By: Joe Strupp
Updated at 11:30 a.m. EST, Dec. 9.
The New York Times, which has been heavily criticized this week for spiking two sports columns related to the ongoing dispute over letting women into the Augusta National Golf Club in Georgia, is expected to succumb to protests and publish both columns this weekend.
[Editor’s note: the columns ran on Sunday, Dec. 8: http://www.nytimes.com/2002/12/08/sports/golf/08ANDE.html
Dave Anderson, who wrote one of the two columns in question, told E&P Friday that editors had agreed to run the columns, by himself and Harvey Araton, after critics claimed the columns had been held because they questioned the paper’s editorial stance on letting women into Augusta.
“At this point, they are planning to print both columns this weekend, in the same paper, either Saturday or Sunday” Anderson said. “I think they were concerned about all the uproar on this and wanted to heal the rift.”
The spiked columns by Anderson and Araton reportedly disagreed with a Nov. 18 Times editorial urging golfer Tiger Woods to boycott The Masters golf tournament, which is played at Augusta, because the club has no women members.
Times Managing Editor Gerald Boyd told E&P on Thursday that the columns’ viewpoint had nothing to do with their being spiked. He said the Araton column, which did not openly address the Times‘ editorial stance, needed to be rewritten, while the Anderson column was held not because it disagreed with the paper but because it focused on the editorial too directly.
“I have no problem with columns saying something different than the [paper’s] editorial stance,” Boyd said Thursday. “I certainly don’t believe columns have to adhere to an editorial position.”
On Friday, Boyd would not confirm or deny that a decision had been made to publish the columns. He would only say, “We’re reviewing several options.” Times sports editor Neil Amdur could not immediately be reached for comment Friday afternoon.
“They had a right to do what they did,” Anderson said about the Times‘ spiking of the columns. “But the outside world had a right to be offended by it.”