Former NYT Executive Editor Jokes At College He Had a 'Minor in Recreational Substances'

Former New York Times executive editor Bill Keller is one of those liberal baby boomers, but since he's now in his sixties, he feels compelled to tell college kids he once was hip. He told students at Miami University in Ohio that he's learned a lot since he graduated college in 1970. 

Of course, going to college in those glorious Sixties, he was fond of his hallucinogens:

“I supposedly majored in English; in reality, I majored in the campus newspaper with a minor in recreational substances,” Keller said. 

The Miami Student newspaper reported:

During the Q&A session, Keller answered questions ranging from The Times’ coverage of the Iraq War to the Jayson Blair scandal to whether or not The Times is a liberal publication. Keller said the Internet and social media have great potential, but also said the media needs to be conscious of the potential downside of the Internet, especially reinforcing audience prejudices and quickly releasing information rather than fact checking it. 

Since Keller was discussing the Jayson Blair scandal, it would seem a little funny he would denounce the Internet for releasing information instead of fact-checking it. (Blair fictionalized many stories in the Times without enough fact checking.)

Specifics would have been educational. But this month, Keller announced he was a "centrist" who worried about a polarized us-and-them, MSNBC-and-Fox media. Somehow, Keller doesn't recognize his newspaper advertises all over MSNBC and appears and is quoted all over the network as well.

Miami Journalism Program Coordinator of Special Events Patti Newberry, naturally felt Keller was a very generous and accommodating guest and enjoyed his long and thoughtful responses.

“Bill Keller in my book is the real deal,” Newberry said. “He is a solid, lifelong journalist, committed to the highest standards of newsgathering.” 

Tim Graham
Tim Graham
Tim Graham is Executive Editor of NewsBusters and is the Media Research Center’s Director of Media Analysis