NYT Executive Editor Bill Keller to The New York Observer: "Get a Life."

NYT Executive Editor Bill Keller to The New York Observer: "Get a Life."

What would cause the executive editor of the New York Times to tell New York Observer media reporter John Koblin to "get a life"?

Koblin asked Keller why NYT managing editor Jill Abramson was returning from a six-month leave from her position to go learn how the Internet works -- or "to immerse herself with life on the web" even though she's already got the whole personal Doggy Blogging thing down pretty well -- six weeks earlier than she's supposed to. Abramson's a front-runner to replace Keller eventually as Executive Editor of the paper, and according to them, her temporary replacement as managing editor was doing so well, she wanted to get back to her post as soon as possible (extrapolate your own meaning from what would be, anywhere else, a scramble back to one's valuable bureaucratic perch). Keller's response?

"Boy, John, do you need to get a life. Even I can't see an interesting story in this, and I live here," he wrote...Also: "Thanks for your microscopic interest in the fine points of newsroom administration."

Well, we certainly found it interesting, as it's always interesting when someone in a high position of power loses their composure after being asked a hot-button question. If anything, Keller should understand the appeal of an item like this, seeing as how he works for a newspaper. What's that whole thing about insecurity breeding hostility? Yeah. There's something about that out there.

[fkamer@villagevoice.com]


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