Tim Cavanaugh, the web editor who joined the Times Opinion staff recently from Reason magazine, reacted to the resignation of his boss, Andrés Martinez, by posting a personal message on the Opinion blog that raised some eyebrows. He's only been there a few months and works in a small department cut off from most of the Times newsroom, but he posted his belief that the newspaper is a place "where doing anything more than the bare minimum is passively, and often actively, discouraged." Well, that passage is gone now. I don't know if it was edited by Cavanaugh or someone else.
Here's what he originally posted, with the excised material lined through and new text in bold. The original is also here without strikethroughs.
At moments of institutional embarrassment like this one, it's customary to lament that this unfortunate business distracts from the good news of all the terrific work we're doing, etc. I'd like to say just the opposite. This week's mess distracts from the bad news (though it's hardly news to people who follow the issue) that the Los Angeles Times work environment is one where doing anything more than the bare minimum is passively, and often actively, discouraged. On that note,I'd like to thank Andrés Martinez for his steadfast and enthusiastic support in guiding our new features and innovations through the corporate minefielda work environment where change is frequently less than welcome. If not for Andrés, you would be looking at a much smaller catalogue of new features. I wish him the best, and hope that we can continue his ambition of making maximum use of new media to produce a better and more exciting Los Angeles Times.
I don't know when the edit occurred, but blogger Patterico noticed it last night. * Update: Cavanaugh emails Patterico to say it was his call to edit the post:
My purpose with that post was to express my gratitude to and support for Martinez, and to draw some attention to our new wares during the excitement generated by the ongoing witch hunt/henpeck/circular firing squad/sewing circle/rearrangement of the deck chairs on the Titanic… (sorry: the cliches just write themselves). After some thought, and in consultation with nobody but myself, I decided I didn’t want to distract from the sendoff with more of the kind of sniping that is so common among LAT staffers. I stand 100 percent behind my characterization of the working culture of the LAT, but I think those comments were more appropriate to another forum–such as the excellent reporting you and Kevin Roderick are doing on this matter.