Arthur Gelb, a holder of a glorious portfolio of titles at the New York Times, died Tuesday. An excellent obituary can be found on the pages of his own paper:
No matter the role, Mr. Gelb, a gangly 6-foot-2, was relentless, fidgety and in your face — whether in passionate response to a potential scoop or in fevered reaction to the whim of a fellow boss, typically the equally relentless A.M. Rosenthal, who had been two years his senior at City College and perpetually a step ahead of him in the Times hierarchy, finally reaching the newsroom’s top post, executive editor.
One of his former colleagues, in a separate piece, wrote this, in part:
He got a tremendous kick when I was named Managing Editor, the job he had when he retired from the newsroom in 1989. He regularly called me with great story ideas and loved it when we broke a big one. “Ride that story!” he’d bellow. He believed that a good story had a thousand angles and that it was a sin to leave them unexplored.
The person behind that first-person reflection is none other than recently deposed New York Times executive editor Jill Abramson, writing on the Huffington Post’s “The BLOG.” Though Abramson’s thoughts might make for a nice adjacency to the obituary on the New York Times’ web site, such an outcome is inconceivable in light of the past week’s hostilities, in which the Times and various “associates” of Abramson’s have been duking it out over the particulars of her sudden ouster.
So how did Abramson come to contribute these nice words to the Huffington Post? A spokeswoman for the site explains, “It came to Arianna, who was in correspondence with Jill Abramson. HuffPost is both a journalistic enterprise, with 700 paid editors, reporters, etc. and a large platform for views and opinions for which we do not offer compensation.” Arianna Huffington is the chair, president, and editor-in-chief of the Huffington Post Media Group.
Abramson got no money for her post, the spokeswoman said.