By Dan Kennedy • The press, politics, technology, culture and other passions

Tough words for James Bennet

Jennifer Barnett, a former managing editor of The Atlantic, absolutely eviscerates James Bennet (whom she does not name) in this smoking essay on Medium.

Bennet is the former Atlantic editor who became editorial-page editor of The New York Times — only to be forced out last summer after a series of screw-ups, culminating in his running a terrible op-ed by Sen. Tom Cotton that he later admitted he hadn’t read before publication.

Bennet was replaced at the Times by his deputy, Kathleen Kingsbury, at first on an interim basis and, last week, officially.

I’m guessing that we’re going to hear more about this.

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  1. Deborah Nam-Krane

    My first reaction: glad I didn’t spring for a subscription to the Atlantic (I went for the New Yorker instead after reading Ronan Farrow’s book last year).

    My second reaction: should probably have my husband cancel his subscription to the New York Times.

    Third reaction: maybe these venerable mainstays of publishing are failing for reasons other than the internet, and sounds like they deserve to.

    Fourth reaction: that’s adorable that someone took Michael Bennet’s presidential run seriously.

    • Dan Kennedy

      @Deborah: I have several reactions to your reaction.

      First, Barnett says she’s heard things are much better, though hardly perfect, under Bennet’s successor at The Atlantic, Jeffrey Goldberg. I would point out that Adrienne LaFrance is a star and produced the single best piece on QAnon I’ve ever read. I think she’s also the managing editor.

      Second, Bennet was replaced at The New York Times by Kathleen Kingsbury, who I hold in high regard. She had been interim, and she got the job officially last week.

      Third, no publications have made a better, more profitable transition to the internet than The Atlantic and the Times.

      Fourth, LOL!

      • Goldberg published Ken Starr and tried to hire Kevin Williamson, among many other atrocities. He’s a hack, and he’s from the same Bro Cabal. Doing better than James Bennet is hardly an achievement.

        The NYT editorial page just this week published tut-tut editorials taking Biden to task signing executive orders meant to undo some of Trump’s damage, and pleading with him to “work with” congress. Bret Stephens still works there. Nothing has changed.

        The mainstream political media is utterly broken, and no critique that doesn’t start from that premise can be taken entirely seriously.

  2. aaronread1

    Did you read Celeste Headlee’s even MORE scorching tweetstorm about this?

    If not, you should. It shows how little has changed at WNYC and NYT, too.

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