New Observer media reporter Nick Summers plunged into the Times today to find critics of DealBook, the many-headed beast that started as an e-mail newsletter and has become a department of sixteen people with its own territory in the newspaper and financial quasi-celebrity Andrew Ross Sorkin at its head. Internal complainers voiced amusement over how DealBook has lagged behind the Journal on the recent spate of hedge-fund insider-trading busts, for example. They've also voiced dismay at the emphasis of speed in reporting over nuance and skepticism.
And then there's this disgruntled former Timesman:
"I've never contributed to fucking DealBook," a former Times staffer sneered, when The Observer mistakenly asked about his tenure. Why so offended? "I don't think it's New York Times-quality journalism," he explained. "I think it's a kind of pandering. It treats Wall Street like this wonderful place that we should be proud of. ... Any idea that starts with the premise of 'We're gonna make these people really like us' is bad journalism."
Now, we know for a fact there are enough business reporters at the Times that have their beef with Sorkin that Summers probably heard plenty of epithets. But the result was only one not-for-attribution quote? From a person who used to work at the Times? That's practically a compliment: Sorkin's dominance by fear is nearly complete.