New York Times staffers greeted the paper’s divorce from reporter Judith Miller with weary cheer. Executive editor Bill Keller’s memo landed in inboxes at half past three, when many reporters were on deadline. So the news skipped over cubicle walls and staffers took a brief pause, then went back to filing.
“There’s a general sense of relief,” a staffer said. “It’ll be interesting to see how we play it in the paper tomorrow. We would like to know more about the terms of her departure, and what limitations the paper faces in describing Judy. Thank God the nightmare is over.”
“It’s a good thing for the newspaper to put this episode behind us,” another staffer said. “The paper and Judy did the right thing by coming to an accommodation which had to happen. There are some people in the newsroom who felt she should be fired. If that wasn’t going to happen, then this was the next best thing. Now we have to go about building on the credibility that the paper lost through this episode.”
“I could hear people ask their cubicle mates if they read the e-mail in the seconds after it hit,” another staffer said. “But it’s deadline here and as of this moment and as of a few moments after the e-mail everyone within earshot was working the phones and/or typing like the wind as if the e-mail hadn’t happened.”