The New York Times, which last month featured a front-page article faulting the Bloomberg administration for its supposed lack of racial diversity while ignoring its own largely white editorial leadership, today unleashes a front-page article faulting the Bloomberg administration for supposedly doling out unpaid summer internships to the relatives of the rich and powerful while ignoring the New York Times Company's own internships, which pay about $900 a week. Do they really expect us to believe that no one with any connections to important Times advertisers or editors or publishers or shareholders or sources landed any of these internships, or, for that matter, jobs on the paper?
If the Times wants to go after the city program, it would have a stronger case if it could show that the unpaid interns somehow screwed up some government function. The Times does acknowledge that "The children of at least two employees of The Times have also had internships during the Bloomberg years," though it doesn't name the Times employees, describe how their children got the jobs, or attempt to interview the former interns. Lloyd Blankfein's son Alexander doesn't get that kid-glove treatment; you have to be a Times employee to get it. Instead, Alexander Blankfein's six-week city internship from 2003 is front page news in the New York Times in 2010.
We're all for progress and promotion based on merit rather than connections and on what you know rather than who you know, but for a newspaper run by Arthur Ochs Sulzberger Jr. to be going after Alexander Blankfein for a six-week unpaid city internship seems a bit much. It's not as if young Blankfein, say, parlayed his family connections into an executive job that paid him $6 million a year at a company whose share price has declined from $50 to $9 over the past eight years while the dividend has been suspended.