Todd Purdum Agrees: No Backstabbing at ‘NY Times’ D.C. Bureau

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By: E&P Staff

In a letter to E&P Wednesday, Vanity Fair’s National Editor Todd Purdum (who previously worked at the New York Times bureau in Washington D.C. for many years) responds to today’s Joe Strupp article about outgoing bureau chief Phil Taubman, agreeing with Taubman’s assertion that, contrary to rumors, the office is a “supportive, friendly” place to work.

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Dear E&P:

Thanks for that enlightening and heartening interview with my old boss Phil Taubman of The New York Times Washington Bureau. As someone who spent about eight of the last thirteen years in that office (and 23 years at The Times in all), I can heartily second Phil’s assertion that it is a very good, supportive, friendly place to work. It’s no secret that The Times, itself, is a big, complicated place, and not one where joy always reigns.

But most of my happiest times at the paper were spent in the Washington Bureau, whose outstanding team of hardworking, collegial grownups were far from back-stabbers. On the contrary, I like to think we all had each other’s backs. Yes, the bureau — and the paper — have been though some tough times in recent years. But one of the great strengths of the bureau is that we all got through the tough times together, and watching the way the troops rallied after the tragic murder of David Rosenbaum, or Johnny Apple’s too-early death, was a powerful reminder of that reality.

My old comrade and former boss Dean Baquet will inherit not only a talented team of reporters and writers, but of true friends, too.

Sincerely,
Todd S. Purdum
National Editor
Vanity Fair

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