‘Postcard From Peru: Why the Morality Plays Inside the Times Won’t Stop’

Good piece from Times media columnist Ben Smith on l’affaire McNeil:

The questions about The Times’s identity and political leanings are real; the differences inside the newsroom won’t be easily resolved. But the paper needs to figure out how to resolve these issues more clearly: Is The Times the leading newspaper for like-minded, left-leaning Americans? Or is it trying to hold what seems to be a disappearing center in a deeply divided country? Is it Elizabeth Warren or Joe Biden? One thing that’s clear is that these questions probably aren’t best arbitrated through firings or resignations freighted with symbolic meaning, or hashed out inside the human resources department.

One thing is clear: Don McNeil was an absolutely bizarre choice to lead a two-week expedition to Peru with a group of wealthy private school teenagers.

Update: Alex Leo, on Twitter, summing up what a bad idea this was:

“I’ve got a great idea: we charge teenagers $6,000 for two weeks and we send Archie Bunker to watch over them.”

Monday, 15 February 2021