Margaret Sullivan, public editor of The New York Times, has been busy of late, especially with criticism of the paper’s weekend expose of Amazon’s work culture. The flap included her mild dueling with the newspaper’s executive editor over the piece (she thought it had flaws, he didn’t).
Well, they are in sync Thursday with the paper having erred on Saturday in a long, front page obituary of Julian Bond, the civil rights leader.
It included the line, “Julian Bond’s great-grandmother Jane Bond was the slave mistress of a Kentucky farmer.”
Many readers protested to Sullivan “on the grounds that a slave, by definition, can’t be in the kind of consensual or romantic relationship that the word ‘mistress’ suggests.’ One of them noted it wasn’t the first time the phrase had appeared in a Times obituary.”
Executive Editor Dean Baquet, the paper’s first African-American executive editor, told her that it was a clear mistake. Read more