John Carroll Departs. He Could Have Been Better
So John Carroll is retiring Aug. 15, perhaps earlier than he had intended to just a few months ago. My own honest view is that he could have been a better editor, could have resisted the mediocre TRibune managers and costcutters more. He did resist, but too quietly. No loyalty is owed the squalid Tribune owners.
My worst feeling about Carroll is that he was very cool to the Jewish community, an important aspect of Los Angeles life. Not since Otis Chandler became publisher in 1961, or even before, with his mother, the late Dorothy Chandler, has this been the case. Jewish community leaders will be glad to see Carroll go.
In some respects, Carroll is to be complimented. The Times did win many Pulitzers under his aegis, and on an everyday basis, he made many sound decisions. But he would not call a terrorist a terrorist, and he hired Michael Kinsley, a part timer, and allowed him to continue to live in Seattle half the time. This was a serious mistake.
I notice in the announcement that Dean Baquet, the new editor, will have Kinsley reporting to the publisher, Jeffrey Johnson, rather than to him. This is a serious mistake, since control of the editorial page is the duty of any responsible editor. Johnson has not demonstrated any clear loyalty to Los Angeles, rather than to his greasy superiors in Chicago.
Still, we can all wish Baquet well. He's going to need great abilities to keep living with the Tribune Co.
It is a good thing that Baquet, a black man, has reached such a high post, a first for great American papers. So congratulations are due to him. He has many challenges ahead.