Dean Baquet, the executive editor of The New York Times, decided to give science reporter Donald McNeil a second chance despite finding that he’d made offensive (allegedly quite racist) remarks on a trip with schoolchildren. Fair enough — but how does that square with the Times’ crucifixion of ESPN’s Doug Adler a few years back?
Adler’s only “crime” was to describe Venus Williams’ play at the net as “guerilla” tactics. But, as our own Phil Mushnick has reported repeatedly, a Times critic took it as “gorilla” — and that was enough not only to get ESPN to fire Adler, but to destroy his career.
And no matter that “guerilla” is used often enough in tennis talk that Nike made an ad with Andre Agassi and Pete Sampras playing “guerilla tennis.”