Friday, March 02, 2007

Archibald: Wash Times insider says things have gone awry with new 'unhinged' editor

GEORGE ARCHIBALD: UNHINGED: "As the first reporter hired by The Washington Times outside the founding group, on the newspaper’s national desk for 21 years, I’m saddened by recent attacks by managing editor Francis B. Coombs Jr. against foreign desk editor David Jones and veteran foreign reporter Tom Carter.

Something has gone badly awry at The Washington Times since editor-in-chief Wesley Pruden Jr. announced his retirement and went on C-SPAN to announce managing editor Fran Coombs as his successor.

Coombs has gone power-crazy."

This brings back memories for me at my college newspaper, where I was features editor. One late night just before deadline the entertainment editor and the paper's editor got in a major disagreement over some story or other. The entertainment editor stormed out of the glass encased editor's cubicle, went to his desk, stewed a while, then picked up his electric typewriter (yeah, this was back in the 70s), and hoisted it angrily through the large glass window at the editor! The editor saw it coming and was able to dodge the typewriter and most of the glass. All of us in the newsroom were stunned and barely could move. The entertainment editor fell to the floor and lay there with his eyes closed as if he were wishing it would all go away. One of the more bizarre events of my journalistic life. The entertainment editor, of course, lost his position on the school paper, but as I recall went on to edit one of those weekly giveaway papers in the area for years.


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