It seems like the only one thinking straight at the New York Times right now is Public Editor Margaret Sullivan. After just a few weeks since she authored an apology for the Michael Brown “no angel” article, Sullivan has taken to her blog on the NYT website to apologize for yet another poorly-executed piece of writing from her publication.
In a review scheduled to run in print on Sunday, the Friday online edition of The Times called showrunner Shonda Rhimes “an angry black woman” (among other poor turns of phrase) in their review of her new series How to Get Away with Murder. Sullivan today had this to say about the article’s execution:
“Intended to be in praise of Ms. Rhimes, it delivered that message in a condescending way that was – at best – astonishingly tone-deaf and out of touch.”
She has also sought comment from the review’s author Alessandra Stanley, as well as NYT executive editor Dean Baquet and culture editor Danielle Mattoon. Sullivan has promised to update her post as she receives comment from those key parties, and we’ll bring you those responses as soon as we get them.
Rhimes and colleagues such as Kerry Washington jumped all over Friday’s Times story, and deservedly so. It is yet another instance of a top-level publication running an article that is head-slappingly bad, a trend that is becoming troublingly prevalent in journalism. While it’s great to see The Times at least taking ownership over the story, maybe they should just save everybody the aggravation and stop writing such stupid material in the first place.