long experiment in deprivation — little to no starch, dairy or refined sugar, in adherence to the in-vogue Paleo diet — may seem extreme….. The rigid abstemiousness runs the risk of putting him at a dietary distance from an American electorate that still binges on carbohydrates and, after eight years of a tea-sipping president, craves a relatable eater-in-chief.
Breaking bread with Iowans? Try having almonds, Mr. Bush’s preferred high-protein snack food. Bonding over hamburgers in New Hampshire? How about salad with grilled chicken, his monotonous go-to lunch. During a meeting with veterans in Colorado Springs a few days ago, a thick stack of pancakes was placed in front of Mr. Bush at an IHOP, along with a second platter of eggs, bacon and hash browns. The veterans dug in. Mr. Bush left his breakfast untouched, to the disappointment of the restaurant’s staff….

As Derek Thompson noted, Barbaro’s “The rigid abstemiousness runs the risk of putting him at a dietary distance from an American electorate that still binges on carbohydrates and, after eight years of a tea-sipping president, craves a relatable eater-in-chief” is a “hallmark of theater-critic journalism: my impression of this candidate’s style is (a) important and (b) widely shared”.

If Dean Baquet wants there to be a New York Times in twenty years, I think he should (a) slim down the current newroom by twenty slots, and (b) give David Leonhardt the money to boost The Upshot’s staff by twenty.


Originally published at www.bradford-delong.com.