Given more time, Thomas Bray, one of the members of the special committee to oversee editorial independence at the Journal, would have liked to question Marcus Brauchli. There are two stories today: one in the Journal, and the other in the Times, airing the committee’s grievances, but those complaints amount to little.
Mr. Bray himself says there’s no way to “unresign” Mr. Brauchli, but he would like to be kept in the loop next time. But even if Mr. Bray and the other four members of the committee had met with Mr. Brauchli well before the decision was made, what difference would it have made? Mr. Brauchli still would have been stuck awkwardly between two worlds—News. Corp’s and the traditional Journal—in a way that was making his job increasingly uncomfortable, and essentially, impossible to maintain.
The committee was put in place to oversee firings and hirings. But unless Mr. Murdoch fires an editor because of his or her politics or for purely personal reasons—as an outlandish example—does the committee really have any power to throw its body over an unwanted employee? Not likely. Mr. Bray;s proven that he has a heartbeat. But how much does that matter?