Monday, 29 September 2008

The Death of Opinion (fishbowlNY)

I'm not that interested by the specifics of the subject below, but I was attracted by fishbowl's headline - The Death of Opinion.

I recently put it to someone that maybe the NYT and the IHT really ought to get out of the op-ed business altogether. They nearly fell off their chair.
I wasn't entirely sure I meant it when I said it, but I think this idea could do with some further consideration. By me, for starters.

Anyway, the article for what it's worth....

The Death of Opinion: Newspaper Music Critic Removed From Post for Being Critical

For almost 30 years, Donald Rosenberg has covered the Cleveland Symphony Orchestra, first for The Akron Beacon Journal and, since 1992, The Plain Dealer. Earlier this week, he found out his services would no longer be needed as he was being transferred to an arts and entertainment writer.

The move came a shock and many believe executives at the Plain Dealer gave into pressure from the orchestra community who felt Rosenberg was overly critical of its maestro,
Franz Welser-Most. Susan Goldberg, the paper's editor, denied the claims, telling The New York Times, "No outside criticism is going to change our internal decision-making process."
Terrance C. Z. Egger, publisher of the Plain Dealer and also a member of the orchestra's board, could not be reached for comment by the Times.
Zachary Lewis, a 28-year-old former intern of Rosenberg, will handle the symphony beat.
After the jump, the music critic community jumps to Rosenberg's defense.

The Baltimore Sun's music critic Tim Smith took Rosenberg's side, writing:
Don's musical background is as good as it gets, his evaluations reasoned and sensitive. He has covered the Cleveland Orchestra for nearly three decades (including a stint with another area paper), and he's the author of the definitive book about that orchestra. So what did he do wrong? He has questioned, more than once, the sanctity of the Cleveland Orchestra's music director, Franz Welser-Most.
Smith goes on to accuse the Plain Dealer of caving to "pressure from a faction representing the orchestra and the man on its podium." He writes, "Ultimately, this calculated attack on a music critic doing his job casts a suspicious light on his detractors and their motivations."
Orange County Register's Arts Blog (which noted Welser-Most's nickname "Worse-Than-Most") also took the writer's side: "Rosenberg was only doing his job. To state the obvious: A critic is not supposed to be a cheerleader, or to help the local orchestra sell tickets."


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