This wasn't Dean Baquet's finest hour

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Dean Baquet
  • AFP PHOTO/THE NEW YORK TIMES/DOUG MILLS
  • Dean Baquet
Former colleagues generally speak highly of Dean Baquet, who just became executive editor of the New York Times as executive editor Jill Abramson was tossed out on her ear by publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr. last week. Baquet joined the Times after being fired as editor of the Tribune Company's Los Angeles Times. Earlier, he was a Tribune reporter.

I apparently saw Baquet on a bad day. I saw him three years ago in this video clip, which finds him speaking to USC students and gratuitously slamming the Tribune's then and current editor, Gerry Kern, as an opportunist who never bothered to learn his craft. I felt at the time that whether Baquet wanted to admit it or not, Kern's Tribune was too good a paper to justify Baquet's airy dismissal of him, and I think that today.

Did the earnest, doting faces of Baquet's young audience cause him to confuse malice with wisdom? Probably. But not to worry. The Times newsroom won't look at him that way.

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