Tuesday, April 15, 2003

NY Slimes Alert!
Cynthia Cotts does a drive by on Howell "Megalomania" Raines in the Village Voice - 'Republic of Fear':
Last week, as one regime crumbled in Baghdad, another was consolidating power on 43rd Street -that of New York Times executive editor Howell Raines. Since former editor Joe Lelyveld stepped down in September 2001, Raines and his deputies are said to have engaged in a rolling purge, systematically pushing out editorial employees with ties to the past and making way for new stars. "It's like a divorce," says one insider, with the staff now divided between Joe's people and Howell's people. "To be a favorite of Joe is a black mark with Howell," says another.

According to insiders, Raines is the kind of 1950s-style autocrat who manages through humiliation and fear. Aside from right-hand men Gerald Boyd and Andy Rosenthal and a core of loyalists, morale is said to be at a new low. There are many rooms in that palace and nobody sees the whole picture. But, says one source, "the old timers who lived through the worst of [former executive editor] Abe Rosenthal say they have never seen anyone be so arrogant, so petty, so mean. Vindictiveness is in." Another source says, "It's no longer about managing down. It's about paying obeisance to the king." Among cognoscenti, 43rd Street is now known as the "republic of fear."
Quoth Howell, "L'etat, c'est moi."