The ombudzzzzman

Now Jacob Bernstein in WWD takes out after Times Public Editor Byron Calame (following others).

The amusing thing — meat for bloggers — is that TV writer Alessandra Stanley is one of the Timespeople willing to be quoted criticizing the critic. Of course, it is relevant that Calame criticized Stanley when she erred criticizing Geraldo Rivera.

Bernstein says that most Timefolk were critical of Calame and mainly because he gets into minor details and misses the big picture.

A business desk employee preferred the metaphor of the mosquito, someone who bites, but never seriously wounds. “He squandered a big opportunity,” the employee said.

Right. I know that there were reasons to treat the appointment of an ombudsman like that of a judge: They sign on for a term and shouldn’t be fired. Separation of powers, and all that.

But honestly, Calame is, most weeks, second rate. And that should be an embarrassment for The Times. He should either be convinced to return to the copy desk or perhaps the newsroom should just hire a press critic of their own, with freedom to criticize the home team.

At a time when The Times and journalism are undergoing profound reexamination, this is too big a story to be left to a boring, second-rate, every-other-week column.

: Oh, and by the way, I still find it painfully ironic that most of the Timesmenandwomen choose to be anonymous sources. Goose, meet gander. If you want your own sources to have the balls to be quoted by name, show the way.