On May 1st there was a small story in the Times about its metro editor, Wendell Jamieson, resigning for unexplained reasons. Of course, his “resignation” was forced—he was effectively fired—coming as it did after an internal investigation. “I regret and apologize for my mistakes and leaving under these circumstances,” Jamieson said.
Were they “mistakes,” or was it a crime? We don’t know because Dean Baquet, the executive editor of the newspaper, and Joseph Khan, the managing editor, told employees that they will not discuss what happened. It’s a secret. Why are they refusing to speak? “To protect the privacy of those involved, we do not intend to comment further.”
We now know from the Times’ May 2nd brief story that Jamieson “was accused of inappropriate behavior by at least three female employees.” It is important to note that we don’t know this because the newspaper has decided to become transparent: We know this because some who are familiar with the investigation have broken their silence.
This is the same newspaper that recently won a Pulitzer Prize for its coverage of Harvey Weinstein’s sexual misconduct. This is the same newspaper that treated the world to its non-stop coverage of sexual misconduct at Fox News. And this is the same newspaper that has demanded that the Catholic Church come whistle clean with every priest who has ever been accused of sexual misconduct.
Sexual harassment in New York State involves sexually charged comments, whether verbal or written, as well as unwelcome physical touching. If Jamieson was fired for such reasons, then the New York Times should have reported his offense to the District Attorney. That’s what Cardinal Timothy Dolan does when he learns of a priest accused of sexual misconduct, and that’s what the Times insists he should do!
Last year, the New York Times had to discipline another male reporter, Glenn Thrush, for his alleged sexual misconduct. It did not fire him—instead it took a page from the teachers’ unions and moved him to another office—choosing to allow him to undergo counseling. How convenient.
Why are the media not covering this story? Only Fox News has picked it up on cable, and neither ABC, CBS, nor NBC has touched it. Local New York newspapers, such as the Daily News and the New York Post, have covered it, but the Washington Post and other prominent newspapers are ignoring it. With the exception of “Good Day New York” (a Fox affiliate), local New York TV stations are also giving the Times a pass.
If a New York City priest were accused of groping someone 50 years ago—he may now be dead—there is not a media outlet, local or national, that would not cover it. That the media refuse to do some digging on this story, about the so-called newspaper of record, only reinforces the perception of deep-seated media bias. Or is it because they don’t want their competitors to start digging for dirt in their own house?
And where is Maureen Dowd, the New York Times columnist who loves to write about priestly sexual misconduct? Does she have the guts to press her superiors on what’s behind the Jamieson story?