Monday 8 June 2020

And another skittle falls

Until Saturday Stan Wischnowski, 58, had worked for The Philadelphia Inquirer for 20 years and been its executive editor for a decade. Under his leadership the paper won a Pulitzer prize and doubled the number of non-white employees.

He had to resign (it sounds like he was dismissed to me) because the paper published the headline
“Buildings Matter, Too”
over an article by the paper’s architecture critic, who expressed concern that damage to historic buildings during Black Lives Matter protests might “leave a gaping hole in the heart of Philadelphia”.

Inga Saffron apparently thought her article would be headlined “Black Lives Matter. Do Buildings?” In it she said,

“You can be appalled and heartbroken by our country’s deadly racism, and yet still quake at what the damage to downtown portends for Philadelphia. Racism is built on strong foundations. The momentary satisfaction of destroying a few buildings does nothing to remove those structures. All it does is weaken our city.”

More than 40 non-white journalists at the newspaper called in sick in protest on Thursday. In a message telling staff of Mr Wischnowski’s departure, Lisa Hughes, the Inquirer’s chief executive, said that the headline was “offensive and inappropriate”.
  The paper apologised for a “horribly wrong” decision to use the headline. 

I wonder if the sub who wrote the headline has been fired.

Does it remind you ever so faintly of Stalin's Russia?

Here is the editor of the Financial Times in London, approving the dismissal of two people because they thought it acceptable to allow a U.S. Senator to express his opinion, that the army should be called in to deal with rioters, in the New York Times. 

This article 
from the NYT, was recommended by Gideon Rachman of the FT on Twitter. I quote the first paragraph below.

Tom Cotton’s Fascist Op-Ed

How should opinion pages respond to the right’s authoritarian turn?

Before Donald Trump became president, most newspaper op-ed pages sought to present a spectrum of politically significant opinion and argument, which they could largely do while walling off extremist propaganda and incitement. The Trump presidency has undermined that model, because there’s generally no way to defend the administration without being either bigoted or dishonest.

This remark, of course, shows that Michelle Goldberg  is astonishingly bigoted in the true sense of the word.

On the theme of BLM and free speech this is from the (London) Times today:
Several British universities have begun investigations into alleged racism after social media posts showed re-enactments of the death of George Floyd. 

...Bradford University has suspended a student after an image on Snapchat showed a teenager kneeling on another’s neck, with the caption “police brutality”. Warwick University also investigated the photograph but found no association. Three teenagers, two aged 19 and one aged 18, were arrested on suspicion of hate crime and have been released on bail.


  1. It is especially painful to see what has happened to the FT. I used to read it with pleasure.

    1. I completely agree. It used to be much the most trustworthy paper. I do remember though that Norman Tebbit described it as communist and it backed Labour in 1992.