Dean Baquet, executive editor of the New York Times, has taken some criticism this week for his decision not to publish the most provocative of the Charlie Hebdo cartoons. Sufficient criticism, perhaps, such that Marc Cooper, associate professor at the USC Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism, pushed him over the top today. In a Facebook posting, Cooper wrote:
A question for NYTimes editor Dean Baquet. Exactly how many people have to be shot in cold blood before your paper rules that you can show us what provoked the killers? Apparently 23 shot including 11 dead is not enough. What absolute cowardice. These MSM managers act is if they are running insurance companies, not news organizations.
Baquet replied: “Dear Marc, appreciate the self righteous second guessing without even considering there might be another point of view. Hope your students are more open minded. A[——].” Oh, how expressive a Timesman can be when not constrained by his publication’s decency standards.
Speaking of standards, the New York Times cited them in a statement on why it didn’t join the likes of BuzzFeed, the Huffington Post and Gawker in republishing the controversial Charlie Hebdo fare: “Under Times standards, we do not normally publish images or other material deliberately intended to offend religious sensibilities. After careful consideration, Times editors decided that describing the cartoons in question would give readers sufficient information to understand today’s story.”
In showing that the pressure of the week has gotten to him, Baquet is also contradicting a previous self-assessment. As Politico’s Dylan Byers reported, Baquet once drove his fist through a wall in frustration. “I never lose my temper at a person. I lose my temper at walls,” Baquet said last year.