What's the scoop on Andrew Sullivan and the Times?
June 11, 2002 9:01 AM   Subscribe

"The New York Times Magazine contributing writer Andrew Sullivan has been banned from the mag indefinitely."
This from Bulldog Reporter's Lifestyle Media Relations Reporter, a newsletter that keeps tabs on media personnel shifts for PR pros. Unfortunately, that's all they said. Anybody got the goods?
posted by me3dia to General Weblog-Related at 9:01 AM (8 comments total)

He is taking a break right now, but on his site he has,

"I don't have a boss any more, so I have to be own disciplinarian."

So look at that in the full context and maybe someone can figure out if that refers to the Bulldog's newsletter.
posted by mkelley at 9:07 AM on June 11, 2002


There was considerable speculation about this at the time in various venues (InstaPundit, Tapped, assorted other blogs), which ran the gamut from a) Raines doesn't like Sullivan's politics, ergo, he canned him to b) Sullivan is slapdash enough in his use of facts that maybe he ought to have been fired to c) Sullivan criticizes the NYT so harshly on his blog that there's nothing shocking about his loss of a job. Obviously, a) is most favorable to Sullivan.
posted by thomas j wise at 10:26 AM on June 11, 2002


I don't think many editors would tolerate a contributor ragging on the publication regularly on his own site. I think that's a more likely explanation than the idea that Raines woke up one day and suddenly realized Sullivan was a Log Cabin Republican.
posted by rcade at 10:38 AM on June 11, 2002


If it was a case of Raines's politics, why wasn't Sullivan fired outright? Raines has been helming the Times since September of last year. In addition, you folks forget how damned large of a newspaper the Times is. Sullivan wasn't a managing editor. He was a regular contributor, pure and simple. The decision to say no to a regular doesn't always come from the top. If there was a specific rift between Sullivan and someone else, it may very well have been with one of Raines's minions who made the call.
posted by ed at 11:30 AM on June 11, 2002


And you fire a freelancer how?
posted by dhartung at 11:37 AM on June 11, 2002


What bugs me about it is the word "banned." It's not a word Bulldog Reporter commonly uses when describing a departure or end of a relationship -- too dramatic. Which makes me wonder what went on behind the scenes.
posted by me3dia at 11:58 AM on June 11, 2002


me3dia
as rcade said, I really think an editor does have the right to choose his paper's contributors and to decide wether or not they want a certain contributor to jkeep appearing on their paper.
A guy who claims that AIDS is basically not dangerous anymore, that steroids are good for you, etc like Sullivan did, is pretty much in danger. Especially if he regularly self-publishes harsh attacks against the paper he contributes to
I'd say editorial decision, to more or less claim that Raines is homophobic well, looks pretty baseless to me
posted by matteo at 11:16 AM on June 12, 2002


to more or less claim that Raines is homophobic
I made no such assumption or claim.

I'm well aware that it's up to the editors who gets into print -- I'm a freelance writer. But there's a big difference between "We've used too many of your stories lately, time to cut back," and "You are banned indefinitely."
Maybe I'm making more out of this than is really appropriate, and I'm certainly participating in a bit of celebrity gossip-mongering here, but it sounds like a bigger deal than is being let on. Any of the above could be the reason, I just wondered if anyone knew what really happened.
posted by me3dia at 11:41 AM on June 12, 2002


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